Coast Union’s 3-0 5AA CIF playoff win over Riverside Christian on Tuesday night, Nov. 11, was particularly gratifying for Coach Pam Kenyon, who missed the chance to lead her team into the postseason last year after being diagnosed with colon cancer.
Kenyon, in her 25th year coaching Lady Broncos volleyball, is cancer-free this fall, although she continues to receive infusions of cancer-fighting medications. She was clearly thrilled to witness the energetic performance her team put on against Riverside Christian, winning 25-11, 25-15, 25-19.
After senior Olivia Zamora, the kills leader for the Lady Broncos, slammed home the winning point, and after the customary postgame meeting with her players and coaches, Kenyon said, “I thought they were fabulous tonight. Every single one had some amazing plays. They really helped us out.
“We have a strong Coast Valley League, so it makes us very competitive and makes us work harder to win,” Kenyon added.
Setter Sage Radecki had 32 assists and 11 digs in the match. Janelle Bohey had a dozen digs and six kills; Patty Bucio had 12 digs; Xue DiMaggio had eight kills; and Gigi Stoothoff served up five aces for Coast Union, which improved its record to 14-6 on the season.
The Lady Broncos were clearly fired up going into the match because they were eager to win this playoff challenge for their coach, whom they missed dearly last season when she became ill. The Broncos football team was fired up, too, sitting as a unit in the student section; members made their voices heard in support of their fellow student-athletes down on the floor.
The Lady Broncos travel to North Hollywood tonight (Thursday, Nov. 13) to play another private school, Oakwood High School (6-2, 11-8-1), a team expected to present a stiffer test than Riverside Christian.
Assistant coach Dennis White said after the match that the Coast Union players have “come as far as they can come physically, and from here on out it’s about the mental attitude. With that good mental attitude the team can soar.”
Figuring that the Oakwood Lady Gorillas will be tough to beat, especially in their own gym with their own fans supporting them, White said, “If we serve tough, the opposing team can’t set up a play. And we do serve tough. We have to bring our A-game serves and pass the ball well in order to win.”
After the long bus ride down — Kenyon’s goal is to try to avoid rush hour traffic by arriving at North Hollywood by 2 p.m. — the players will get into the gym for an hour of loosening up. The team meal takes place two hours before the match.
The CIF set the match at 7 p.m. but Kenyon is working with the Oakwood coach to move the start time forward to 5 p.m.
If the Lady Broncos defeat Oakwood, there is the possibility of a third-round home match, the coach said, with a hopeful smile.