Growing Pains

Outside+hitter%2C+Claire+Hannigan%2C+focuses+on+her+serve+during+the+second+set+of+Fridau+loss+to+Shasta+College.+%28Benjamin+Davidson%2F+The+Inquirer%29

Outside hitter, Claire Hannigan, focuses on her serve during the second set of Fridau’ loss to Shasta College. (Benjamin Davidson/ The Inquirer)

Gabriel Agurcia

DVC women’s volleyball opened it’s season with straight sets loss to Shasta College on Friday, Sept. 6.

DVC tied the first set at 1-1 with a combo block by Claire Hannigan and Amanda Jarquin, but that was the closest they’d come to the lead. Shasta took it’s largest lead of the set at 9-2 after a Jarquin kill attempt went into the net. A Hannigan ace pulled DVC within four at 15-11, Shasta stretched it out to 20-13, but a Kelsey Draper ace followed by a Shasta mishit closed the gap to 23-18. Shasta would take the first set 25-19.

Shasta took control of the second set early, getting out to a 5-0 lead. Consecutive DVC kill attempts were sent long, giving Shasta a 13-7 lead and forcing Ponciano-Babb to call her first timeout. Both teams traded points for the remainder of the set, with Shasta winning 25-16.

DVC bounced back well in the third set, staking an early 5-2 lead, highlighted by a strong Lindsay Wood kill. A Kaitlyn Welsh ace sustained DVC’s lead at 13-11, but Shasta immediately seized momentum with a 6-1 run. DVC would get only two more points on kills by Draper and Wood. Shasta won the third set 25-16, and the game, 3 sets to 0.

It wasn’t the outcome she’d hoped for, but Ponciano-Babb knew she had to dial down her expectations due to her roster. “I expect it all,” she said with a laugh. “I always expect stuff, but the bar wasn’t as high as normal, when I know that I have a good core of sophomores.”

Nine of her 11 players are freshmen, which looked apparent at times, whether it was balls dropping from miscommunication or shots sent long and wide.

“I think we could’ve hit better. It was a pretty good start, considering we’re all freshmen really,” stated Welsh, one of four outside hitters.

Ponciano-Babb appears to have reloading, not rebuilding, on her mind.

“What I try to get our freshmen to think is that they’re not freshmen,” Ponciano-Babb said. “Everybody has to step up and play. There’s no such thing as freshman and sophomore, we just all play.”

Although she would like immediate results, Ponciano-Babb knows patience is necessary with such a young team. “Honestly speaking, as long as each time they touch the ball, or don’t touch the ball, they learn something new or do something better for themselves and their teammates, we’re as happy, as coaches.”

DVC plays again Friday, Sept. 13, participating in two games for the Diablo Valley Classic tournament being held at DVC.