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Gavilan’s women’s’ volleyball team wrapped up its first-season
under Head Coach Kevin Kramer with a 12-9 record and third-place
finish in the Coast Conference.
Scott Akanewich – special to the Dispatch


Gavilan’s women’s’ volleyball team wrapped up its first-season under Head Coach Kevin Kramer with a 12-9 record and third-place finish in the Coast Conference.

Not exactly what the squad had set out to accomplish when the season began, said Kramer, who coached last year at Canada College in Redwood City, but a successful campaign nonetheless, considering the Rams were coming off a 7-15 effort a year prior.

“Realistically, we’re right where we wanted to be – in the top three in conference,” said Kramer.

This year’s squad grew stronger as the season progressed, in no small part due to the fact that the Rams learned as a team to fight through the highs and lows of a season filled with victories and defeats, he said.

“They learned how to battle and win,” said Kramer. “A lot of them didn’t come from winning high school programs, so they needed to learn how to win, which they did.”

A different culture needed to be established, which was what Kramer brought to the table – that missing competitive ingredient – the burning desire to win.

“Some of them didn’t have high expectations,” he said. “But over the course of the season, the coaching staff and I worked to instill this in them. We told them they could do it and there was no reason they couldn’t compete. The biggest thing was getting them to believe in themselves.”

Although Kramer was single out any star players, he did name a few individuals who shone brightly over the course of the campaign.

One of the team’s leaders was 5’10” sophomore middle hitter/blocker Jamie Temperino, who was voted as the Coast Conference’s MVP, along with setter Janet Unciano, outside hitter Teresa Hodges (a first-team CC selection with Temperino) and middle/outside hitter Barbie Csore.

Kramer especially commended Unciano as a vital contributor.

“Janet came in after not being a setter and gave us an opportunity to win,” he said.

Aside from Hodges, the three other athletes Kramer mentioned will be moving on next year after using up their eligibility at Gavilan.

That means there will be some holes in the lineup to fill next year, and opportunities for other players to step up into more assertive roles.

When summing up the season, Kramer pointed out a few areas the team will work on that will lead the Rams to their ultimate goal: A conference championship.

“Mentally, we have to continue to learn to compete and win,” he said. “Physically, we just need to focus on fine-tuning our skills.

“It’s been tough because we haven’t gotten to where we want to be, but we battled through by being patient and tough,” he added. “Now, we’re looking forward, not back.”

Kramer cited an example of the progress the team made over the course of the season by describing a scene after a late-season win.

“At the end of the match, the girls came off the court together congratulating each other – there were no individuals seeking praise – it was all about the team,” he said. “It was a culmination of everything we’d been trying to teach them all season coming to fruition. They played with a lot of heart.”

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