‘Rebuilding’ team embraces season of change

Fresh start promotes confidence in youthful lineup


Denis Perez

Defensive specialist Jacqueline Tianero hits the ball over the net during volleyball practice in the Gymnasium on Monday.

By Xavier Johnson, Scene Editor

The upcoming season for the Contra Costa College women’s volleyball team marks the beginning of a time for change.

Last year the Comets had a winless 0-16 Bay Valley Conference season. The team was unable to win a single set last year, losing every game 0-3.

Former assistant coach Christy Tianero is at the helm as coach for this year’s squad. Tianero leads a team of 12 players, which is an improvement over last year’s small seven-player team.

She said the team is in a rebuilding mode as eight of the 12 players on the team are incoming freshmen athletes. She said having a full team will help them late in games because key players will now be able to rest.

Angel Garcia is one of the eight freshmen student-athletes joining the team. Garcia played volleyball for Hercules High School.

“I’m a little nervous about playing in college,” she said. “It’s a new experience and I don’t know what to expect.”

Tianero said practices are focused on communication, which was a key issue last season.

“During the summer practices the team was playing great. They were loud when communicating and playing better as a team,” she said.

Team chemistry off the court is another point of emphasis for Tianero. She said the team didn’t get along at times last year and that’s not something you can have at a high level. Everyone needs to be on the same page, she said.

Comet sophomore Amy Palomares said, “We’re all still in the ‘getting-to-know’ each other phase, but we are bonding well early on in the season. It’s a good sign.”

Palomares said this year the team will be better prepared for the season.

Redshirt Comet freshman Mariah Marinho said the team is engaged during practice. Marinho said all the players are working hard and practices are productive.

Palomares said she is impressed with the skill level of the freshmen players. Tianero said the incoming players are good, but they just need experience playing at the college level.

The Comets played two preseason games against De Anza College and Chabot College on Saturday. The team lost both games 0-3.

Tianero said the preseason games are valuable for building team chemistry and gaining experience.

“I did not expect to have any preseason games so it is great that we’re able to fit some games in before our first conference game,” she said.

The Comets will play their first BVC game in an away contest against Mendocino College on Sept. 16. Their first home game will be on Sept. 21 against Laney College.

“This is just the beginning of a process,” she said. “This year’s team will be better than last year’s and we will keep getting better every year.”