SBVC 15-Smack pull through in playoffs

Teetering on relegation, the Santa Barbara Volleyball Club’s 15-Smack went 2-1 in the playoffs and finished 10th at a Southern California Volleyball Association tournament in San Diego to remain in Division 1.

Santa Barbara went 1-2 in pool play, forcing it into the “death match” playoff round. The team lost its opening match to LAVA 15-Brad 25-15, 25-27, 10-15 and then beat Temecula Valley 15-1 in 3 sets. The team ended pool play with a nail-biter agains Club West 15-Elite, losing the third set 14-16.

With both teams fighting to stay in Division 1, the first playoff match was a hard-fought battle with the 15-Smack edging out Legacy 15-Elite in 3 sets. The team then finished the day by winning the next playoff round against So-Cal 15-Elite before losing to Club West 14-Elite to finish 10th overall on the day.

“McKenna Goss continues to improve on the outside and took a lot of swings for the team and passed at a higher percentage,” coach K.C. Collins said. “Emma Harrah had a particularly good day for us in the middle, working hard to earn the team points on kills and did a great job blocking.

“All in all, the team did what it needed to do by winning the right match at the right time to keep us in division 1.”
The 15-Blue team played thre hard-fought matches in Division 2 pool play but unfortunately couldn’t find a W.

After finishing 0-3 in pool, it battled to the third set in the “death match” playoff round against New Wave 15-Platinum and lost 17-19.

“We just could not get a consistent run together all day,” said coach John Sener. “Setter Camryn Kneip and outside hitter Hillary Bean both had a solid tournament, while Paige Mascari and Erin Linehan both did a great job on defense all tournament long, passing and digging in the back court.”

The team will move to Division 3 for the next tournament.
The 15-White team started out the day with a solid pool-play effort, winning two matches to place second in pool.

“We had a good win against T-Street 15-Spurgin,” remarked coach Jeff Minc. “Mikayla Werner had her best tournament so far and was basically our MVP on the day. Phoebe Roberts was blocking very well and served tough all day. Avery Jones and Ale Tacconelli both played great defense for us as well.”

The team had a chance to move up to division 3 but fell just short.
In LA on Sunday, the 18-Smack team finished third overall in Division 1 for the day.

According to Jason Donnelly, “Despite having some injuries to deal with, our team played some of its best volleyball of the year.  We seem to be at our best late in games, and our ability to side-out at a high percentage tends to take more physical teams away from their game plans.

“As a team we passed a 2.4 on the day.  That is incredible considering that Dani Rottman and Allie Eason, two of our primary passers, played the entire day, never stepping foot off the court.”

Taylor Racich was second on the team with 44 digs.

“She’s been working hard to become more comfortable in the back row and, now that she’s been given the opportunity, is playing at a really high level,” Donnelly said.

The coach couldn’t say enough Katie Spieler.  “She’s one of the best liberos I’ve seen this year, and gets comments from every coach we face.  There’s not a coach in our game that wouldn’t love to have Katie on their team.”
The 18-Blue team won its pool to move up a division again to Division 6.

Coach Jacky Yao stated, “Emma Mascari set up her hitters magnificently all day.  Cierra Merz terminated ball after ball and had a breakout tournament from the left side.   Colleen O’Connor provided the team with another steady offensive effort while  Tala Hishmeh played a key role for us on the right and keyed in on a couple big time stuff blocks.”

Sammi Rhine lead the team in service points and Mia Cattaneo gave the other teams fits all day with her short serves.  Grace Halleck and Emma Craine dug everything that came there way and that lead to extremely efficient hitting percentages for Lina Kleinschmidt and Charlotte Garratt in the middle.
The 12-Smack team had a good showing on Saturday placing second in their pool and will remain in Division 4