The Knightly battles at the net – Women’s volleyball struggling as the season winds down


Outside hitter Michaela Keller returns the ball during the Nov. 7 home game against Grossmont. The Knights went on to lose the match 0-3 Photo credit: Troy Orem

David Pradel, Sports Editor

After starting the season off strong, the San Diego City College women’s volleyball team is now struggling after losing six of its last 10 games.

The Knights began with a strong overall record of 7-3 and were undefeated in the Pacific Coast Conference, 4-0 and were in a battle for 2nd place. Now the team has fallen to 5th place with an overall record of 11-9 and a conference record of 8-6.

Midway through the season, the Knights lost freshman middle-blocker Shannon Stevens for the remainder of the season with a severely sprained ankle and just recently the team lost freshman setter Tristan Self for the remainder of the season.

“Unfortunately, we have lost a few matches in row and our overall record is not where we want it to be. We have suffered some injuries this year,” said Head Coach Kevin Pratte. “We have had a lot of different line-ups due to the injuries. Anytime your top players go down, it is difficult to produce wins in the Pacific Coast Conference.”

With the injuries that happened, the team was forced to move their top players into other playmaking positions. Sophomores Karlee Troeh, Lisette Kelly and Michaela Keller have been handling the sudden change well and Coach Pratte expressed that he is impressed with the leadership from Troeh who has kept the moral up for the team during the team’s season slump.

Coach Pratte also believes that the PCAC is the second toughest volleyball conference in the state but is glad that the team is in a competitive conference.

“Sometimes you just have to tip your hat to the teams that beat you. We have lost to some high level teams this year in conference play,” Pratte said.

Although the Knights have found themselves on the losing end of games, one of the key wins this season was against conference rival, Mesa College. The Knights have not beaten Mesa since 2002, and on Oct. 17, the women’s volleyball team defended their home court and beat Mesa in a 5-set thriller (25-21, 17-25, 25-23, 24-26, 15-13.)

Aside from winning tough games during the season, the players have also succeeded off the court.

“We have many players with high grade point averages, players that are seeking internships to advance their careers, sophomores that are looking to earn volleyball scholarships to four year universities and this team has actively been involved in the community,” said Pratte.

The Knights have two more games left in the season and will be facing Mesa College once again at their home court on Nov. 19 and will end the season at home on Nov. 21 against Palomar College at 5 p.m. where the team will be looking to end the season on a positive note.

“Mesa is going to be fired up to play us and I know our team can’t wait to play them. Palomar, is sophomore night and I know our team will be fired up. Our sophomores are an incredible group of student athletes. I know our team will play their hearts out that match,” added Pratte.