Rams Dominate Reedley in Straight Set Victory


Photo by: Ben Hensley

Sophomore pin hitter Julie Castleman goes up for the kill during the Rams’ dominant 3-0 set victory over the Reedley Tigers on Oct. 2, 2019. The Rams have now won 117 consecutive conference matches, and will go for their 118th on Wednesday when they take on the Porterville Pirates at 6 p.m. at the FCC gymnasium.

Story By: Ben Hensley, Sports Editor

Rams’ volleyball continued their torrid start to the season, dispatching the Reedley College Tigers in straight sets on Wednesday, Oct. 2, improving to 16-2. The win was the 116th consecutive conference victory for the Rams, and the 12th set sweep of the season.

“When we came out we were like, ‘we’re gonna give them respect; we’re gonna treat them with our best,’” said sophomore setter Brooke Gonsalves. “Having a very strong mindset is something that our team has been doing really well.”

The Rams opened the match in prime form, quickly dealing with the Tigers 25-3 in the first set; the only three points given up on service changes between the Rams and Tigers.

The following set saw slightly more offense from the Tigers, as several missed serves from the Rams fell in the Tigers’ favor. The end result was another Rams’ set, this time by a score of 25-11.

The third and final set saw little resistance, as a clearly worn down Reedley team was only able to muster three points, drawing the match to a close on the heels of another Rams’ 25-3 set.

“We can’t do our offense without our defense and we know that, so we always try to celebrate when they get good ups and they do stuff good,” Gonsalves said.

Playing against a significantly outnumbered Tigers squad, the Rams were able to give some needed rest to regular starters such as sophomore pin hitters Marina Gonzalez and Kimiah Johnson, giving way to bench reserve players against an outnumbered Reedley team. Gonzalez and Johnson played only one set each.

The Tigers on the other hand traveled with only one bench player, who rotated on and off the court periodically as the match wore on.

The added depth that the Rams possess allowed legs on the court to stay fresh while giving game time experience to some of the younger players.

“Our defense is spectacular and I know I speak for everybody when I say that,” Gonsalves said.

Defensively, the fresh legs paid off, with the Rams holding the Tigers to less than 25 points for the duration of the entire contest.

“They have good vision, and they understand the game,” head coach Kieran Roblee said following the win. “If you can understand the game pretty well, you’re gonna be pretty good on defense.”

Sophomore pin hitter Julie Castleman led a well balanced offensive attack, picking up nine kills on the night on 18 total attempts. She also tallied four digs defensively.

Freshman pin setter Julia Pagani led the team with 18 digs defensively. She also led the team in serve attempts with 15, four of which for aces.

The Rams spread the stats around, getting 15 players time on the floor throughout the match.

“I think we were very steady from start to the finish tonight,” Roblee said. “There weren’t any lapses with our fundamentals and our skill sets.”

The Rams faced off against West Hills Coalinga, defeating them 3-0 in straight sets as well, Friday, Oct. 4. Though the Falcons put up more offense, testing the Rams further than the Tigers, FCC maintained their dominance, improving to 117 consecutive conference victories.

Now 17-2, the Rams look to continue their undefeated streak in conference play when they take on the Porterville Pirates. Porterville comes into the matchup at 7-8, with a 2-3 record in conference play.