By Joe Naiman
Ramona High School’s boys volleyball team lost its Palomar League opener at Poway last Tuesday but won its league home opener March 29 against Rancho Bernardo.
After losing to the Titans in four games, Ramona swept the Broncos in three games.
“It was nice to come back and play really well,” said Coach Jeff Klauda.
Poway started the league-opening match with 25-17 and 25-21 victories.
“The first two games were horrible,” said Klauda. “We didn’t play well. We were still playing as individuals out there, not as a group. We were playing cautious and almost worried.”
Ramona avoided a sweep with a 25-22 victory in the third game.
“We did play better,” Klauda said.
Poway Coach Charlie Jackson kept his starters in the third game but moved them to different positions.
“We played a little better, but Poway didn’t play quite as clean as they did the first two games,” Klauda said.
Jackson put his starters at their regular positions for the fourth game, which was a 25-21 Poway triumph.
“It was a tight game all the way down,” Klauda said. “We played much better.”
Although Ramona lost the fourth game, Klauda said that was the Bulldogs’ best game of the match.
“It’s not so much what the score is, it’s how we’re playing,” he said.
That type of play contributed to Ramona’s win over Rancho Bernardo, said Klauda, adding, “they were able to carry that momentum and that kind of unity.”
Ramona defeated the Broncos in 25-22, 25-23, and 25-20 games.
“We played very good defense. We played more disciplined,” Klauda said. “We got a lot of those touches and digs and we were able to transition them into points.”
Ramona and Rancho Bernardo had played each other six days earlier in the La Jolla Beach City Invitational tournament, where the Broncos took 25-21 and 25-17 victories. Klauda noted that the Bulldogs were more relaxed and conveyed less negative body language both in their final game against Poway and in the match against Rancho Bernardo.
“It was RB that got frustrated,” he said.
That frustration translated into Rancho Bernardo hitting errors, he said. “That was us the Friday before.”
The win gave Ramona a 7-5 overall record along with the Bulldogs’ 1-1 league mark.
“It was nice to get that first league win,” Klauda said.
Caleb Nelson and Travis May led the Bulldogs with eight kills apiece against the Broncos. Nelson and Garrett Adelman shared the team lead with two serving aces.
May and Jake Hitt each had eight digs while Adelman contributed seven digs and Nelson provided five digs. Adelman also had 21 assists and three blocks.
The Bulldogs will host Mt. Carmel in an April 10 league match.