By Joe Naiman
Ramona High School’s boys volleyball team was seeded second in the CIF Division III playoffs during the playoff seeding and selection meeting May 7.
The seeding gives the Bulldogs a first-round bye and a home playoff match tomorrow against the winner of the contest between Montgomery and University City. If the Bulldogs win Friday’s match they will also have a home match for the May 17 semifinals.
“The process worked,” Coach Jeff Klauda said of the seeding meeting.
Cathedral Catholic earned the top Division III seed. Ramona defeated La Jolla, the third seed, in a March 29 non-league match, and the Bulldogs prevailed over fourth-seeded Mar Vista in a Scripps Ranch Tournament match.
Ramona finished the regular season with a 16-14 record, including a 3-7 Palomar League mark, after a May 4 home loss at Westview and a May 5 home win over Mount Carmel. Westview earned the Palomar League championship with a 9-1 record in league competition; the Wolverines’ only loss was to the Poway team which lost twice to Ramona.
Westview swept the Bulldogs in 25-15, 25-21, and 25-22 games. “Didn’t do real well,” Klauda said.
The first game was Klauda’s biggest disappointment.
“We looked flat,” he said. “Serve-receive was shaky, defense was almost non-existent.”
The Bulldogs played better in the second and third games. “We were right there at the end of the games,” Klauda said. “The guys played hard, and after that first game we picked up our tempo.”
Luis Nunez led the Bulldogs with 11 kills, Kenny Lawler had five blocks, and Garrett Adelman had 32 assists.
Middle blocker Travis May was still recovering from a rolled ankle and did not play against Westview, so freshman Matt Lawler was a starting middle blocker. May was able to play against Mount Carmel.
Westview and Mount Carmel are both in Division II for playoff purposes; the Wolverines earned the second seed while the Sundevils were seeded third.
Ramona defeated the Sundevils in four games, starting with a 27-25 victory in game one.
“Our serve-receive was a little up and down,” Klauda said.
Ramona lost the second game by a 25-17 score but won the third game by a 25-22 margin.
“The guys started playing really, really well,” Klauda said. “Kenny Lawler came up huge.”
Lawler ended the day with nine kills and three blocks after a 25-21 victory in the fourth game gave Ramona the match. Klauda had not previously coached a Ramona boys team which defeated Mount Carmel.
“It was a big win,” Klauda said.
Nunez had 16 kills against the Sundevils, Thomas Pacheco contributed seven kills, and Josh Spieker added five kills. Adelman provided 43 assists.
The game against Mount Carmel was also Senior Night.
The Bulldogs recognized seniors Nunez, Pacheco, and Billy White. The departures from this year’s team will also include volunteer assistant coach Stuart Corbett, who played for the Bulldogs before his 2010 graduation and who has been accepted into the Air Force Academy.
Ramona’s win over Mount Carmel gave both teams 3-7 league records and a share of fifth (or last) place. Three Palomar League teams are in Division I: Poway received the third seed for the playoffs, Torrey Pines was seeded fourth, and Rancho Bernardo will play as the fifth seed.
“All the teams in our league have pretty high seeds,” Klauda said.