By Joe Naiman
Traditionally, Ramona High School’s girls volleyball team has an early-season, out-of-town tournament which encourages team bonding, and this weekend’s Watsonville Tournament will serve that purpose.
The ability to play as a team was demonstrated in Ramona’s first scrimmage Aug. 29 at Orange Glen High School.
“We’re just producing amazing fluidity already,” said Coach Connie Halfaker.
The scrimmage involved six teams that rotated, so Ramona played five different schools and Halfaker used five different starting lineups.
“The girls did not miss a beat. It doesn’t matter where we put kids to play, they are clicking as a unit already,” she said.
Last year’s Ramona team had a record of 21-12, including a split of two CIF Division II playoff games and a 6-4 Valley League mark worth third place in the standings. The 2012 Bulldogs had seven seniors, and Ramona also lost 2012 junior Abby Roulier, whose mother took a position as the director of water resources at the Elsinore Valley Municipal Water district. Leasa Roulier was also Ramona’s novice team coach in 2012. Varsity Assistant Jeff Klauda is spending more time with his family although he expects to return as the Bulldogs’ boys coach for the spring 2014 season.
Former player Jessica Berman takes over as the Bulldogs’ novice coach. When Berman was a junior she was cut from the team but became an assistant coach with the novice squad. She made the varsity team as a senior.
“It was fun to see her in both positions,” Halfaker said. “I’m very confident to have her in the novice program.”
Kyle Adelman returns as the junior varsity coach, and all three Adelman brothers will be the assistant varsity coaches.
“They’re not all there all the time. They just come in when they can,” Halfaker said.
Kyle, Trevor, and Garrett Adelman all played for Ramona’s boys volleyball team.
“Whenever they can be there, I take advantage of their expertise and knowledge,” said Halfaker.
Her varsity players consist of four seniors, two juniors, a sophomore, and three freshmen.
“It’s a very young team,” she said.
The versatility of those players allowed Halfaker to use a smaller varsity roster than normal.
“I did not need 12 people. Ten people can get the job done,” she said.
“Just about everybody plays in the rotation,” the coach added. “It’s a very complete team.”