Guasti, Arthur on all-tournament team
By JOE NAIMAN
Ramona High School’s girls volleyball team won the consolation bracket of the Oct. 11 and 12 Scripps Ranch Tournament.
The Bulldogs also played a pair of Valley League matches earlier in the week, obtaining their initial league victory Oct. 7 at Valley Center before losing Oct. 9 at Del Norte.
“We’re making progress,” said Coach Connie Halfaker. “We are very happy with where we are going, what we are doing.”
The Bulldogs swept Valley Center in a 25-22, 25-16, 25-22 match.
“We played very well. It was really nice. They have one very good player and we were able to affect change on her to the point she had to change her game,” Halfaker said. “We were basically in control in the match because we had enough control to neutralize her.”
Carolyn Buggeln led Ramona with nine kills against the Jaguars. Sydney Hickle was the team’s digs leader with 12. Sammy Shupe obtained 31 assists. Natalie Seol recorded two blocks and Christina Barrameda had three serving aces.
The three-game loss to Del Norte involved 25-23, 25-19, and 25-22 games.
“It was a very even match,” Halfaker said. “A lot of long rallies, and we hung in really well.”
Callie Guasti had nine kills against the Nighthawks while Robyn Arthur added eight kills. Guasti led the team with six blocks, Arthur and Shupe each had three aces, Makayla Torsak obtained seven digs, and Shupe had 27 assists. Halfaker noted that the offensive statistics, comparable to those in Ramona’s win, indicated that the Bulldogs earned their points on offense rather than obtaining points on Del Norte hitting errors. “We were actually scoring points,” she said.
The Scripps Ranch Tournament is normally held a week earlier, but tournament organizer Ronni Olsen changed the weekend so that it wouldn’t conflict with the Scholastic Aptitude Test. When Halfaker made her schedule in June, Ramona’s homecoming game was scheduled for Nov. 1 and the homecoming dance was to take place Nov. 2. The overall schedule adjustments gave the Bulldogs a tournament the weekend of Ramona’s homecoming game and dance, as well as tournaments on two consecutive weekends as the Bulldogs will spend Friday and Saturday at the Foothills Christian Tournament.
“It was a good opportunity to see what you can do when you’ve got a lot of other stuff,” Halfaker said.
“The kids did fantastic. They really do a great job,” said the coach. “The kids played well and if it affected them, it was only the Escondido match.”
Ramona’s pool play matches Oct. 11 were against Escondido, Southwest (El Centro), and Scripps Ranch. The Bulldogs played the Scripps Ranch match without Guasti, who as a member of the homecoming court could not stay for the day’s final contest, and played the entire tournament without Katherine Mauldin, whose arch injury Sept. 26 kept her off the court.
“The loss to Escondido was disappointing. We didn’t play badly, but we did not play inspired,” Halfaker said.
Ramona took a 25-23 victory in the first game against Escondido, which followed with 25-17 and 15-12 wins.
“That’s been our only disappointing loss since coming back from the (Watsonville) tournament,” Halfaker said.
The loss to Escondido was followed by a 25-9, 25-20 victory over Southwest.
Against Scripps Ranch, without Guasti and Mauldin, the short-handed Bulldogs lost in 25-11 and 25-17 games.
“We had quite an interesting lineup to play them,” Halfaker said. “We had kids in positions they had not played yet.”
While none of the Bulldogs left the second day of play early for the dance, Halfaker not only excused Guasti for her homecoming court activity but also informed Guasti that she would be representing the school on the football field instead of at the volleyball game. Guasti is also an Associated Student Body officer and those duties required her to be at Ramona High School at 5 a.m. that Friday.
“She didn’t let it interrupt her focus and leadership,” Halfaker said.
The 1-2 pool play record placed Ramona third in the pool and sent the Bulldogs to the consolation bracket. Ramona’s Saturday games were at Mira Mesa High School. The first was a seeding match against Mt. Carmel, which concluded with the Bulldogs on the favorable end of the 25-20, 25-18 score. The win gave Ramona a bye through the consolation quarterfinals, so the Bulldogs’ next match was against Mira Mesa.
The Marauders took the first game by a 30-28 overscore.
“They got real hot,” Halfaker said. “They were ahead and we caught up and tied them up.”
Ramona’s victory in game two was by a 25-13 margin. The third game was a 15-12 Bulldogs victory.
“They got a little spurt towards the end. We had a pretty good lead on them,” said Halfaker.
Mt. Carmel made its way through its part of the consolation bracket to face Ramona in the finals. The Bulldogs once again took a two-game victory, this time by 25-20 and 25-21 scores.
Guasti and Arthur were selected to the all-tournament team.
“They both played very, very well,” Halfaker said. “They both definitely deserved to be on the all-tournament team.”
Despite playing only five of the six matches and 12 of Ramona’s 14 games, Guasti led the Bulldogs with 40 kills during the tournament. Arthur and Seol each had seven blocks, Hickle totaled 34 digs, and Shupe set for 112 assists.
“We had some very good stats,” said the coach.
“Everybody made progress with mechanics and learning throughout the tournament,” Halfaker said. “It’s great to come home with the hardware, but it’s even better to come home with progress.”