By Joe Naiman
All six Palomar League girls volleyball teams were selected to the CIF playoffs during the Nov. 5 selection and seeding meeting. That includes Ramona, which posted a 10-8 record outside league competition but was winless in 10 Palomar League matches.
“It’s a tough league,” said Coach Connie Halfaker.
The seeding beyond the top four teams is unofficial and can reflect attempts to avoid first-round matches between league opponents rather than the actual belief of a team’s strength. Ramona was placed as the 11th seed in the Division II playoffs, Mount Carmel was seeded ninth in Division II, Westview was the third Division II seed, Rancho Bernardo was seeded ninth in Division I, and Torrey Pines and Poway were the top two Division I seeds.
The top two Division II seeds were La Costa Canyon and Bonita Vista, both of which were moved down from Division I for 2011-12 along with sixth-seeded West Hills, which hosted Ramona in last night’s first-round playoff game. Fourth-seeded Canyon Crest was moved up from Division III.
“Those four came in and took some spots,” Halfaker said.
Westview was Ramona’s Nov. 1 opponent, and the match in the Wolverines’ gym was a three-game sweep. The Wolverines won 25-21, 25-11 and 25-19 contests.
“They came out pretty strong and confident, and they really were playing really well,” Halfaker said of her players.
Halfaker believes that the score in the second game was due to the Wolverines’ adjustments.
“Westview kind of sped up the pace a little bit,” she said. “It took us a bit to respond.”
Ramona setter Mikayla Derochie had 19 assists and also led the Bulldogs with three blocks. Nicole Darrough had 15 kills and two serving aces. Jenna Hickle and Samantha Waelchli each contributed seven kills.
Ramona’s Nov. 3 loss at Mount Carmel was in four games. The Bulldogs took a 26-24 victory in game one and had a significant lead in the second game before the Sundevils came back for a 25-18 triumph.
“All of a sudden we just couldn’t put the ball away,” Halfaker said. “We rallied, but we didn’t have a finishing third contact.”
Mount Carmel closed the match with 25-19 and 25-21 victories.
“Defensively we played really well, serve-receive was real good,” Halfaker said. “We just weren’t finishing.”
Waelchli led the Bulldogs with nine kills against the Sundevils, Derochie had 28 assists, Darrough obtained 27 digs, Hickle led the team with four aces, and Abby Roulier recorded two blocks.
Ramona’s 10-18 overall record does not include the Palm Desert Tournament, where Ramona won four of six matches which were played to 21 points rather than to the regulation 25 points.