By Joe Naiman
The CIF playoff selection and seeding meeting May 4 gave Ramona High School’s boys volleyball team the seventh seed in the Division II playoffs.
That earned the Bulldogs a May 8 home match against Morse and the right to travel to Scripps Ranch High School for Saturday’s quarterfinal against the Falcons contingent upon a victory over the Tigers.
“We got seeded pretty much where I figured we would,” said coach Jeff Klauda.
A three-game loss April 30 at Valley Center and a five-game home loss May 2 against San Pasqual left the Bulldogs with a final regular-season record of 17-18, including a 2-8 mark in Valley League play worth fifth place in the six-team standings.
“With the exception of Orange Glen, top to bottom Valley League was just as tough as the Palomar League,” said Klauda. “The Valley League was very tough this year.”
Ramona had spent 2011 and 2012 in the Palomar League. This year Del Norte won the Valley League with a 10-0 record, San Pasqual finished second at 8-2, and Escondido and Valley Center both had 5-5 league records.
Valley Center defeated the Bulldogs in 25-20, 25-11, and 25-21 games April 30.
“We played okay game one and we played pretty well in game three,” Klauda said.
He attributes the more lopsided game two score to Valley Center’s blocking and Ramona’s serve-receive breakdowns.
“It was nice to see the guys respond and come out with a completely different mindset in game three,” he said. “The guys really turned it around. They played smarter. They did everything we asked them to do.”
The May 2 home game was Senior Night for the Bulldogs, who honored Andrew Gregg, Reed Hallams, Josh Plunkett, and Josh Spieker. Ramona also recognized San Pasqual’s 10 seniors.
“They had a lot more experience,” Klauda said. “They’re a good team. They’ve got some size.”
In the first round of league play April 16, the Golden Eagles won 25-23, 25-17, and 25-16 games.
“When we played them at San Pasqual a couple of weeks ago, it was one of our worst games of the year,” Klauda said.
In the May 2 contest the Bulldogs were merely outmatched.
“The guys played very well,” Klauda said.
San Pasqual won the first game by a 25-21 score. Ramona’s 22-18 lead in the second game turned into a 22-22 tie before the Bulldogs were on the preferred end of the 26-24 final score.
“We were able to pull out the win,” Klauda said. “Played well in game three, but we got off to a bad start.”
San Pasqual’s 6-2 lead in the third game contributed to a 25-23 victory. The Bulldogs prevailed by a 25-23 score in game four. San Pasqual’s 15-13 victory in the fifth and deciding game included Ramona leads, and the Bulldogs tied the score at 13-13 before the Golden Eagles scored the final 2 points.
“It was nice to see the guys play well against a very good team,” Klauda said. “We can play with those good teams, but we haven’t been able to break through and get a win.”