Even though she will be graduating, Stanislaus State senior hitter Ramey Gardner believes the future is bright for the Warriors, who fell to Cal Poly Pomona 28-26, 25-15, 25-18 in the first round of the California Collegiate Athletic Association tournament on Thursday at Fitzpatrick Arena.
“These girls are going to go so far,” Gardner said. “This is just the start of it. It’s just the beginning of their potential.”
The Warriors, who lose three seniors, will bring back much of their team that went 16-11 this year, most of whom were on last year’s 3-3-23 team.
“It speaks (volumes what) these girls have set with their work ethic and a great deal of hard work,” Warriors coach Mallori Gibson-Rossi said. “I am proud of them for showing the fight all year.”
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Said junior outside hitter Sierra Adams, who a day before was named first-team All-CCAA: “We all fought super hard and we wanted it as a team. Our Warrior Way, it’s who we are.”
Against a team that already had beaten them twice this year, Stanislaus State battled the Broncos early as each had multiple set points. Cal Poly (22-4) trailed 26-25 but won the final three points of the set.
“Everything was clicking,” sophomore Chelsey Berry. “ We had fire and intensity throughout the set.”
The emotion and excitement was all there but vanished in the final two sets as Gibson-Rossi called multiple timeouts to try to bring a spark to her team.
“We tried to get that energy back,” Gibson-Rossi said. “We emphasized more on the controllables and not the outcomes. We kind of got a little flat and were talking about increasing the energy and finding that rhythm.”
In the second set, Cal Poly led 10-4 and 19-12 before winning 25-15. The Warriors had five errors and the Broncos blocking trio of seniors Desi Martin and Kristen Hamilin and sophomore Ally Wilder created a tough challenge for Stanislaus State’s front line. Each had two blocks in the second set.
“They are one of the most improved teams,” Cal Poly coach Rosie Wergrich said. “They are really good team and well-coached. I think the difference today was our ball control.”
The Warriors trailed all throughout the third set and fell, 25-18. Despite the outcome, Gibson-Rossi was proud.
“We could have just given up and let them win by 10 to 15,” Gibson-Rossi said. “We fought back and tried to gain momentum even with our backs against the wall.”
Adams had 17 kills and Gardner had 12. Hamlin led Cal Poly with 17.
Central Catholic girls tennis wins section title
For the third time in five years, the Central Catholic girls tennis team won a CIF Sac-Joaquin Section title after the Raiders beat Kimball, 7-2, on Thursday at Oak Park Tennis Center in Stockton.
It was the third time Central Catholic beat Kimball this year.
“I told the team you did all the work to get here, treat this like just another match,” Raiders coach Natalie Wagner said.
Sophomore Colleen Ballatore won her singles match 6-1, 6-1 but Wagner was most impressed with senior captain Suzanne Manseau. Manseau lost both of her matches against Kimball during the regular season but won on Thursday 6-1, 6-0.
“She is playing her best tennis at the right time,” Wagner said.
Wagner said she knew during the summer that this team was capable of winning a championship but they just needed to develop as a team.
“We did exactly what we said,” Wagner said. “They played for their teammates.”