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Panthers volleyball ranked No.1 in state

Posted by rc360 on November 10, 2009

Panthers volleyball ranked No.1 in state

This story was published in the November 10, 2009 issue of the Express.

(Note: Story appears in the Express print newspaper on Nov. 10)

The Panthers’ volleyball team hasn’t lost a match this season, and team members are looking forward to keeping up the momentum.

Their record of 25-0, the best in California, has been a confidence booster for the team. Although the team is the highest ranked in the state, head coach Laurie Nash isn’t thinking much about it.

“The ranking of No.1 is just a poll based on our undefeated record,” Nash said. “You can’t really compare Northern California to Southern California because we don’t play each other.”

The team has dominated most of their opponents. In volleyball, matches are won by winning the majority of five sets within a game against an opposing team. Out of 25 matches played this semester, the City College team has won 17 matches as three-set sweeps.

Team chemistry plays a major role in the team’s ongoing success.

“If your team understands each other, it’s really easy to mesh and play well,” outside hitter Alex Tkachuk said. “You have to play all together to win.”

Another important factor of the team’s success is how they execute on the floor.

“They do all of the little things right,” Nash said. “They work hard, they focus on good ball control, they know their capabilities, their strengths, they work on their weaknesses.”

Although the team doesn’t have enough players to practice a six-on-six match, assistant coaches Josh Velasquez and Todd Thompson have stepped in to practice with the team.

“They’re very, very important,” Nash said. “I don’t think that any team can be as strong as we have been without the guidance of the assistant coaches. They help with the development of the team just as much as I do.”

The coaches have seen many teams this year and know all about their playoff opponents.

“There’re a lot of good teams in Northern California,” Velasquez said. “The competition’s fairly tough.”

The team has played very well, but Nash believes it can take its game to another level.

“Just because we’re undefeated doesn’t mean that we’ve become complacent,” she said. “We have high expectations from here on out. We’re not satisfied.”

Click here to see the story on the Express website.

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