The 2012 49ers Volleyball team is about as close to a lock for a playoff spot as can get, it would seem. With a team of seven returning players and three highly talented freshmen, the Niners would be hard pressed to be any better off this season. The Niners finished last season strong by going 12-2 in the Bay-Valley Conference and 17-5 overall, earning themselves a playoff berth.
Considering that last year’s team consisted of only three sophomores and seven freshmen, they exceeded expectations by far with such a young team. Now that those seven freshmen from last season are all veteran sophomores, the 2012 Niners volleyball team is looking as dangerous as ever.
When asked about the possibility of going undefeated, Sophomore Allison Foster responded, “I think so. To be honest, we probably could do it. Our biggest competition will be Napa and perhaps some other formidable teams such as Marin. It’s just a matter of coming out strong and playing our game. That’s what will ultimately decide how we do this season.”
“The funny thing is we really don’t have a distinguished leader or top contributor on this year’s team,” said head coach Greg Chapman when asked about who he would consider a top contributor for this year’s team, “To me, it’s a lot like the 2010 World Series Champion, the San Francisco Giants. I feel like we will get contributions from anyone and everyone whenever we need it. There really is no so-called ‘superstar’ on our team.”
What Coach Chapman says couldn’t be closer to the truth. After seeing these girls play in person, they are the real deal from all aspects of the court. You really don’t know who is going to hit you, nor where it will be from, and they all posses their own unique weapons to help dismantle an opposing team.
Whether it’s sophomore Libero Shaila Gidel making a point saving dig, followed by either sophomore Samantha or Allison Foster making the perfect set for either Katie Reiland or Emily Toledo to spike the ball right at the opposing team, it usually ends in a point for the 49ers. The interesting fact is though, is that there isn’t one girl on this team who can’t do one or more of these things at a high level. They are all more than proficient at what they do and most importantly, they are all one unit.
“The chemistry within the team is amazing, on and off the court. I feel like half of what makes us so good is the fact that our chemistry is so strong and we work so well together,” said sophomore Samantha Foster when asked about how well the team works together. “A lot of us have been playing together for several years now. The bond we have is extremely strong.”
They play not for themselves, but for the team as a whole. They play for each other. They play to win and keep winning. The only thing they have in mind is no less than a state championship. Anything else is failure. They are a more than determined group to say the least, and will stop at nothing to achieve their goal. All they want to do is win, no matter what it takes.
When asked how much of how much of an advantage it is to have such good chemistry, Sophomore Shaila Gidel responded, “I feel like not only are we all talented in many different positions, but also that we are a family and have been for a really long time.”
This is an exciting team to watch and I would urge anyone who enjoys the spirit of competition to come out and support the Yuba College Volleyball team whenever they can. I myself have been to every home game since the beginning of the 2011 season, and I can’t express enough how competitive these ladies are and how fun it is to watch them compete. I see them all having bright futures ahead of them, and bringing their talents far beyond what they are now, once they have finished at Yuba College and have moved on to the next level.
When asked about how he feels his girls will perform this season, Chapman responded, “These girls are hungry. They want to win. Not just for themselves, but for each other. They have more than enough talent and work ethic to do so. I can’t wait to see just where this season will lead us.”