by Amy Borer
With nearly three weeks of practice under their belt, the women’s volleyball team is prepared to take on the competition at the Mills College Tournament in Oakland, Calif., beginning today.
This tournament marks the first match of the season for the women, and they will compete against Mills, Menlo College, UC San Diego, and Claremont and Pomona Colleges.
“It will be a sort of interesting weekend and it will indicate how we’re going to fit with the (NCAA Division III) West Region teams,” said Coach Jim Paschal.
This season, the team’s focus is on playing the game well, rather than scoring a lot of points.
“The attitude of the group is one that’s committed to playing the best we can and improving on our situation from last year,” added Paschal. “I’m real proud of us in that respect.”
Despite finishing with a 4-24 record last season, Paschal has confidence in his team. “I would expect that as the season goes along, our team would get better,” he said. “I hope we become more mature in the way we play, and I hope we are able to use a smart attack.”
Although the team is small, over half of the players are returning from last season’s group. Senior Talin Baharian, juniors Kim Caravalho and Margaret Pulver, and sophomores Raelyn Tantoco, Priscilla Alfaro and Denise Rice will lead the young team.
With only 10 players on the team, every opponent the Leos play will be stiff competition. In order to win, the women will have to concentrate on passing, serving, defense and the condition of the players.
“We are not going to be as strong an attacking team as we’d like to be. We’re going to have to dig a lot of balls and keep the ball in play for a long time,” said Paschal.
Since the season has not yet gotten under way, it is too early to predict the team’s outcome. “Our expectations right now are that our players are committed to being the best that they can be in terms of meeting their practice schedule and meeting their game schedule,” commented Paschal.