Herlong's Lady Vikings volleyball teams are ready to strike
The Herlong Lady Vikings volleyball team works on serving during practice Tuesday, Aug. 27. Head coach Penny Thiels is looking forward to the season and is confident the Lady Vikings will play competitively.
Photo by Maddie Musante
Sept. 3 — The Herlong High School Lady Vikings volleyball team has been practicing hard to get ready for the upcoming season and head coach Penny Thiels believes it’s going to be a great one.
“They should do really well,” Thiels said during volleyball practice Tuesday, Aug. 27.
This year, there are more than 20 girls playing volleyball for the Herlong JV and varsity squads. Thiels says there are a lot of players who are new to the game, but also several whom she has coached throughout middle school.
“I’m so excited because I’ve got my eighth grade Play Day winners as freshman … so my JV team, we basically play everybody that we’ve already played as eighth graders, so I’m hoping that we should do pretty well,” she said.
The team’s first matches of the season will be at the Lassen High School Invitational Tournament on Saturday, Sept. 7 and Sunday, Sept. 8. After that, the Lady Vikings will travel to Downieville for a tournament and play several non-league games before facing Loyalton High School in a league game on Oct. 10.
Thiels is confident in the team's ability to compete in league matches and said, “I feel pretty good about it. I think league-wise, we’re going to do very well … I’m excited.”
Her only concern is facing teams who have new players or players her girls haven’t seen before.
“Greenville would probably be my only league game that I’m worried about,” she said.
However, by the time the team’s match against Greenville rolls around in mid-October, Thiels and the Lady Vikings will have had a lot of time to practice and hone their skills, something they have been doing every day after school.
Theils is thrilled with her players' dedication and competitive nature and has had no problem adjusting her coaching style to her mix of seasoned and novice players.
“They like to win … these girls seldom miss practice,” she said.
For a schedule of Herlong High School volleyball matches, see the Lassen County Times’ sports calendar.
Lassen Community College soccer comes out of the gate hot
The Lassen Community College men’s soccer team poses together at the beach during its trip to Salinas, Calif. to play Hartnell College in its first match of the season. Lassen won the game, 2-1, against Harnell, a team that was ranked 20th in the nation in pre-season rankings. Photos submitted
Aug. 29 — The men’s and women’s soccer teams of Lassen Community College traveled to play their first matches of the season Tuesday, Aug. 27 and proved they are a force to be reckoned with. The Cougars beat their opponent, Hartnell College, and the Lady Cougars tied with San Joaquin Delta.
The Cougars traveled to Salinas, Calif. to take on the Hartnell College Panthers, a team that made it to last year’s playoffs and ranked number 20 in the nation in pre-season rankings. Lassen beat the Cougars, 2-1, in a game head coach Ben Wade described as “back and forth.”
It was an eight-hour trip to get there, so the team didn’t hesitate when they had the opportunity to stretch and work out their muscles on the beach before the game. Apparently the beach workout was a good idea, as the Cougars, who were not ranked in pre-season, fought hard and claimed a victory over the Panthers.
“To go on the road and beat the 20th team in the nation for the first game of the season is a great thing to do,” Wade said, “I felt like we played a little shaky in the first half … in the second half our defense was much more organized.”
England natives Loong Ly and Krish Patel teamed up to allow Ly to score a goal, giving Lassen a 1-0 lead going into halftime. Dani Gonzalez, of Red Bluff, scored the second goal, with another assist from Patel, who Wade described as the “leader in the mid-field.” According to Wade, Josh Jirbandey “anchored the defense” for the Cougars. Another notable performance came from Oliver Rosa, the goalkeeper from France, who saved eight shots during the game.
Approximately 140 miles away, the Lady Cougars were also playing fiercely against the San Joaquin Delta Lady Mustangs, a team that beat Lassen, 8-1, last year.
According to Wade, the first 20 minutes of the game were tough for the Lady Cougars, who received an onslaught of aggressive offense from the Lady Mustangs. Luckily for Lassen, Barbara Lazarini was tending the goal. “She just had an outstanding game … she saved like 15 shots,” Wade said.
Then, the Lady Cougars made a comeback and began playing with an intensity to match their opponent.
“The team had to really just believe in themselves,” Wade said, “the girls stepped up to the plate.”
According to Wade, Julie “Brazil” Matos made a kick from about 35 yards out to score Lassen’s goal, tying the game.
On Wednesday, Aug. 28 the men’s team traveled to Monterey to take on Monterey Peninsula College. The Cougars came back from being down, 1-0, to win the match, 3-1. Jirbandey, Cozza Cosgrave and Soeren Gelbrecht each scored a goal for Lassen.
The Lady Cougar’s next match is tomorrow, Wednesday, Sept. 4 at Marin College. The men’s team plays Friday, Sept. 6 at Mt. San Antonio College.
Grizzliettes are ready for the school year after a successful summer
The Lassen High School drill team attended a United Spirit Association camp at Sacramento State from July 6 to July 9. This year’s team includes Jen Paez, back left, Miyjalyn Cauton, Aricka Pettengill, Makinzie Wheeler, Megan Rawson, Jodi Vicondoa, Jessica Nobles, Katie Turner, Rachel McCoy, McKenzie Jones, Morgan Raschein, Kylie Boucher, middle left, Heather McCoy, Megan Robbins, Morgan Arnold, Haley DelCarlo, Kaite Wallace, Gracie McCoy, Breanna Painter, Jordan Clark, Kyla Bosse, captains Kennedy Ford, front left, Ivanna Rose and Megan Pentridge. Photo submitted
Aug. 28 — The Lassen High School drill team has been busy over the summer and is now using the first few weeks of school to prepare for football season, as well as training to compete in this year’s regional competition.
The team, known as the Grizzliettes, held tryouts in May and will have 26 girls on the squad this year, about 12 of who are new members. The team’s captains are seniors Ivanna Rose and Megan Pentridge and junior Kennedy Ford.
The team only had about a week off after the school year ended before they began practicing to go to a United Spirit Association camp at Sacramento State. The Grizzliettes attended camp from Saturday, July 6 to Tuesday, July 9 and came away with several awards.
According to Grizzliettes coach Shelley Bennett, there were approximately 200 people at the camp and most of them were from schools in the Sacramento area.
During the camp, the Grizzliettes learned a camp dance, which was taught to all teams in attendance, and then were given the opportunity to learn three more routines in various style categories. The Grizzliettes were broken up in the three teams to learn different routines and all evaluated on their performance. The camp instructors picked two or three girls in their class who excelled and gave them a super sensational award. In team A, Ford, Breanna Painter and Gracie McCoy were awarded super sensational. Rose and Pentridge were recognized for being super sensational in team B and Katie Wallace, Jordan Clark, Kylie Boucher and Morgan Raschein were super sensational in team C.
“It was nice because we had a few of our new members be able to get that award,” Bennett said.
On the last day of the camp, a big awards ceremony was held where all the girls who were awarded super sensational ribbons got to compete by doing the camp dance for judges. The winners, named All-American, then advanced to the final competition. Ford, Rose and McCoy were all named All-American. Ford and McCoy made it to the top 10 in the final competition.
“It was great to for us to have two girls in that top 10,” Bennett said.
As a team, the Grizzliettes won the award for most improved and got the highest rating possible, a superior rating, when judged on their performance of the camp dance, as well as a dance they choreographed prior to camp. Their superior ratings earned them an invitation to perform at this year’s Pro Bowl.
However, camp wasn’t all about competition. The team spent the week doing team-building activities and bonding.
“We get to know each other a lot. It’s a lot of bonding put on by the camp, but also together. We have a door decorating contest and the captains and I get little presents for them everyday and put them out in front of their doors,” said Bennett.
The Grizzliettes got a short break after returning from camp and began practicing a few weeks ago to prepare for the upcoming season. Their first performance was at the Lassen High Grizz Feed on Friday, Aug. 23.
In addition to practicing for performances in front of their local crowd, the Grizzliettes are hard at work preparing for this year’s regional competition with the hope of making it to nationals.
“We’re trying to get to nationals this year, so we’re working earlier on our competition routine and hoping that we can make enough money and do well enough at our regional competition to get to nationals.”
The team will be holding a dance camp in September or October to raise money for competitions. The camp will be for children in kindergarten through sixth grade. Campers will spend a day working with the Grizzliettes, learning a dance routine that they will perform at a Lassen High School football game.
Lady Cougars volleyball begins playing this week
The Lassen Community College volleyball team has been practicing hard for the upcoming season. The team plays in its first tournament tomorrow, Wednesday, Aug. 28 in Alameda, Calif. Photo by Maddie Musante
Aug. 27 — The Lassen Community College Lady Cougars volleyball team will play its first tournament tomorrow, Wednesday, Aug. 28 and feels ready to take on its competition.
This year, the team has a new head coach, Amy Williamson, who has been hard at work preparing the team for the upcoming season. Williamson comes to Lassen College from the University of Nevada, Reno, where she was an assistant coach. Williamson has also coached at Tulane University where her squad qualified for the NCAA tournament and her 2010 recruiting class received national recognition.
In the time Williamson has spent working with the Lady Cougars, she has already seen the team grow and improve.
“We had double days all last week, so we got a lot better through the week. We saw a big growth from Monday to Friday and everyone was really excited about the progress that we’re making,” Williamson said during a Lady Cougars volleyball practice Monday, Aug. 19.
The Lady Cougars will be returning three sophomore players to their team. Betsy Guerrero is an outside hitter for the team and, according to Williamson, she will “be scoring a lot of points.”
Jordin Mullins will be returning in the middle position. “We expect pretty good things from her. She’s a really strong kid,” Williamson said of Mullins.
Also returning is Amanda Brenkus, who will complete with freshman Abbi Scheff for the setter position.
The Lady Cougars already have their schedule for the upcoming season and are looking forward to getting out there and sizing up the competition.
“I think for the first year for us everyone will be challenging. Just for us to see other teams and see the level and to be able to compare them … we’re not exactly sure about the level that we’re playing. So we think that we’ll be pretty good. We think we’ll be able to compete with most teams. All the girls are receptive to the coaching, but I don’t know, we’ll see,” Williamson said.
Despite not quite knowing what to expect from the competition, the players do have a big motivator, which is already drawing out their competitive edge. With a team of 16, many of the starting positions were still up for grabs when the team began practicing, meaning the players had to work hard and compete against one another to earn spots on the starting roster. Williamson sees this pressure as something that can only pay off when the Lady Cougars meet their opponents on the court.
“The strong points are just that we have a big team … so they’re going to be competing everyday in practice for positions and really get pushed from each other, so not just from coaches. They’re going to get pushed for their starting roles day in and day out at practice, and I think that’s going to be a big key,” she said.
When asked if she and her assistant coach, Nathan Hallett, have set any goals for the upcoming season, Williamson said, “Nate and I have just set the idea of getting better and being able to compete in every match, you know, and hopefully not going long stretches where we’re losing. We think by the time we get to conference though, we’ll be pretty solid. So we should do well in conference.” However, the team does hope its hard work, constant improvement and competitive play will earn them a spot in the top three in the Golden Valley Conference, Williamson added.
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