After winning the Coast Valley League with a 10-0 record, the Coast Union volleyball team hosted a CIF first-round playoff Tuesday, Oct. 31. The Lady Broncos played the Nordhoff Lady Rangers of Ojai and lost 3-0.
An enthusiastic crowd cheered the team on, but the scores (25-10, 25-19, 25-18) reflect that, although Coast battled hard, especially in the last two games, the home team came up short.
Former Coast Union volleyball standout Sophie Flemion, who assisted head coach Pam Kenyon this season, explained that the loss to Nordoff was not about being outgunned, but rather, “It was due to a bit of nerves and a late start.”
Flemion said that beyond wins and losses, the Coast Union volleyball program teaches players “pride, work ethic, good sportsmanship, and tenacity … and though we didn’t beat Nordoff, the girls do not feel defeated.” Rather, she said, they feel “empowered to start the road to next season now.”
The immediate future of this program lies with the juniors on the team, Flemion said. “Emotional inspiration, physical power and steady consistency were all brought to the team within the junior class.”
That was not to say there weren’t substantial contributions from seniors and sophomores, because “all of the girls were able to contribute to the team cooperation that led us through league,” Flemion continued.
Flemion is certain that all the returning players will “dedicate a significant amount of time to getting ready for next season.”
That 2018 season will be Kenyon’s 28th at Coast Union.
Coast Union was defeated in that effort, 12-6, but seniors Alyssa Drew and Zoe Markham each won a pair of sets — Drew winning 6-3, 6-2, and Markham 6-2, 6-4.
The doubles team of Martha Gomez and Octavia Dolan also won two sets (6-2, 6-3).
Sutherland said her team had played “tougher competition during the season,” but Nordhoff came with a deep team and substituted often, while Coast Union was limited because it has a smaller team.
The coach noted what other coaches have expressed about Coast Union: “Declining enrollment in our school district means that our pool of athletes is even smaller.”