This season has been a battle in terms of numbers, but the Corsairs are gradually coming together on the volleyball court.
This weekend, the College of the Redwoods women will travel to San Bruno to play matches against both Skyline and Mission, and head coach Petra Lorenzi feels her players are showing improvement from week to week.
“We’re getting better every game,” said Lorenzi, who has only had seven or eight players available for every match.
The Corsairs recently got a much-needed boost with the return of Alondra Ledezma, the former Del Norte standout who has been battling medical issues.
“She’s been back with us two weeks and we’ve been working her back in,” Lorenzi said. “She’s doing well, and we’re hoping to get part-time work out of her.”
The former Del Norte Warrior enjoyed a strong freshman season at CR and brings more than just her talents to the court.
“Energy-wise, she’s got a loud voice that she’s not afraid to use on the court,” Lorenzi said.
The injured Sarah Malone is still out, but the head coach is hoping to have back soon, which will give the injury-depleted squad some much-needed cover.
Maddeoux, Campbell lead the offense
Two players who have been impressing early for the Corsairs are Ashlyn Maddeoux and Kaylin Campbell, who have been the team’s catalysts on offense.
Campbell has made some notable strides recently, finishing with 20 kills in a loss to Mendocino over the weekend.
“Kaylin made some big leaps this last weekend,” said Lorenzi, who has been working with the former Arcata Tiger on her technique. “We’ve been working to enable her to dominate on court like she’s capable of doing.”
Maddeoux, meanwhile, has been playing smart volleyball.
“She’s been doing a great job of just finding empty spots on the court,” Lorenzi said. “And making them try to defend her.”
As for the team, the head coach feels they’re coming together as a unit, despite their lack of depth and continual shuffling of players due to injuries.
“The biggest thing is just them as a team. They’ve been coming together a lot more as a team,” Lorenzi said. “Their communication as a team is getting better, and in the sport of volleyball communication is extremely crucial. And that’s a big part of the mental game.”
The Corsairs, who lost games against Mendocino, Porterville and Los Medanos at the Mendocino Classic over the weekend, are 0-8.
But they’re hoping to get that first win this weekend when they play Skyline and Mission on Friday.
“Both of these teams are teams that are beatable for us,” the head coach said. “We’re not getting killed in games, we’ve just got to figure out how to finish.”
The CR women play their first home game in early October.
Ray Hamill writes at humboldtsports.com, where you can read lots more about sports in Humboldt County.