BY ESTEBAN RAMIREZ Special to the californian
After making a deep run in the playoffs last season, the Bakersfield College volleyball team is looking to build on last year's success.
"I'm very excited for this year," BC coach Carl Ferreira said. "We have the goal of being state champions, and once you establish the goal it just comes down to can you win the day."
Last year, the Renegades (23-7, 9-3 Western State South) made it to the SoCal semifinals before losing to the eventual state runnerup Golden West.
BC will have to find a way to replace Western State all-conference players, outside hitter Caitlin Bernardin (Alabama) and setter Samantha Whittington.
"We lost some exceptional players, but that's the junior college transition" Ferreira said. "Every single year you're almost turning over half your roster, so as good as it was last year you also have to have the mindset of the most important season is this season. You got to move along quickly and that's the fun part of growing as a team because I get to see last year's returners take on completely different roles."
Some of the key players returning are outside hitter Alyssa Mathews, middle blocker Taylor Ariey, setter Kennedie Lee-McNeill and all-conference first team selection Edithza Urias, who will be moving from the right side to the left side.
After nearly making the playoffs last year, the BC soccer team is motivated this year.
"I like the group that we have this year," Coach Scott Dameron said. "I'm very pleased with the work they've been doing and I'm pleased with the progress we've made. Just as far as being a cohesive team they have been working very hard and there is a lot of potential in this team.
"Our sophomores no we came close last year, so they have a better understanding of a need of just taking it one game at a time. Just don't overlook today and put your best effort for today, whether it's a game or practice."
Some of the key returning players are midfielder D.J. Vidal, forward Halle Meadows, forward Reshana Watson, center-midfielder Michelle Carbajal and goalkeeper Jenna Seals.
The Renegades open their season at home Wednesday against College of the Sequoias.
Although they have some inexperience coming into the season, coach Bill Kalivas believes his team will be improved.
"I see us being better than last year and that's a positive in itself," Kalivas said, "and it's still early ... so it's hard to tell how good this year's team will be."
Some of the returning wrestlers are: Max Ramirez (149 pounds), Jawayne Fambrough (149) and Jonathan Gomez (157). Kalivas expects good years from heavyweight Josh Davis, Dillon Harroum (around 174-184); Armando Saldana (around the 165-174) and Oscar Corona, (157-165).
BC will start its season at Mt. SAC on Sept. 21.
Though only one golfer returns, coach Bob Paillet expects the team will be competitive by the end of the year.
"We only have five players and some teams have 12 so they have a lot of competition and even though we might not look great right now but by the end of the year we'll be much better," said Paillet. "We went through the same thing last year so in a way they prepared me for this year."
The one returning golfer for BC is Melissa Lopez, but Paillet feels a couple of the new golfers will also have a good year. Kendall Huser, a sophomore from BHS who transferred from Cal State Northridge, and freshman Jessica Madrid from Garces High.
"Huser has a good putt game, she always works hard and has the potential to make it to the state championship. Madrid is a hard worker as well, listens to her coach, a talented golfer and loves to play golf," Paillet said.