2006-09-22 / Sports

Camarillo girls' volleyball squad showing net gains

Scorpions halfway to last season's win total
By Thomas Gase tgase@theacorn.com

Camarillo High girls' volleyball team is looking to improve on a disappointing 6-16 record last year. On Tuesday night they got off to a good start at home.

The Scorpions defeated Santa Paula in three straight games, winning 25-20, 25-13 and 25-21. The win helped Camarillo improve its record to 3-3.

After dominating the second game, Camarillo found itself struggling in the third game and was down 16-17 late. However, the Scorpions went on an 8-1 run to put themselves up 24-18 before putting the Cardinals away.

"When we play our best like we did tonight, we can compete with anyone," ACHS head coach Rob Vandermay said.

With only two players graduating last season-Neely Boloorchi and Katelyn Miller- the team has many returnees. The Scorpions' roster features seven seniors, five juniors and three sophomores.

"We have a lot of sophomores and juniors, so sometimes our inexperience shows," Vandermay said. "But when our team plays mature, we are tough to beat."

Vandermay said he was impressed with his squad's play at the net and its service game against Santa Paula.

QUALITY WIN-Above, Camarillo's Alana Stotts  hits a serve during  Tuesday's  win  over  Santa Paula.  Left,  Meghan  Fruth congratulates Alyssa Melford, No. 8, after a successful spike. QUALITY WIN-Above, Camarillo's Alana Stotts hits a serve during Tuesday's win over Santa Paula. Left, Meghan Fruth congratulates Alyssa Melford, No. 8, after a successful spike. "I thought we communicated very well and we didn't let missed plays affect us," Vandermay said. "We just moved on to the next play and took it from there."

Some of the players who will lead Camarillo this year will be senior Heidi Pettit, who plays opposite, sophomore Carlye Taggesell, and juniors Johannah Rosario and Alyssa Melford are also expected to have a major role in the team's success.

"I have been really impressed with Alyssa's play lately," Vandermay said. "She hits the ball harder than anyone."

Melford is a co-captain with Pettit, and according to both players, the team is starting to come together nicely.

The rest of the squad includes seniors Kendall Avrea, Tara Schnell, Sammie Helland, Rachel Barlow, and juniors Meghan Fruth, Sara Justin and Emily Smith.

"I think this team is more wellrounded and experienced than last year when I was on the team," Pettit said. "We are coming together very well. When we make mistakes, we try to not pay attention to them and just try to stay focused on the next play."

Although the team's played well early in the season, the Scorpions do have faults.

One problem is injuries. Two of their seniors may be out for extended periods as Diana Berry is currently nursing an ACL injury and Bailey Dawson has a foot ailment.

According to Vandermay, Dawson could be out two weeks.

Another cause for concern, according to Vandermay, is Camarillo's lack of focus at certain points during a match.

"I think that sometimes we can relax too much and we will tend to play flat for a little while," Vandermay said. "We need to gain more consistency. We also need to work on running some more deceptive plays so that we don't become too predictable on offense."

For Camarillo to win a title, they'll have to knock off the reigning Pacific View League champion Oxnard Yellowjackets, who went undefeated in league play last year.

"The team really came together over the summer as they had a lot of practices where they bonded well," Vandermay said. "I'm happy with the team right now and it looks like we'll be successful."

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