Ramona High School girls volleyball Coach Connie Halfaker would have preferred that the Bulldogs came out victorious in their season opener Sept. 11 at San Pasqual High School, but she had few concerns about her team’s play during the four-game loss.
Prior to the season Halfaker had noted that opponents would need to work to beat the Bulldogs, which is what San Pasqual’s Jaci Schork did while serving during the final two games.
“That girl just got hot,” Halfaker said. “In games three and four she all of a sudden had our number.”
Halfaker was more disappointed about Ramona’s 25-23 loss in the first game than about the 25-13 and 25-19 losses in the final two games.
“In game one we did not play as well as I would have hoped,” she said. “In game two we did.”
Ramona won the second game by a 25-16 score.
“They (San Pasqual) actually played well our second game, but we did a good job,” Halfaker said.
In the third game it was San Pasqual, especially Schork, who had the better game.
“They had a server that all of a sudden we could not handle,” Halfaker said of Schork.
“We scrimmaged them, had no problem,” Halfaker said. “It wasn’t a problem in games one or two.”
Halfaker credits Schork rather than faulting her own team.
“The kids played well, they played smart,” Halfaker said of the Bulldogs. “They made good choices.”
Even the execution against Schork’s serves pleased Halfaker.
“Girls are doing a real good job of pursuing the ball,” Halfaker said. “Just didn’t happen.”
During practices Halfaker and her players worked on dealing with a run during an opponent’s serve.
“We were not quite ready,” she said.
Other elements of practice were more seamlessly incorporated into an actual game.
“They did a lot of different things that we have been working on in practice,” Halfaker said. “It was good to see that we are that capable.”
Schork’s success at Ramona’s expense also tested the Bulldogs’ mental toughness.
“They did not get down,” Halfaker said. “They were determined. Nobody got flustered.”
Ramona will spend Saturday at the Palm Desert Tournament.