By Joe Naiman
After ending their season with a loss to West Hills in the CIF Division II quarterfinals, Ramona High School girls volleyball teammates officially parted ways and said goodbye to eight players at their awards banquet, held at Hanson Elementary School.
"It was one of the most difficult goodbye banquets," said Ramona coach Connie Halfaker. "It was a very emotional evening for me."
Halfaker explained that several of her seniors started playing with her in club programs prior to high school, so she has coached them for more than four years.
The Bulldogs had seven seniors on their team, but Ramona will also lose junior opposite hitter Abby Roulier, who will be moving to Murrieta at the end of the semester. Roulier's mother, Ramona novice team coach Leasa Roulier, has taken a position as the director of water resources for the Elsinore Valley Municipal Water District and will also not be returning to the program for the 2013 season.
The Nov. 14 volleyball banquet included dinner and a slide show as well as the awards presentations. The players voted on all of the team awards except for the Bulldog Award, whose recipients were selected by the coaches. Jeff Klauda is Halfaker's varsity assistant coach, and Kyle Adelman coaches Ramona's junior varsity.
Two seniors shared the varsity's Bulldog Award: setter Mikayla Derochie and outside hitter Jennah Hickle.
“They've developed an intricate relationship of working together," Halfaker said. "They both were just everything that the Bulldog Award is."
Hickle's teammates also voted her Most Valuable Player, Floor Leader, and Team Inspirational Player. Abby Roulier received the Outstanding Offensive Player award, Sarah Kosut and Julie Vorhes shared Outstanding Defensive Player recognition, and Cassidy Shields received the Outstanding Improvement honor.
The junior varsity Bulldog Award went to Alex Kershaw. Nicole Donais was the JV's Most Effective Offensive Player while Sydney Hickle was the Most Effective Defensive Player and Amanda Kotas was the JV's Most Effective Server. The junior varsity Most Inspirational award was shared by Kershaw and Haley Collingwood. Ashton Beam was voted as Most Improved from among the JV players.
The novice Bulldog Award was given to Hana Darrough. The novice players voted Felicia Ferreiro as both Most Improved and Most Effective Defensive Player. Shannon Singleton and Emily Schramm shared Most Effective Offensive Player recognition while Jazmin Griego was voted Most Effective Server. Carney Flinn received Most Improved recognition for the novice team.
The banquet included parents as well as players and coaches. "I appreciate those families that were supportive all season long," Halfaker said.