By Joe Naiman
Ramona High School’s boys volleyball team earned the fourth seed in the CIF Division II playoffs and will have a home match on Friday.
The Bulldogs finished the regular season with a 21-17 record, including a 5-5 mark in Palomar League play following losses May 1 at Westview and May 3 at Mount Carmel. Ramona has a first-round playoff bye and will see Mt. Carmel once more this season should the fifth-seeded Sundevils defeat twelfth-seeded Valhalla in the first round of the playoffs.
“Mainly we’ve just got to eliminate some mental errors,” Coach Jeff Klauda said of the potential third match of the season against Mt. Carmel.
Ramona took a three-game win over Mt. Carmel in the first round of league play but lost the rematch in five games.
“For the first three games, overall the guys played pretty well,” Klauda said of the May 3 match. “We just gave too many points away.”
Ramona’s week began with the 25-19, 25-19, 25-17 loss to Westview.
“We had nothing. We couldn’t serve-receive. We couldn’t take good swings,” Klauda said. “We played way better the first time we played them.”
That gave Klauda and Assistant Coach Connie Halfaker a focus for the team’s May 2 practice.
“They practiced incredibly well,” Klauda said.
The road matches included Senior Night ceremonies for Westview and Mount Carmel.
“Mount Carmel played the best defense I’ve seen in probably three years,” said Klauda.
Ramona took a 25-23 win in the first game. The Bulldogs trailed by an 11-4 margin in game two before serving their way back and taking a late lead. Ramona had game point in the second game but was unable to capitalize and eventually lost by a 27-25 overscore.
Ramona’s 25-22 win in the third game was followed by the Sundevils’ 25-22 win in game four. Ramona had match point in the fifth game, but Mt. Carmel came back for a 17-15 victory.
All six Palomar League teams received at least the sixth playoff seed in their divisions. Poway was seeded second in Division I while Torrey Pines was the sixth Division I seed. Westview earned the top Division II seed with Rancho Bernardo receiving the sixth seed to give the league four of the top six seeds in Ramona’s division.
The North County Conference has three boys volleyball leagues. Westview won the Palomar League, La Costa Canyon was the Avocado League champion, and San Marcos took first place in the Valley League. La Costa Canyon was seeded second in Division II and San Marcos received the Division II third seed.
“D2 is by far the hardest division, I think,” said Klauda. “I think it’s the deepest, toughest division.”