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Women’s volleyball finishes co-WSC champions

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Moorpark College’s Women’s Volleyball team defeated Ventura College in their final conference game of the season. The Raiders were announced Western State Conference champions after the home game on Nov. 8, a title they share with Santa Barbara City College.

Volleyball players in the photo: 
Danel Schilder, Sophia Rapmund, Carly Morlan, Moran Olsan, Peyton Quintana, Lexie Wolfe, Miranda Poole, Lilia Tokadzhyoun, Emily Katz, Amy Harutunian, Kiahna Franco, Jessica Grogg, Caitlyn Knutson, Amanda Collett and Jacquelyn Eicker Photo credit: Julia Glass

Moorpark College’s Women’s Volleyball team defeated Ventura College in their final conference game of the season. The Raiders were announced Western State Conference champions after the home game on Nov. 8, a title they share with Santa Barbara City College. Volleyball players in the photo: Danel Schilder, Sophia Rapmund, Carly Morlan, Moran Olsan, Peyton Quintana, Lexie Wolfe, Miranda Poole, Lilia Tokadzhyoun, Emily Katz, Amy Harutunian, Kiahna Franco, Jessica Grogg, Caitlyn Knutson, Amanda Collett and Jacquelyn Eicker Photo credit: Julia Glass

Moorpark College’s Women’s Volleyball team defeated Ventura College in their final conference game of the season. The Raiders were announced Western State Conference champions after the home game on Nov. 8, a title they share with Santa Barbara City College. Volleyball players in the photo: Danel Schilder, Sophia Rapmund, Carly Morlan, Moran Olsan, Peyton Quintana, Lexie Wolfe, Miranda Poole, Lilia Tokadzhyoun, Emily Katz, Amy Harutunian, Kiahna Franco, Jessica Grogg, Caitlyn Knutson, Amanda Collett and Jacquelyn Eicker Photo credit: Julia Glass

Eric Caldwell

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The Raiders took a share of the 2017 Western State Conference Northern Division title on Nov. 8, after they swept Ventura College, improving to (7-1) in conference and an overall record of 12-6.

Entering conference play, Moorpark College sat at (5-5), because of a rigorous non-conference schedule that included losses to some of the top teams in the state- (College of the Canyons, Bakersfield and LA Pierce twice).

According to the California Community College Women’s Volleyball Coaches Association Rankings, those teams all ranked in the top five for the entire season.

Even though these games may have ended in defeat, the Raiders showed they could compete with the best teams in California.

They did however, defeat ranked opponents Cypress College and Butte College during their non-conference schedule. Both Cypress and Butte ended the season ranked in the top 25, at 17 (Cypress) and 20 (Butte) respectively, according to California Community College Women’s Volleyball Coaches Association Rankings.

By the time league came around, Moorpark had already played the best teams they would play all year in preparation to beat conference rival Santa Barbara Community College. On Oct. 18, the Raiders upset SBCC 3-1 to give them a chance of running the table.

The Raiders would remain undefeated in conference play until their rematch with SBCC. In the grudge match, Moorpark was swept by SBCC. Even with the loss to SBCC, the Raiders were still in control of their destiny.

If Moorpark won their last game against Ventura College at worst they would end up sharing the Northern Division title with SBCC as both teams finished (7-1).

With an impressive end to the season, Moorpark was able to win nine out of their last 11 games making up for their 1-4 record to start the year.

First-year head coach Adam Black was awarded the the WSC Northern coach of the year, according to Moorpak College Athletics.

Seven freshmen Raider players recieved end of the year honors. Freshman outside hitter Miranda Poole, was first team All-WSC North and named co-Player of the Year.

It has been over five years since a Moorpark College player earned player of the year honors. Similar to this year, Karissa Flack won Player of the Year in 2011 along side now retired head coach Steve Burkhart, who also won Coach of the Year honors that same year.

Along with Poole, freshmen defensive specialist Danel Schilder and middle Emily Katz were also selected for first-team ALL-WSC North. Freshmen outside hitter Lexi Wolf and defensive specialist Kiahna Franco were second-team selections and freshmen setters Carly Morlan and Amanda Collet earned honorable mentions.

On Nov. 21, the Raiders played in the first round of the SoCal Regional State playoffs as the no. 12 seed against familiar foe LA Pierce, the no. 5 seed.

In a thrilling match, the Raiders lost in the fifth and final set 13-15. After the first three sets were played, Moorpark was ahead 2-1.

In the decisive fourth set, LA Pierce was able to force a final set winning the fourth set in an intense 27-25 game. Tied at 2-2 in the final set the Raiders were unable to outlast LA Pierce, losing 13-15.

Although the Raiders had an earlyexit from the playoffs, they could potentially see the return of 11 out of their 15 players on the roster next season.

If Poole, Schilder, Katz, Wolf, Franco, Morlan and Collet all return for their sophmore seasons; the Raiders will go from a young team filled with a majority of freshmen to a team stacked with sophmores and playoff experience.

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