VOLLEYBALL: Four Rams tabbed for all-conference honors

Sophomores Melissa Avila and Emily Tonascia became just the third and fourth Gavilan College women’s volleyball players to earn back-to-back All-Conference honors, and head a list of four Rams selected to the Coast Conference’s award list.

Sophomore Avry Walker and freshman Kayce Skocko were also named All-Conference players for the 2011 season, in which the Rams, under the guidence of fifth-year head coach Kevin Kramer, qualified for their third straight playoff appearance, finishing the season 16-10 overall and 8-2 in Coast Conference South action – good for second place.

Avila and Tonascia join former Rams Teresa Hodges (2007 and 2008) and Bri Romero (2008 and 2009) to form an exclusive group of two-time recipients.

With her 346 assists this season, Avila, a graduate of Gilroy High, became Gavilan’s all-time leader in that category (1,083). She surpassed Jamie Skocko, older sister of Kayce, who had the old mark of 804 career assists. Though her season was cut short by a foot injury, causing her to miss the Rams’ final four matches, including Gavilan’s first-round postseason loss to San Joaquin Delta College last Tuesday, Avila posted 128 kills and 30 aces – both career-highs at Gavilan.

Tonascia’s production during her two seasons (she played in every game during the two years, 181) with the Rams also ranks her among the program’s career leaders. Her 444 kills (230 in 2011) place her second all-time behind Hodges. A force in the middle, Tonascia, a San Benito High graduate, leaves Gavilan as the leader in career blocks with 123 (51 this season), topping former Rams middle Cheyenne Hambey, who totaled 102. 

Walker, a Gilroy High alum, improved in every major statistical category during her sophomore campaign, registering 175 kills, 12 blocks, 245 digs and 24 aces.

Skocko, an Aptos High product, made an immediate impact as a freshman. At outside hitter, Skocko racked up 176 kills, the second-most for the Rams. Skocko also contributed 172 digs, 29 aces and 22 blocks.

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