By Joe Naiman
Ramona High School’s girls volleyball program hosted a novice tournament on Oct. 20 at the Epic Volleyball Center in Poway. The tournament raised money for the varsity, junior varsity, and novice volleyball programs, and highlights included Ramona’s novice team reaching the semifinals of the gold division.
“We did very well,” said Ramona novice coach Leasa Roulier.
The tournament’s 24 teams were divided into six pools for the initial round-robin play. Ramona was seeded fourth in its pool but finished second. The Bulldogs defeated second-seeded Poway in a three-game match and swept third-seeded Escondido in two games before closing pool play with a three-game loss to top-seeded Carlsbad.
“We did that after losing probably our best hitter in the second game,” Roulier said.
Roulier was referring to outside hitter Shannon Singleton, who popped her shoulder and did not play after the second game.
The 12 teams that placed first or second in each pool then competed in the gold division. Ramona received a bye in the first round of elimination play, which consisted of one-game matches. The Bulldogs defeated Canyon Crest in the quarterfinals before losing to Torrey Pines in the semifinals. Torrey Pines then won the tournament by defeating La Costa Canyon.
Jasmin Griego, who is a right back player for Ramona, was named to the all-tournament team.
“She had incredible serving and back row hitting,” Roulier said.
Roulier also cited the contributions of several other players, including Carney Flinn, who replaced Singleton as an outside hitter. “She did an excellent job filling in when Shannon went down,” Roulier said.
Emily Schramm is Ramona’s other outside hitter. “Her great hitting and serving contributed to our wins,” said Roulier.
Felicia Fierro is Ramona’s libero. “Great hustle and digging,” Roulier said.
Hana Darrough is the Bulldogs’ setter. “She had great heart and determination and hustle,” Roulier said.
The Bulldogs’ novice team has 10 players including Singleton.
“It was very much a team effort. Great communication, great heart and determination. This team definitely puts all that together well,” Roulier said.
Although an Oct. 16 loss at Del Norte gave Ramona its first Valley League defeat of the year, the Bulldogs defeated Valley Center two days later to improve their league record to 5-1. The tournament results left Ramona with a 19-6 overall season mark.