Storm continues its dominace

Napa remains unbeaten against struggling volleyball team

Comet players Valeria Avila (center) and Kailey Walker attempt to block a ball hit by Storm middleblocker Katie Morris during CCC’s loss to Napa Valley College in the Gymnasium on Friday.

By Robert Clinton, Sports Editor

The volleyball team came into the contest having lost every game against Napa Valley College since the program’s inception — and this game was no different as the Storm defeated Contra Costa College in straight sets in the Gymnasium, Friday.

Each set had a familiar theme. The Comets (3-8 overall, 1-5 Bay Valley Conference) would start slow, make a run, and then lose momentum resulting in the 25-18, 25-14, 25-20 set losses.

Comet outside hitter Kailey Walker said games like Friday’s can get frustrating sometimes. Walker, who in CCC’s last win had 17 kills to lead the game, said, “We always let teams get runs, then we catch up. We laugh at little mistakes we make, but we need to take things more seriously.”

The first set was close early, tied at five, and again at seven. The Storm (6-10 overall 4-2 BVC) pushed the lead to 15-8 when Comet coach Zachary Schrieve called his second timeout, sparking his squad to go on an 8-5 run, setting up a flurry of back and forth volleys that ended with NVC owning the first set 25-18.

The second was the Comets’ worst set of the night. The Storm jumped out to a seven-point lead, finally broken by outside hitter Rachelle Cuevas. She scored on a big block in the face of a potential kill shot. Cuevas’ inspired play only served as a tourniquet as the Storm drenched CCC with points and jumped out to a 13-7 advantage.

Unforced errors gave Napa the ball back at 19-9. A string of good shots by Walker closed the gap to 13-19. In the end, wide shots and errors eventually gave the set away 25-14.

“This is a team sport,” Cuevas said. “We can’t just have a few players out there making plays.”
“We haven’t beaten Napa in the history of our program,” Schrieve said. “They hit spots and got the ball in our deep quarter, they played pretty well in the second.”

The third set saw the Comets strike early and often. CCC kept the contest close into the early teens. At 12-7 the squad was caught flat-footed on a good drop shot by NVC. After the Storm score, CCC pulled within three at 13-10. The Comets still showed their fighting spirit, staying close as the score read 15-13 in favor of the visitors. A 10-7 scoring sprint to the finish, coupled with fresh Storm reinforcements, left no chance for Schrieve and crew to work their magic and manage a comeback.
The Comets dropped the third 25-20.

CCC’s next shot at redemption comes on the road today at the College of Marin at 6 p.m.