Spikers close out season at Mt. Carmel on Thursday

‘Little sisters’ honor 12-graders on Senior Night

By Joe Naiman

Ramona High School girls volleyball coach Connie Halfaker knew that the Bulldogs weren’t playing as a team at Rancho Bernardo on Oct. 25 — and so did her players. Because that was a matter of not connecting rather than of individuals being selfish instead of team players, it was correctable by the Bulldogs’ Senior Night home game Oct. 27 against Torrey Pines.

“They still love playing with each other, eager to work hard,” said Coach Connie Halfaker. “That just speaks to the character of them as young women.”

Both losses were in three games and gave the Bulldogs a Palomar League record of 0-8 along with an overall season figure of 10-16. The loss at Rancho Bernardo involved 25-16, 25-20, and 29-27 games.

“They played and they tried, but there was no team mix,” Halfaker said. “The gears weren’t meshing.”

Halfaker noted that the Bulldogs had performed well as a team during the Oct. 21-22 Southern California Invitational tournament as well as during practice Oct. 24.

“We just hit the skids,” Halfaker said of the October 25 game. “Fought hard, but we didn’t click.”

Working as a team became the goal of Halfaker, Assistant Coach Jeff Klauda, and the Bulldog players for the Oct. 26 practice session, and the focus paid off from that aspect in the following day’s game.

“It was the opposite of Rancho Bernardo,” Halfaker said. “We looked like one unit out there.”

Torrey Pines won the first two games by 25-11 margins before closing the match with a 25-18 victory. Halfaker noted that the Bulldog players stayed at their mental best despite the Falcons’ domination.

“They weren’t intimidated by their opponent,” Halfaker said.

“It was a beautiful thing to watch,” Halfaker said of Ramona’s play in the Torrey Pines match. “Everything was just flowing as one unit.”

Five Ramona 12th-graders were honored during Senior Night. This was the only year on the varsity for defensive specialist Jessica Berman, while libero Nicole Darrough, utility player Michaela Owens, middle blocker Alexis Sharpe, and outside hitter Samantha Waelchli were on the varsity in 2010 and in 2011.

The pre-game recognition saw the seniors escorted by their parents and honored with messages from their “little sisters,” the teammates they mentored. Ramona’s varsity also has five juniors and two sophomores this year.

The Bulldogs close out their regular season Thursday at Mount Carmel and will learn the fate of the rest of their season Saturday after the completion of the CIF playoff selection and seeding meeting.

   
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