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Women’s beach volleyball are Western State Conference champs in inaugural season

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Moorpark College women's beach volleyball are posing with the famous MC Raiders banner after becoming Western State Conference champions. The Raiders defeated Ventura College 3-2 to win the title on April 20, 2018. Photo credit: Ryan Ketcham

Moorpark College women's beach volleyball are posing with the famous MC Raiders banner after becoming Western State Conference champions. The Raiders defeated Ventura College 3-2 to win the title on April 20, 2018. Photo credit: Ryan Ketcham

Moorpark College women's beach volleyball are posing with the famous MC Raiders banner after becoming Western State Conference champions. The Raiders defeated Ventura College 3-2 to win the title on April 20, 2018. Photo credit: Ryan Ketcham

By Ryan Ketcham

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Moorpark College women’s beach volleyball earned the title of 2017-2018 Western State Conference Champions in their inaugural season.

Women’s beach volleyball closed out their season with a 3-2 victory over Ventura College and a 4-1 loss to Bakersfield College at California State University Bakersfield on Friday, April 20, 2018. The Raiders finished the regular season with an 11-3 overall record and a 9-1 conference record while winning nine of their last 10 games. Head coach of women’s beach volleyball Adam Black was happy about reaching this goal.

“I might be lying if I didn’t say that a conference title did not mean anything, especially with this being our first year,” said Black.

The Raiders not only won the WSC title for women’s beach volleyball in their first season competing, but they did so while only obtaining two sophomores out of the 12 athletes and doing so with a first-year coach at Moorpark College. Most of the team however, did have time to build some chemistry prior to the beach volleyball season since nine of them played together on the Co-WSC North champion indoor women’s volleyball team that was also coached by Black.

Moorpark College women’s beach volleyball player Peyton Quintana, who was on the indoor and beach volleyball teams, enjoyed the total team chemistry that was formed with these women.

“We are like a big family, everyone gets along very well,” Quintana said. “We kind of just came together perfectly, everyone just meshes well.”

Since women’s beach volleyball is only in its third season as a California Community College Athletic Association sport and its first year at Moorpark College, the Raiders had to travel to the surrounding cities of Simi Valley and Newbury Park practice a sand courts. Many competing campuses had the same problem, so the games also had to be hosted at different venues such as CSUB and the Ventura Marina.

Miranda Poole attack

Women's beach volleyball freshman Miranda Poole goes up for the attack against the Bakersfield Renegades at California State University of Bakersfield. Photo credit: Ryan Ketcham

The team did not mind where they had to play, but rather they just focused on being effective enough in their practices to play at their highest level.

“In my practices, we play a lot,” Black said. “I think that has been a huge cornerstone to our success because now they can figure out how to play this game.”

These practices with lots of playing were necessary this season due to many of the players only being familiar with the indoor style of play. Not only are these players transitioning from playing on hard-wood courts to sand courts, but they have to learn a style of playing with only two people out on the court. Women’s beach volleyball and indoor volleyball player Alexis Wolf displayed some differences that had to be faced.

“Beach requires you to be a lot more versatile,” Wolf said. “You need to be able to pass, set, hit, block and sprint across the court to get a ball as well because there are only two of you.”

This tremendous success has a great deal to do with the players, but without the structure of the practice or even the research put into their play by Coach Black, this team may be in a different position.

“He is a great coach,” said Sophia Rapmund, Moorpark College women’s beach and indoor volleyball player. “He is a good mentor and is a good person to talk to, he gives great advice.”

With the WSC title, the Moorpark Raiders will be advancing to the team playoffs along with the pairs playoffs. The team playoffs is a culmination of the team effort with all 12 players rotating out on the sand court. The pairs playoffs are where the separate two player teams, multiple from each college, go through a playoff system as if they were a separate school in themselves facing another. The team state finals are on May 10, 2018 and the Pairs state tournament is on May 11 and 12.

Volleyballs

Moorpark College women's beach volleyball finished their season with an 11-3 overall record. Photo credit: Ryan Ketcham

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