Knights volleyball team reach playoffs for first time


Celia Jimenez

Sophomore outside hitter Chloe Gruwell (left) hits the ball surprising freshmen middle blockers Madyson Lozano and Samantha Radebaugh. Photo credit: Celia Jimenez

Gabe Rivera

The City College Knights women’s volleyball team won their regular season finale against the Palomar College Comets at Harry West Gym,  Nov. 16 and ended up with their most successful finish in the history of the program.

The Knights defeated the Comets 3-1 (23-25, 25-18, 25-16, 26-24) in what was a competitive game from start to finish. The win was their third straight and seventh in the last eight matches, and also handed them a spot in the California Community College Athletic Association Play-In round Nov. 19.

The Comets took an early lead in the first set and looked like they were going to dominate the entire match when they went up on the Knights 21-12. That’s when the switch seemed to flip for the Knights. Led by sophomore outside hitter Chloe Gruwell, the Knights went on a 11-2 run to tie the set at 23. Although the first set was ultimately lost, a clear momentum shift had occurred.

The Knights used that momentum and responded with a 25-18 win in the second set and a 25-16 win in the third. The Knights were in danger of having to play a fifth set when the Comets took a 24-21 lead, but City showed their grit by winning five straight points and escaped with a win, 26-24.

Gruwell led the Knights with 21 kills and a season high 32 digs. Freshman outside hitter Lysette Serna added nine kills and 12 digs and freshman middle blocker Kali Weires had 10 kills and three blocked shots including a crucial block in the fourth set that tied the game at 24.

Sophomore setter Megan Kronschnabel had her best game of the season with an astounding 45 assists coming off the bench.

Coach DeDe Bodnar is excited to advance to the playoff season.

“We’ve been getting better, but the whole team, not just one. I got a starting six but all 15 are playing great. There were some jitters before the game worrying about the playoffs but hopefully we got that out of our system,” exclaimed Bodnar.

The No. 15 seed Knights will host the CCCAA Play-In round match on Saturday, Nov. 19, against No. 18 seed Riverside City College Tigers at 7 p.m. It will be the first playoff match ever for the San Diego City College women’s volleyball program.

The Tigers finished their regular season 16-9 and have a talented group chomping at the bit for a playoff win. The team is led by sophomore outside hitter Marissa Vlalpando, who is third in the Orange Empire conference with 305 kills.

The Knights have their work cut out for them but have what it takes to make a run at making some noise in their first playoff experience.

General admission for Saturday’s game is $12. Admission for students with I.D., faculty, staff, senior citizens and children under 12 will be $8.