The San Diego Mesa women’s volleyball team defeated Imperial Valley College, 3-1, to clinch the 2018 Pacific Coast Athletic Conference championship. This is the first time since 2007 that the Olympians hold the conference title outright. In 2013, Mesa College shared the title with Grossmont College.
The Olympian’s 25-22, 21-25, 25-22, 25-16 win brings their unblemished conference record to 9-0. With their 3-0 victory against Southwestern the week before, the Olympians had at least secured a share of the title.
“It has been a few years since we finished first in conference and even longer since we have been outright champs,” states head coach Bobbie Jo Stall. “We have aimed to get back to the very top. Mesa has been a respected program for quite a few years and this continues a tradition of excellence.”
After three consecutive losses in September, things were looking dim for Mesa. Injuries and lack of playing as a cohesive unit continued to haunt the team with hard fought losses. With numerous starters nursing injuries, coaches had a daunting task of finding a lineup that flowed. The key to success was finding options on how to showcase the strengths of each player on the team. Once the players bought into their assigned role, the losses quickly turned into an eleven-game win streak.
“The coaches did a great job keeping us together,” states sophomore defensive specialist Dahlia Jazzo. “We struggled out of the gates, but they kept believing in us and once we got the right combination, we all started playing better.”
With the conference title secured, the women move forward to crossover matches starting in November 7 vs. Mt. San Jacinto College and against Mira Costa College on November 14. The goal is to move on to state and continue playing until December.
“This team works under pressure and never gets rattled. The coaching staff and I knew we had something special during the first scrimmage of the season,” states Stall. “Even with injuries and our struggles at the beginning of the season, the team stayed together. Everyone on this team brings a necessary element to the success of the program. All the credit goes to each player.’