Ramona High School’s boys volleyball team will take a 13-7 record into today’s Valley League opener at home against Mount Carmel.
The Bulldogs followed non-league wins at home March 23 over Mira Mesa and at Escondido on March 25 with a 3-3 record in the North County Invitational Tournament.
“We’ve got a lot to work on,” said Ramona coach Jeff Klauda. “We’re going to have to get a lot smarter between now and Thursday.”
Ramona swept Mira Mesa in 25-17, 25-12, 25-15 games, and the substitutes compiled a 24-8 lead in the third game before the Marauders made a comeback attempt. The Bulldogs missed only six serves during the entire match.
“We played very well,” Klauda said.
Ramona missed seven serves in its 25-12, 25-10, 25-19 win over Escondido. The luxury of benching most starters allowed Klauda to utilize setter Garrett Adelman on the front row and utilize opposite hitter Thomas Pacheco as the setter. In addition to providing for a backup setter in case of Adelman’s unavailability, that allowed Klauda to test a 6-2 formation if such may be desirable in the future.
“We served very tough. We played solid all around,” Klauda said of the win.
Ramona played its March 26 pool matches of the North County Invitational at Alliant University. The Bulldogs entered the tournament as the third overall seed and the top seed in their pool. Canyon Crest would end up winning the pool, beginning pool play with a 21-25, 25-23, 15-9 win at Ramona’s expense.
“We played horrible,” Klauda said. “We couldn’t do anything right.”
The Bulldogs led the second game by a 22-18 score before the Ravens made their comeback.
“We looked asleep. There was no energy. There was just nothing,” Klauda said.
An hour break between matches gave Ramona some time to regroup, and the result was a 25-18, 25-13 victory over El Camino.
“We still did not play well at all,” Klauda said. “We still were missing a lot of serves and we weren’t taking good swings.”
The final game of pool play was against Valhalla, which had been seeded second in the pool but which also lost to Canyon Crest.
Ramona salvaged second place in the pool with a 25-16, 25-14 triumph.
“We played very well,” Klauda said. “The guys showed a little life.”
The March 27 matches were played at the Epic Volleyball Center in Poway, and the Bulldogs began the day with a 25-20, 25-15 win over Orange Glen.
“We played pretty well in most aspects,” Klauda said.
Mount Carmel was the top overall seed, and the Sundevils were also Ramona’s next opponent.
“They run a really fast offense and they mix it up,” Klauda said of the Sundevils. “They hardly ever make any mistakes.”
Mount Carmel won the match with scores of 25-16 and 25-15.
“We actually played pretty well,” Klauda said. “We couldn’t keep up with their tempo.”
Klauda noted that his young team — his starters consist of two seniors, two juniors, and two sophomores — lacked the volleyball knowledge to adjust to Mount Carmel.
“We were making a lot of good plays, but we had a hard time transitioning,” he said. “It was a pretty well-played match, but their speed just ruined us.”
In a placement match to close out the tournament, Westview defeated Ramona in three games. The Wolverines took a 25-22 victory in the first game, Ramona prevailed by a 25-20 score in game two, and Westview won the match with a 15-10 win in the third game.