Women’s volleyball finishes strong

    The Lady Knights wrapped up their volleyball season with a home game against Imperial Valley College Arabs, winning 3-1 in their final match. They finished off with a fourth place standing in the Pacific Coast Athletic Conference at 6-6, with nine overall wins and nine losses for the team, a respectable close to the 2012 fall season.

    It was a touching game for the Knights, beginning with an introduction of players as usual, but also a farewell for the players. Each player on the City College team received not only an introduction, but a bouquet of flowers from coach Dede Bodnar. Player Tessa Butterfield, who was also named player of the week earlier in the season, was given a banner in her name which hung over the gym ceiling, with Bodnar giving a speech on her accomplishments this year.

    Butterfield had recently signed a letter of intent to play volleyball at the University of Alaska, making her the only player transferring to a university next fall.

    The game was considered a bittersweet end for Bodnar, with the team’s loss to Palomar College in the previous game costing them their third place standing at the Pacific Coast Athletic Conference.

    “I was really bummed about what happened the match before. The match before we lost,” Bodnar said. “I thought we should have killed, and one of our girls was on a recruiting trip. We had two girls injured, you know, just random things. But we still should have beat them.”

    The game was a nail-biter from the beginning, with Imperial Valley stealing the lead at 1-4 in the first period. Luckily, the team performed in sync, making kills left and right in hopes of taking back the set, which they accomplished halfway through, finishing with a score of 25-16.

    The same goes for the second period, with City College barely holding on to a one-point lead. They were able to pull ahead easily, gaining four more points in the lead and winning the second set, 25-20.

    Imperial Valley gained some energy during the third period, once again stealing the lead but actually keeping it throughout the entire game. Because of minor mistakes, such as hitting the ball out of bounds or missing a hit, the Knights sacrificed a perfect three-game win to the Arabs and the set moved into the fourth period.

    In the fourth set, City managed to regain their momentum, taking the match with a 25-18 score by the end of the set, winning 3-1 overall.

    The season ended favorably for the team, and all the players got a chance on the court this season, showing potential for next year.

    “Every girl got to play that last match, which was a wonderful way to end the season,” Bodnar said. “Every girl improved. Some people, like Heather Lee, made some really nice hits in the warm-ups and it shows potential to go a great distance.”

    With only one player transferring, the team’s coach has high hopes for next year’s lineup, especially if all 10 remaining players return. Losing even one member though does leave room for new faces and gives the team the opportunity to gain more talent and come back even stronger.

    “If all 10 come back, we’re huge. I still need to recruit; you always need a dynamic player and even though I’m losing Tessa I have an outside hitter who can fill her spot, but to get a step up I would like to have some other girls come in,” Bodnar said.

    With veteran players and new recruits, Bodnar’s goal is to see them become more explosive and dynamic on the court. The coach hopes to see players focus on their skills over break and train during the spring, seeing them as a force to be reckoned with if they have the drive.

    “I think we can win league next year. Yes. They’ve got to be more explosive, terminating, finishing plays, more decisive on their contacts, and when all of that stuff happens, which I think it can with more repetition and more practice, we can be better,” Bodnar said.

    If all goes well, and with a little more practice, the City College volleyball team plans to dominate league next year.

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    Women’s volleyball finishes strong