Team loses coach to cancer, fails to salvage season

Shrieve’s death affects volleyball players, family

By Xavier Johnson, Assistant Sports Editor

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The young and inexperienced Contra Costa College women’s volleyball team failed to execute this year completing a winless 2015 season. The Comets finished the season with a record of 0-16 in the Bay Valley Conference.

The team failed to win a single set with games following a typical pattern. The squad would consistently have a slow start dropping the first set. The second set would improve slightly as the team found a rhythm. The third set would be a regression.

Coach Christy Tianero said with a small team of only seven players, the young Comets couldn’t get into the necessary game condition. They played tired in the third set and ended up being overwhelmed by the other team’s offensive attack.

The volleyball team lost its coach, Zachary Shrieve, before the season even started. He was absent the entire season, suffering from cancer, and passed away in March.

When Shrieve was diagnosed with his illness, then assistant coach Tianero took on the role of head coach. At the time, she was also the coach of the Richmond High School volleyball team. She said she couldn’t dedicate the amount of time necessary to help the Comet team grow.

“It was hard,” Tianero said. “I tried to be there for the team as much as possible, but it was hard splitting my time between Richmond and here.”

Conditioning was something that will be stressed in coming seasons now that Tianero, who will continue as coach of the team, will be able to dedicate her attention solely to the Comets, she said.

Freshman middle blocker Alejandra Galvez said having so few players made having a productive practice hard.

“When players would miss practice, because of work or something, we couldn’t have a full practice and work on what we needed,” Galvez said.

The Comets finished last in the Bay Valley Conference. Statistically they ranked last in kills, assists, hitting percentage, blocks per set and points.

Galvez said a problem the team had was communication, on and off the court.

“One thing that we need to do better is communicate,” Galvez said. “We would get frustrated with each other.”

Moore said she tried to spark communication during practice and games to get the team fired up.

Tianero said poor communication was a key factor too. Toward the end of the season the team’s communication did improve.

It didn’t improve to the level needed to win a set or game, though. She said communication is something she’s going to stress this coming fall.