The 3-0 win won’t count toward the Jaguars final season record. The game was a chance to raise money through admission fees to support the Sac-Joaquin Section’s scholar-athlete awards. Volleyball teams start the season with a Foundation game to support the scholarships, which will be announced at the end of the 2011-12 school year.
Kimball’s girls took one set to get warmed up, and then dominated Brookside with scores of 25-17, 25-7, 25-6. Brookside Christian had only six-players, and was a fill-in for the originally scheduled Millennium High team.
Kimball coach Mila Iosefa expects his team to be competitive this year after the Jaguars went 1-19, 14-0 in the Valley Oak League, in their first varsity season last year. This year's team includes four seniors, four juniors and three sophomores, with most of the players returning from last year’s team.
“The strongest point right now is our serving, and our passing is much more improved,” he said. His only reservation is, now that the team has more experience, it is also in a higher division.
Volleyball teams make playoffs based on power ratings, where they are ranked against schools of similar size, and rated based on their season records, the strength of their leagues and the strength of their pre-league opponents.
“We’re moving to Division II. Enrollment sent us up higher,” he said. “We’re playing the same schools, but we’re playing Division II if we go to playoffs.”
Senior Tolo Asefi, now in her third year of volleyball at Kimball, said that the players have improved together in their first year as a sophomore team and last year as a new varsity team.
“We have a couple new additions. I think it’s going to work better because we have had two years experience,” she said.
New to the team is sophomore Courtney Lewis, who proved to be effective Monday on her blocks and kills at the net.
“We’re doing pretty good for the most part. We did good on our serving, better than I thought we would,” she said, adding that communicating will also be important as the team improves on setting up shots at the net.
“I love it that we’re playing as a team and communicating,” junior Megan Bhathal said. “We’re growing stronger every day.”
Monday’s first set was a back-and forth contest up until Kimball pulled ahead with junior Sara Searle at the service line, contributing a couple aces with support by shots from Asefi. Asefi led off the second set with a string of aces and Searle contributed a couple more aces at the end. Kimball had a string of scores with sophomore Vanessa Cerda at the service line in the third set, Bhathal had a series of aces, and junior Krista Parker also served for a series of points at the end to finish the match. Lewis contributed three kill shots and a block to score for the Jaguars in the third set.
West 3, Manteca 1
West High’s volleyball team started its season Monday with a California Interscholastic Federation Foundation game at Manteca High.
West won the first and second sets, 25-20, 25-18, and Manteca fought to stay alive in the third set, which ended 27-25 in Manteca’s favor. West finished the match with another close set, 25-21.
Leading scorers for West were Kalani Vaughns and Tatiana Aiasau, each with seven kills and five aces. Miranda Gannon had six aces and three kills, and Analyssa Eclevia scored three kills and an ace.
Manteca’s leaders included Myklyn Balmut with five kills, Jimi Gubor with four aces and Samantha Morris with 16 assists.