ROCKVILLE — It’s a matter of doing the math.
Making the playoffs is always the goal for the Solano Community College volleyball team, and that means finishing first or second in the Bay Valley Conference.
“Our goal is to always finish in the top two of BVC,” said Falcons coach Darla Williams. “I’d prefer No. 1. We just have to compete on the court. Only our top two teams move onto (the) playoffs.”
Solano will make the attempt with only one returning starter, sophomore Danielle Thelen (Vacaville High), who moves from setter to outside hitter.
Most of the other starters are returning sophomores who have moved into the lineup. They include outside hitter Hope Grace (Rodriguez), setter Selina Castro (Rodriguez), right-side hitter Brittany Smith (Rodriguez) and middle hitter Janelle Williams (Vacaville).
New to the team are middle hitter Gabrielle Silva (Vanden), setter Vanessa Pimental (Bethel), defensive specialist Keanna Layug (Bethel), right-side hitter Brianna Krystek (Rodriguez), right-side and middle hitter Makayla Salazar (Rodriguez) and defensive specialist Alexis Myers (Benicia).
“I think the strength of the team is the depth we have in both offense and defense,” Williams said. ”This is a strong first-year group of players coming in. They will be big assets to the sophomore group. All the girls have club experience along with their high school teams, so this adds a great dimension on our offense and defense.”
Williams sees communication and execution as factors in determining the Falcons’ fate this season.
“A challenge will always be getting 11 players to pull it all together at the same time,” Williams said. “Our chemistry will be key, so working together as a team is a must. We are well on our way. Preseason is set up to challenge us and allow us to see some of the best teams in Northern California, so the next two weeks are critical for us to start putting it together.”
The Falcons officially open the season Friday by hosting the Solano Classic, featuring Sacramento City, Sierra and Napa Valley.
As always, Williams sees Napa Valley and Yuba as the toughest competition in the BVC, though she expects challenges from Los Medanos and Alameda as well.
Solano can’t afford to finish behind more than two of them if its wants to make the playoffs and attain its goal.
“I think we can meet these goals with a full team effort, constant energy and motivation in daily practices,” Williams said. “I am very pleased with this group of young ladies and see great things in their futures.”
Reach Paul Farmer at 425-4646, ext. 264, or email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/pfarmedr.