Denis Perez / The Advocate
The volleyball team mightily struggled this past fall and despite incremental improvements as the season progressed, players failed to convert better performances into victories.
Finishing 2-19 overall and 2-12 in the Bay Valley Conference, the Comets finished 7th in front of last place Napa Valley College.
The Storm holds the honor of being the only team CCC defeated in the 2018 season.
The squad’s returning sophomores punched above their weight which earned them looks from 4-year colleges and possession of much-improved BVC statistical rankings for their positions.
Middle blocker Makaya Thomas ranked ninth in solo blocks in the state and third in blocks per set in the BVC.
Libero Delaine Baca ranked second in digs per set and fourth in total digs in the BVC.
Victoria Matue didn’t excel in any statistical metrics, however, she gained recognition for her solid play and ability to fill multiple roles during the season.
Baca said, despite the losses, 2018 was the most fun time she’s had playing volleyball in her career.
The team underwent unifying moments that boosted chemistry leading to an enjoyable environment she said.
She specifically mentioned traveling to Santa Barbara City College on September 15 for the SBCC volleyball tournament.
“Going to SoCal to scrimmage and bond with the team by living together was a lot of fun.
All in all, we all had our individual skill sets, but we all worked together and I enjoyed that,” Baca said.
At the tournament, the Comets lost 3-0 to Santa Barbara City College and Cuesta College.
Team chemistry was a noticeable factor toward improving throughout the season, however, errors were consistently the main statistic diminishing the odds of victory.
Still, according to coach Christy Tianero, over the course of the season passing and general teamwork did improve.
“This is the best team we’ve had in my years of coaching,” coach Christy Tianero said after losing to Yuba 0-3 in the final game of the season.
“Even though the team’s record was bad, the way they played and how hard they practiced is why I love this team.”
With the season over, a couple of the sophomores are looking at different paths to move forward in their volleyball career.
Baca said she will most likely be returning to the Comets for another year while she determines where she wants to transfer.
She said she’s looking forward to having a veteran role on the squad.
“I can’t wait to play against the newer players and rally together with the new faces,” Baca said.
After her time with the Comets, Baca said she would like to transfer to Cal State- Sacramento or UC Davis to study and play volleyball.
She received offers from three East Coast colleges, however, she turned them down because she wants to stay close to home.
Thomas also received offers from schools but has her sights set on Cal State-East Bay, Sacramento State or San Francisco State University.
She also intends to transfer in the spring and is taking time to improve her skills.
For Thomas, she said the biggest hole in her game is passing and Baca said she needs to work on improving her lateral movement speed to excel at the next level.
While the season was a great learning experience in team building and individual play, the team didn’t have the smoothest time while in the mid-season grind.
“We could have done so much better. I wish we had better communication. I wish we took practice more seriously, especially me,” Thomas said.
A general sentiment on needing to work harder was echoed by Baca.