The Seahawks, the only team to beat the Rams in 14 conference
games dating back to last season, (9-1 in 2009 and 3-1 this season)
demonstrated why they own the No. 1-rank in the state, defeating
No. 24 Gavilan 25-14, 25-19 25-14 on Wednesday night in Gilroy.
GILROY – The road back to the top of the Coast Conference for the Gavilan College
women’s volleyball team will run through Cabrillo College.
The Seahawks, the only team to beat the Rams in 14 conference games dating back to last season, (9-1 in 2009 and 3-1 this season) demonstrated why they own the No. 1-rank in the state, defeating No. 24 Gavilan 25-14, 25-19 25-14 on Wednesday night in Gilroy.
The two squads split the season series last year and also shared the
conference championship, entering the 2010 campaign as favorites again.
“At most times we have five freshman on the court and I think they learned how to compete in big matches,” Rams fourth-year head coach Kevin Kramer said. “They got an idea and a taste of where they need to get and what they need to do. It was inspiring even though we lost.”
The Seahawks, who are 17-0 overall and 4-0 in conference this season, complicated the Rams’ effort from the get-go.
“Nobody’s beaten them. We aren’t any worse off than anyone else who has played them,” Kramer said.
The Rams had been on a five-match winning streak, including three straight-sets victories to open conference action.
“We felt we had a chance to score on every play. We had all kinds of digs and all kinds of swings,” Kramer added. “The fact is that we had a chance to win a point every play. The score doesn’t show that. But good teams don’t let you score and that’s a testament to Cabrillo.”
Freshman Avry Walker posted a team-high seven kills in the game, including four in the first set. Freshman Jaclyn Lantis registered six kills for the Rams.
Cabrillo cruised to its first-set win, seizing control early, leading by as many as eight at two junctions.
“We came in ready and knowing what to expect,” said freshman Melissa Avila, who has 16 assists. “We hung in every single play. Every play we had an opportunity to get a kill but it didn’t go our way. But, we battled. It’s a building step.”
Finding their footing in the second set, the Rams manufactured a short but effective 5-1 run to pull within one point at 16-15, punctuated by an emphatic block by Kaitlyn Beadle.
However, a strategic time out by Cabrillo head coach Gabby Neville deflated some of the Rams’ momentum and the Seahawks regained the edge to finish off the set.
“We have had a couple matches that have been hard,” Avila said. “Since (Cabrillo) is in our conference, we need to show them that we are in the race for the conference championship just as much as they are.
“We know what they are going to do and now we have to go to their house and show them how we have improved,” Avila said, forecasting the next clash.
That rematch is three weeks away Nov. 3 in Aptos.
Up next for the Rams to wrap up the first half of conference, though, is another key matchup on the road against West Valley, a team until last season gave Gavilan fits, dashing playoff hopes in 2008 in the final game of the season.
“They have good ball control,” Kramer said. “Conference is fun because you have to win, you’ve just got to win.”