Ramona and Fallbrook were the final two girls volleyball teams undefeated in Valley League play entering the Oct. 11 match between those two teams. Although Fallbrook became the first league opponent to win a set against Ramona, the Bulldogs won the other three games to take the lead in the league standings.
“As soon as we started being aggressive with our serving and got them out of their offensive rhythm, they were not able to keep pace,” said Ramona coach Connie Halfaker.
The Warriors entered the match at Fallbrook High School with an 18-2 season record, a 10-match winning streak, and a 17-0 record against CIF San Diego Section opposition. “They’re doing well,” Halfaker said.
The Warriors have been doing well among CIF San Diego Section girls volleyball teams and have been doing exceptionally well among Fallbrook High School’s fall sports teams. The Warriors’ water polo team had won five games as of October 11, the football and tennis teams had one win apiece, and the field hockey team was still seeking its first victory.
“They had packed their gym with fans,” Halfaker said. “They just had it at noise level. We couldn’t even hear ourselves.”
The first set ended with the 25-15 score in Fallbrook’s favor.
“They got off to a great jump in the first set. We went down about 10 points,” Halfaker said. “They were a good team and they were able to run their offense.”
Ramona countered with 25-8, 25-19, and 25-22 victories to claim the match.
“The girls were just on a mission,” Halfaker said. “They won the match themselves. They needed very little input from me.”
Sierra Adkins led the Bulldogs with four serving aces, and all of her serves during the match were in bounds.
“That was really important for us,” Halfaker said.
McKenna Marshall had 16 kills and Morgann Wilson had 13 kills.
“Those two offensive contributions helped keep the pressure on as well as serving,” Halfaker said.
Sammy Shupe set for 38 assists. Shupe and Katie Flinn had nine digs apiece. Gracie Seits recorded five blocks.
Ramona will host Escondido in an Oct. 25 match and then host Fallbrook on Oct. 27 to close out the league portion of the season.
“That will be a very competitive final match,” Halfaker said.
The victory over Fallbrook concluded the first round of league play for Ramona. The second round of league competition began Oct. 13 at San Pasqual.
“That went even better,” Halfaker said.
The Bulldogs defeated the Golden Eagles in three sets. Including platoon players, Ramona has eight starters, five of whom are seniors, and during the second round of league play Halfaker plans to use the seniors during the first set, use only non-seniors in the second set, and return to the seniors for the third set.
“We have the expectation that our older kids will take care of business in the first set,” Halfaker said.
The one starting junior and the two starting sophomores will join the other players on the 12-girl roster (not including junior Amanda Donais, who is out for the season with a knee injury) in the second set, which will give the non-seniors an opportunity to play together and provide them with a head start for the 2017 season.
“We were real pleased with what we saw,” Halfaker said.
The starters defeated Escondido 25-11 in the first set, the non-seniors took a 25-15 victory in game two, and the regulars returned to capture the third set by a 25-17 margin.
Marshall, the junior starter, played all three sets and led Ramona with 16 kills. Seits, who is a sophomore, had nine kills and three blocks. Although she only played two sets Flinn led the Bulldogs with nine digs while Adkins, who is the other sophomore starter, had eight digs as did senior Natalie Seol. Marshall, Seol, and sophomore Paige Torsak each had three aces. Shupe had 23 assists in her two sets; junior Jilian Martin was Ramona’s setter for the second set and provided nine assists.
The victories over Fallbrook and San Pasqual gave Ramona a 25-6 season record, including a 5-0 figure in Valley League competition.
“Looking forward to more positive things happening,” Halfaker said.