SBVC Roundup: 15-Blue remains golden in qualifying

Jenna MacFarlane of the SBVC 15-Blue tips over the block during a qualifying tournament match.

Jenna Macfarlane of the SBVC 15-Blue tips over the block during a qualifying tournament match.

The Santa Barbara Volleyball Club’s 15-Blue team stayed in the Gold Bracket of Southern California Volleyball Association qualifying by posting a 2-1 records in the first and second rounds to remain among the top 32 teams for the next round.

“Our pin hitters Caylin Zimmerman, Josie Doughty and Jenna Macfarlane all had strong performances, while Sophia Fay and Kendall White were covering the back row like a blanket,” coach John Sener said.

The team lost to Sunshine 15-Westside in 2-sets but defeated San Gabriel 15-Elite in three sets (12-25, 25-22, 15-11) and topping the day off with a win over Mavericks 15-Black (25-23, 25-23).

“Izzy Mallet stepped in against SG and made a difference defensively. These kids have no quit in them and it showed throughout the day as we consistently battled back in every match,” said Sener.

The team will compete in the gold bracket for its final round for divisional placement in two weeks.

The 15-White finished 1-2 in pool play in both qualifying rounds of the silver bracket.

In Round 1, the team had an exciting match competing against Blue Crush 15-Bryan. The team lost the first set but eked out the second set 25-23 and won the third 15-9. According to Coach Cady Chow, “Scrappy plays, including running into walls by the defensive players, kept the ball alive. We had amazing digs by defensive players Megan Tighe and Jameson Baldwin all day.”

In round two this past weekend, the team finished 2-1 in pool play despite most of the players and both coaches being sick. The team pulled out a win over Club H 15-Ivan, “with some fantastic kills from Ella Dore and blocks from Leila Parker. Julia Fay led our serve receive, she passed at a 2.2 on the day,” commented Chow. The team also beat LAVA West 15-Black 25-18, 25-19 and subsequently lost to Nfinity 26-24, 25-19. They will compete in the silver bracket next for divisional placement.

“Our tournament exceeded my expectations,” coach Sarah Amos said of the first round of qualifying for her 15-Red team. The team lost the first match to Saddleback Valley but after the nerves settled, went on to beat AIGA 15s and Brea 15-Blue both in three sets.

“The girls played with so much heart, we never let up.”

Bumped up to a tougher pool for round two this past weekend, the team battle hard and finished 0-3, losing to Forza1 North 15-Elite, 951 Elite 15-2, Club Green 15-Krystal.

The team will compete in the Bronze bracket for divisional placement in its final round.

On Saturday, the 14-Blue team competed with the top 32 teams in this past weekend’s second round of qualifying, after going 2-1 in its first round in the gold bracket. In the first round, the team beat Beach Cities 14-Smack and San Gabriel 14-2 and lost to Temecula 14-Mary Jo.

“Our defensive specialists Devan Randolph, Taylor Robertson and Alison Minnich proved they are a force to be reckoned with and made tremendous digs in the back row,” commented Coach Lisa Gera.

In the second round this past weekend, the team fell 0-3 to Coast 14-Mizuno, LAVA 14-Adidas and San Gabriel 14-Elite.

“Overall, we served tough and our defense was spectacular throughout the day,” continued coach Gera. “Ali Mintzer led the team with aces and Alison Minnich led the team in digs. Kristine Fimlaid added to the mix by playing smart at the net and implementing skills learned in practice. We are proud of the progression our team is making and look forward to the last qualifying round.”

The team will next compete in the gold bracket for its divisional placement.

The 14-White team finished 2-1 in its first round. According to Coach Katie Julian, “The girls fought hard throughout the day and played with enthusiasm. Both Talia Medel and Sienna Pomerantz made multiple serving aces and played great defense.”

In round two this past weekend, Isabel Gira was a force at the net as a middle blocker.

“She got some key blocks and kills when we needed them,” observed Julian. “Olivia Andrews stepped in as one of our setters was injured and played well, serving tough and making smart sets and played tough defense.”

The team lost to T-Street 14-Doug and Orange County 14-Blue but finished the day with a win over Laguna Beach 14s.

The team will compete in the silver bracket in its final round of qualifying for divisional placement to start the regular season.

With 3 players out with the flu and playing with a small crew, the 13-Blue team battled to a 1-2 record for the day in the gold bracket. The team opened with losses to Forza1 North 13-Asics and Wave 13-Morgan but bounced back to finish its day with a win over Rancho Valley 13-Premier in three sets.

“Ellie Gamberdella and Alexa Osti shared the setting duties and did a great job their first tournament out,” mentioned Coach Ed Gover. “And a very steady performance by Danielle La Grange and Grace Matthews all day long.”

The 13-White team put together some strong play in its silver bracket pool but couldn’t quite manage a match win in the first round. The team lost to Actyve 13-Mizuno, Epic 13-Roni and West 13-Premiere.

Coach Ariana Garner praised her team for its strong play. “We played well against some good competition. Elyse Moropoulos had a great six-point serving run for us in the second match. Both setters, Becky McKinny and Samantha Crossland did a great job of setting, spreading the ball to our offense.”