Women’s volleyball team finishes second overall in San Diego City College tournament


City College freshman setter Tristan Self hits the ball back against College of the Desert in the 2014 San Diego City College Tournament in the Harry West Gymnasium on Sept. 27. The Lady Knights went on to sweep the Roadrunners 3-0. Photo credit: Troy Orem

David Pradel, Sports Editor

In a day filled with nonstop volleyball action, the San Diego City College women’s volleyball team finished second overall out of 13 teams in the 8th Annual SDCC Volleyball Tournament on Sept. 27.

The Lady Knights began the tournament by losing their first game in the group stage against Scottsdale College, 3-1 (25-20, 18-25, 25-16, 26-24.) Although City College started off slow in the match, they were able to keep Scottsdale on their toes by generating small comebacks in each set.

After winning the second set to tie the game at 1-1, the Knights couldn’t find the answer in the last two sets to stop the 6-foot-2 freshman, Jemima Idemudia who won the battle at the net with her hard-hitting kills and her height that force tough angles for the Knights offense.

“I think we started off kind of slow – we just made too many errors and I think it was kind of hard for us to come off after we had a big game last night against (Mt. San Jacinto College) where it went to five but even though we started off slow I think overall we did pretty well,” said freshman setter Tristan Self. “We just need to clean up a few things and make sure we serve tough, serve zones and pass the ball and we’ll be fine.”

Following their defeat against Scottsdale, the Knights were able to bounce back in the second game of the group stage and win the first 3 sets against College of the Desert, (25-15, 25-17, 25-16.) In the 3-0 sweep against the Roadrunners, the Lady Knights played a complete team game, from strong serving, passing and all-out hustling on the court – City College cruised past College of the Desert with sophomore Lisette Kelly and Self leading the team.

After their win against College of the Desert, the Lady Knights advanced to the single elimination stage of the playoffs – first team to 25 moves on.

City College continued their dominant play on the court against Reedley College and won 25-18. During the match, the Tigers had no answer to the Lady Knights’ high-energy performance. From the electric cheers from the Knights bench that seemed to fuel the players to play a fast-pace game; City College took the lead early and never looked back and moved on to the semi-finals for a rematch against Scottsdale College.


After winning their first three games, Scottsdale College were looking to win their fourth straight after a comfortable 7-2 lead against City College. The Lady Knights fell behind early and seemed to have lost their energy. The scoreboard may have read “game over” for the spectators as Scottsdale continued to fire on all-cylinders but the Lady Knights dug deep and continued to remain focus on their one goal – to win.

Brenda Cotto-Lopez serves the ball in a match against Scottsdale Community College in a tournament Sept. 27
Freshman Brenda Cotto-Lopez serves the ball in a match against Scottsdale Community College in the 2014 SDCC Volleyball Tournament on Sept. 27.

Freshman Rio Jimenez was able to produce several powerful serves for the Knights as sophomore outside hitter Karlee Troeh also had some key blocks and strong kills that got the momentum going for City College. The scoreboard read 11-16 and the Knights were back in it. After trading points left and right the Knights received a dominant performance from sophomore Lisette Kelly who had back-to-back kills and caused trouble for Scottsdale. Kelly led the Knights to tie the game at 20 and after a couple of intense minutes, City College pulled away with the win, 25-22.

After their comeback win, City College faced Pima College in the championship match. During the game, the Lady Knights fell behind quickly as Pima took an early 8-3 lead. After a timeout from Knights Head Coach, Kevin Pratte, the team created a little momentum as the scoreboard read 7-11. But it wasn’t enough, Pima’s front court sent balls flying into areas where the Knights defense were unable to get. Pima pulled away fast yet again with a 21-13 lead. After another timeout from Pratte, the Knights couldn’t produce another comeback as Pima were crowned champions with a 25-16 win.

“I think we went in really excited off the last game – we were really pumped because we beat Scottsdale who we lost to earlier in the day but we made a lot of mistakes (against Pima) and we should’ve left it to them to make the mistakes and that’s where we faulted,” said Kelly.

Although the team lost in the championship game, the Lady Knights learned a lot about themselves as a team.

“The biggest takeaway from the tournament is that we are a lot better than we think we are. We played together really well and now we know that – we didn’t before,” Kelly said.

“I think we did really well – we played against harder teams and we were able to keep a positive energy and keep our heads up throughout (the tournament),” said freshman Shannon Stevens. “I think we did a lot better than we thought we would.”

“I was extremely pleased with our team; I think it really proved that we maybe need to reevaluate some of our goals and really instill some confidence in us because I think this tournament showed that we can play with anyone,” said Pratte. “I really think that girls did a good job on not backing down to these teams and I said to them ‘I hope this adds fuel to even get better’ because we aren’t there yet and we can always improve but I’m very proud of them and excited for the rest of the season.”

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