Set Up to Win
October 19, 2013
Jorden Hales, News Editor
From ARC Current
The American River College women’s volleyball team, ranked No. 6 in the state, defeated local rival Sierra College at home Friday Oct. 18. With the win, the team is now 6-0 in conference play.
The Beavers were looking to make a statement against Sierra, who defeated them last year in the playoffs. Freshman outside hitter Erika Jones sent a tweet a day before the match dubbing it the “biggest of the season.”
Fellow freshman Taylor Bunger took note of the added incentive as well. Having not been with the team last season, the unique atmosphere in the locker room caught Bunger’s attention and helped her achieve a higher level of focus.
“(The build-up) was huge,” She said. “I could tell (my teammates) had a lot of fire and really wanted to beat Sierra, I tried to feed off that.”
That focus translated to success early in the match. After a 6-to-6 tie, the Beavers went on a 9-3 run, including one sequence in which the team recorded three consecutive blocks to create separation that Sierra would not overcome.
The second set would prove more challenging, as Sierra shifted the momentum and took a 5-to-9 lead.
After taking a timeout, ARC made a 3-1 run, eventually cutting the lead to 2, but was unable to fully recover, dropping the second set 18-to-25
“When we win a (set) we get excited, and let down in the next.” said sophomore middle hitter Nicole Hareland. “We think ‘Oh, cool, we won a (set) so we can relax.’ That’s our biggest problem.”
Following the letdown in the second set, the Beavers jumped out to a 3-to-1 lead early in the third and maintained the momentum.
Hareland and sophomore outside hitter Lauren Kirschke controlled the net throughout, leading the team to a 16-to-6 lead that would not dip back into single digits through the rest of the set.
Sierra showed some resilience in the fourth set, taking a 6-to-2 lead and forcing ARC to call for time.
The Beavers regrouped after the timeout, quickly pulling within two and eventually tying the game at 11.
Hareland and Kirschke continued to dominate, at one point the duo produced three straight kills to give ARC the lead in the set.
Sophomore setter Jessica Condit was crucial to the success of the Beavers down the stretch, setting up Hareland and Kirschke for several kills, including one to put the team up 23-to-21, rattling Sierra to the point of no recovery in the final set of the match.
“We’ve always had a good connection,” Hareland said of her rapport with Condit. “Her sharing captain with me really helps (our chemistry). When she’s feeling it, I’m feeling it.”
Condit echoed similar sentiments in regards to her confidence in setting up the sophomore duo.
With the defeat of a rival behind them, the team is now looking to continue dominance in conference play, and working to build more consistency through matches.
“We’re not as consistent as we’d like to be right now,” Said Condit shortly after the match. “We’re an easily distracted team. If one person misses their pass, then somebody misses their hit… we have to focus (more) on that.”
Women’s volleyball extends win streak to five
October 10, 2013
Jorden Hales, News Editor
From ARC Current
The American River College women’s volleyball team opened its two-game home stand with a victory against Santa Rosa Junior College Wednesday. The win made it five straight for the Beavers, who remain undefeated in conference play.
Having been on the road for 11 consecutive matches, the players felt anxious in front of their home crowd.
“It was the first home game (of conference play) so we were really excited and everyone was kind of antsy,” said sophomore outside hitter Lauren Kirschke.
The Beavers’ angst and tentative play allowed Santa Rosa to hang around early in the match. The first set featured 14 ties and six lead changes.
After Santa Rosa took a 23-21 lead, Beaver head coach Ashlie Hain called a timeout to address her team with a frank and poignant challenge.
In recent practices Hain has tried to instill a more resilient quality into her players, who have struggled to regroup after falling behind in opening sets.
“In other situations when we’re down 2 or 3 points, we always lose. The last five games we played we dropped the first set,” said Hain. “So we’ve played a bunch of tough drills in practice that force (us) to comeback. (Tuesday) we kind of had a breakthrough. We started coming back in a drill.”
Sophomore middle hitter Nicole Hareland had a big kill coming out of the timeout that seemed to shift the momentum in ARC’s favor. Santa Rosa then went scoreless for the remainder of the set.
“In the timeout she (told us) ‘show me you’ve learned something’,” said Hareland. “I went back there, served, and I showed her.”
After winning the second set by 13 points and jumping out to a 10-5 lead in the third, the Beavers allowed their opponent to gain some ground.
Santa Rosa quickly converted three consecutive rallies, cutting the lead to two.
Kirschke ended the run with two consecutive kills and Santa Rosa never recovered.
With the home crowd angst and a couple of teachable moments behind them, the Beavers cruised to a win with relative ease, taking the third set by 10 points.
The Beavers will be at home for five of their next six matches and are looking forward to the comfort of playing before a supportive crowd.
“I love home games,” said Kirschke following the match. “Everyone’s on our side, and the announcer, when you get kills, is all about you. It’s cool.”
Players do not seem concerned with the nervous feelings that plagued them early in this match.
“I think we got our home jitters out, so I think we’ll be good from here on out,” said Hareland.
The team’s next game is scheduled to take place at home Friday, Oct. 11 at 6:30 p.m. against Modesto Junior College.
Going for the kill: ARC volleyball looks to bounce back from a first round exit at the state championships
September 25, 2013
Jessica Maynard, Social Media Director
From ARC Current
As the team looks up in the rankings, the American River College volleyball team can’t help but like the position it’s currently in.
As of Sept. 17 the women are ranked No. 10 in the state with a 7-3 overall record. The team jumped up three spots after beating the No. 6 ranked team in the state Fresno City College two times in a row.
Coming into this season the women had big holes to fill. The team lost Katie Christener who lead the Big 8 Conference in kills and kills per set, their libero Josie Casillas and Bailey Humes who led the conference in assists.
“Surprisingly enough our starters are all sophomores,” women’s volleyball Head Coach Ashlie Hain said. “We had a large team last year so that helps and even though we’ve transferred seven or eight, we still have a core group of five or six.”
With the addition of new players the Beavers are returning middle blocker Nicole Hareland who went from .75 blocks per set to 1.39, outside hitter Lauren Kirschke who is arguably the most improved player from last season statistically, setter Jessica Condit who leads the team in assists with 8.7 per game and Nicole Solak who has moved to right side hitter.
“Last season I was a freshman and I looked up to all the sophomores on the team,” Solak said. “Now I have freshman looking up to me. I think my leadership has improved and I’ve become more accountable to my team.”
On a team that lacked intensity at times last season, Coach Hain believes this group’s intensity will not be a question this year. She also believes that once the women start playing together and figure out their starting line up the team will start clicking and rally off a few wins.
“This group is funny,” Hain said. “There are a lot of strong personalities and if they put their mind to something…like we knocked off Fresno twice and Fresno is a good team. When they put their mind to something they can do it and when they lose track they lose to a team they shouldn’t lose to.”
The women kick off divisional play on the road Oct. 2 versus San Joaquin Delta College, followed by a game versus Sacramento City College on Oct. 4, and the ladies divisional home opener against Santa Rosa Junior College on Oct. 9. All games are at 6:30 p.m.
Thank you to our 2013 campers! It was an awesome week!
BEAVER TRANSFERS TO FOLLOW IN 2013
Kaitlyn Christner - Cal State San Bernadino
Bailey Humes - Syracuse University
Hillary Horton - UC Riverside
Jamie Nurenberg - Menlo College
Mariko Kawashima - Portland State
Corissa Santos - Cal State Dominquez Hills
Hannah Oros - Cal State Dominquez Hills
Ashley Owen - Humboldt State
Shelby Young - Southern Oregon University
Hilary Horton commits to NCAA Division I UC Riverside on a full scholarship
Bailey Humes receives a full athletic scholarship to play for Syracuse University, an NCAA Division I program in the Atlantic Coast Conference.
The 2012 American River women’s volleyball team finishes in the top eight in Northern California for the third consecutive year.
Katie Christner receives All-State Team honors, and Bailey Humes receives All-Region Team honors for their outstanding play during the 2012 season.