Volleyball Lady Knights are first time conference champions


Celia Jimenez

Sophomore medium blocker Julia Ferraro gets ready to hit ball against Mesa Olympians at San Diego Mesa College Gymnasium, Nov. 1

Celia Jimenez, Borders Editor

Lady Knights, San Diego City College’s volleyball team, keep making program history. For the first time the team clinched the Pacific Coast Athletic Conference (PCAC) South title early this season after defeating The Mesa College Olympians on Nov. 1, sharing the title with the Grossmont College Griffins.

“We won conference and that’s the most incredible thing,” said Head Coach Dede Bodnar.

Coach Bodnar said the team has been consistent over the years, often placing in conference on top three. She said one of the push backs for City’s volleyball program during the years is that “we usually don’t get the athletes who play at high level volleyball.”

The Knights hold a 13-game winning streak and according to the Athletic Department, it is a school record.

“I think is an honor to be part of this team and create history,” freshman middle blocker Elise Sanzeri said. She played volleyball in high school at Bret Harte Altaville, Calif. last year and said she is proud to have helped her college team to make playoffs.

Bodnar added that better athletes have been enrolled in the program in recent years. “We are getting some great athletes from all over and that makes a difference,” the coach said.

She added that volleyball’s popularity has been growing in San Diego and college players have more opportunities to practice the sport during the off season and get better at it.

The team has lost only two games this season and ended with an 20-2 overall record, one of the top three in the state, and 9-1 in conference.

Celia Jimenez
Sophomore outside hitter Brielle McKinnon hits the ball above the net and sophomore outside hitter Sarah Connell jumps to reject the ball.

Sophomore Lysette Serna leads PCAC South Conference kills (points) and digs (defense) per set with 3.72 and 4.24 respectively, with a total of 279 kills and 318 digs.

Other players that are in the PCAC South top five are sophomores outside hitter Alyssa Dincoff with 3.57 digs and 0.83 service aces per set, and outside hitter Brielle McKinnon with .302 hitting percentage, and setter Bree Reid with 6.19 assists per set.

The Knights fought for the upright title, being the champions without sharing the title with another team, on Nov. 3 against the Grossmont Griffins, losing 3-1.

When comparing last and this year’s teams, Serna said this season they are more competitive. “We push each other to do our very best, pass our limits.”

According to Coach Bodnar the team lost their last season game because they became predictable. After that match, the players have been practicing to build a stronger offense and diversify their game play to overpass their rivals. “We’ve focused yesterday and today on adjusting our offense, so we can be more able to change what we need to change in order to beat the team.”

The team lost 3-1 against Miracosta Spartans on Nov 8. The Knights have one games ahead of them before they start crossover games against Northern California teams. They will know the date and rival team they will be facing in their first playoffs game on Nov. 15.

Bodnar and the Ladies Knights are preparing one game at a time. “I got a lot of heart, a lot of great athletes, a lot of kids that want to learn and become better at volleyball, and that’s what matters,” the coach said.