Wednesday September ,
S P O RT S
Corsair Newspaper Santa Monica College
Sara Stark Corsair Melissa Tindall, jersey number 13, reaches to block the ball against the Pasadena City College women’s volleyball team at the Pierce College volleyball tournament in Woodland Hills, last weekend. Santa Monica College lost to Pasadena with a final match score of 3-0.
Women’s volleyball swept away in identity crisis By Alexandra Leighton Staff Writer The Lady Corsair volleyball squad walked out of the gymnasium at Pierce College last Saturday empty-handed, unable to snag a victory in the taxing three-game tournament. Constantly switching players into different positions throughout the tournament, the Corsairs looked desperate to make something work and struggled to locate their identity in true “Jason Bourne” fashion. SMC was dominated in the first match against Pasadena, getting held to under 22 points in every game of the three-set loss. A sub-par effort from the hitters produced a similar
outcome in the second matchup versus Saddleback. The opposing Gaucho blocking game was a determinant factor all match, seemingly sending back every other attempted kill. And though players like freshman outside hitter Amelia Keeling quickly turned her performance around with hard spikes off the Gaucho blocks, SMC’s performance was marked by playing catch-up to the unchanging Saddleback lead in the 14-25 loss. Game two showed more promise with a stellar performance by sophomore Vera Hughes, who cleaned up the back line with some great first-touch passes after being moved to libero. Freshman transfer Chelsea
Thayer followed the act by providing more daylight for SMC, coming through with a huge block that gave SMC their first lead with a score of 12-11. Unfortunately, the second match would end in a 23-25 loss, proving to be another
“Some players are okay with just trying.” - Coach Ryan unsatisfactory effort as the girls were unable to prepare defensively for the reoccurring Gaucho blocks. “We’re consistently inconsistent,” said head coach Nicole Ryan, expressing her frustration toward the team’s
play. And though the third game of the match was also a losing battle for our Lady Corsairs, the pressure was on for the Gauchos who struggled to stay alive in the face of SMC’s front line heat and power defenders. Hughes and fellow defender Megan Hauser battled on the back line to keep the Corsairs in the game despite the inconsistent offensive success. In the end Saddleback would steal another 23-25 nail-biter, ending the match altogether. Failure to keep formation in unfamiliar positions and the lack of effort among some of SMC’s players proved thematic throughout
the tournament, and led to another heartbreaking loss to Palomar in five sets in the following match. “Some players are okay with just trying,” said Coach Ryan. However, the Lady Corsairs are far from being down and out. With a week left until their first Conference game, the Corsairs still have time to fine-tune their game plan and establish a working lineup. “It’s all relative,” said Ryan, referring to the concept of trial-and-error. And since it holds true that defining yourself comes only through hard work, the volleyball squad is out to prove an old saying true; it’s not the size of the dog in the fight, but the size of the fight in the dog.
Moorpark, who reached the third round of the playoffs last season, was expected to be a tough team to beat. Coach Benditson concluded that the draw was satisfactory, and continues to remain positive about the team’s future. “We played a quality team, and I’m happy we got a positive result,” said Benditson. “We will be playing some
tough teams during the season, but I’m glad we have some experience under our belt and overall I think we’re ready for the challenges ahead.” The Lady Corsairs’ conference opener is an away game and is scheduled to take place this Tuesday at Citrus College, followed by their season’s first home game against Bakersfield College on Oct. 1st.
Lady Corsair soccer continues to knock on the door By Alvaro Escalante Staff Writer Santa Monica College’s Lady Corsair soccer team couldn’t end their streak of tie games, drawing level with Moorpark College on the road in their last pre-season matchup of the year. Last Friday the Lady Corsairs earned their third straight draw of the season by a score of 0-0 against the Moorpark Lady Raiders. Despite the low-scoring affair, Santa Monica and Moorpark kept fans on the edge of their seats as they battled to a stalemate. SMC’s rock-solid defense held the Raiders to only two shots on goal, as captain goalkeeper Alisa Sheldon thwarted both attempts by the opposition. Sheldon played superwoman throughout the entire match, with only her goaltending jersey hiding the “S” on her chest. Witty defensive tackles and broad-strength challenges provided by right back
Samantha Li further reinforced SMC’s ball-stopping power. Li, a freshman, showed no fear against the Raider strikers and defenders, also posing a threat as an attacking player once she moved up in the second half of play. “What do you do when a bull runs at you?” said Head Coach Aaron Benditson rhetorically to his players during the half. “You cut to the side and let him pass, boom, ole!” Li proved attentive as she responded with several impressive cuts in the second half, leaving the spectators in awe and more importantly providing chances to score. However, the back of the net seemed to elude the Lady Corsairs all throughout the game, a credit to the stellar defense of the Raiders. The ladies did not drive an hour inland to settle for a draw however, and they made that statement clear by turning up the volume at the end of the match. The Corsairs managed to maintain ball possession
for almost the entire last twenty minutes of the game, a trademark of well-played soccer. Although they had a few scares on defense as a result of Raider counter-attacks, Moorpark wouldn’t pose any legitimate threats. Ball control and occasional hip-twisting brilliance came from freshman Olivia Patterson. Patterson was the first option in free-kick takers, and nearly scored by just missing the post in a shot about 30 yards out in the sixtieth minute. The heartstrings of spectators were tugged in the last ten minutes, as each play hinted at a goal that just never came. Frustration settled upon the faces of the SMC squad as the referee signaled the end of the game. Players dawning the Corsair blue and white each looked down in disappointment, knowing they had opportunities to put a tally in the win column and take this one home.
Alvaro Escalante Corsair Despite multiple opportunities on goal, the Lady Corsairs failed to get one past the keeper at Moorpark City College last Friday afternoon.