Week 4 & 5 Recap: Renegades Go 3-3 In Unusual Schedule

The Renegades snap a pic with Ohlone College President/Superintendent and superfan Dr. Eric Bishop after the five-set thriller versus Solano College.
The Renegades snap a pic with Ohlone College President/Superintendent and superfan Dr. Eric Bishop after the five-set thriller versus Solano College.

Versus Solano College

As the Renegades headed into week 4 of the season with only one match during the prior week, the ladies prepared for their only match this week with one of the top teams of the Bay Valley Conference in Solano College to make a visit to Epler Gymnasium. A couple weeks of having only one match had served the Renegades well as they recovered from some injuries and fatigue resulting from previous weeks of multiple tournaments and back-to-backs. The Renegades jumped on the Falcons early, tallying a team total of 13 kills and a first set victory of 25-14. But the Falcons returned the favor with an even stronger response in the second set, holding the Renegades to a match low 5 kills and a -0.024 hitting percentage and taking the second set with a lopsided victory of 25-9. Both teams seemed to settle down in the following sets as they traded off points. Despite the Renegades tallying a match high 16 kills and a 0.311 hitting percentage as a team, Solano would end up taking the third set with a narrow victory of 25-22. It wasn't looking good for the Renegades as the teams continued to trade points and sideouts through the fourth and fifth sets, but even in the face of multiple match points the ladies would rally back through their defense (105 digs) and eventually take the narrow win in in five sets (25-15, 9-25, 22-25, 25-23, 15-13).

Ohlone College Classic Rescheduled

A COVID issue from earlier in the season combined with the college's current policies at the time forced the Renegades to reschedule the Ohlone College Classic Tournament to a Monday, which is not one of the usual days of competition. Aside from the unusual day of competition, it would also give the Renegades the challenge of five matches in six days, two of which were back-to-back with a tournament the day after a night match. However, if we've learned anything through this time of competing during a pandemic, it's that we need to be flexible and take our opportunities when they are presented. As expected, the Golden Eagles of Feather River College came out with a lot of energy to back up the firepower of their offense. The Renegades hung with the defending state champions (2019) through set 1, but the Golden Eagles offense combined with the Renegades losing their starting setter midway through set 2 proved to be too high of a mountain to climb. Feather River would eventually take the match in straight sets (25-19, 25-11, 25-13).

In match #3 of the Ohlone College Classic, the Rams of Gavilan College would make the trip up from garlic country to what has been Ram dominated Epler Gymnasium over recent history. Not since 2016 has Gavilan lost one set to the Renegades, and not since 2014 have the Rams lost a match to the Renegades. The Renegades were desperate not to let history repeat itself as they came out firing in the first set, tallying a match high 17 kills and a 0.264 hitting percentage to take set one. 7 service aces as a team and 34 kills combined from outside hitters Clare Mannion Deal and Marlene-Alexia Perez de Vilchez would eventually lead the Renegades to a historic straight sets win over the Rams (25-20, 25-15, 25-23). 

@ College of San Mateo

The Renegades would open up Coast Conference North play on the road with a visit across the bay to College of San Mateo. The first two sets would start very similarly as the Renegades jumped out to early leads in both sets. The Renegades' serving kept the ladies in reach of the Bulldogs towards the latter half of each set, but the Bulldogs' serving combined with the offensive contributions of outside hitter Naomie Cremoux would ultimately take CSM to the win in straight sets (25-21, 25-21, 25-15)

Renegade Classic Tournament

The final non-conference competition of the regular season for the Renegades would also serve as the final tournament of the regular season, but an afternoon first serve after a tough conference match the evening before may not have been the best scheduling idea. As excited as the Renegades were to take on Shasta College in the first match of their final regular season tournament, Ohlone came out flat and struggled to get any rhythm going in their offense. Meanwhile, the Knights of Shasta College hit match highs in both the first and second sets with a 0.400 hitting percentage. Ultimately, the Knights front row play and defense was too much for the Renegades to handle, and Shasta would take the match in straight sets (25-17, 25-19, 25-15).

The final match of the tournament would preview as an interesting one. The Renegades suffered a demoralizing lost to Shasta College in match #1, but Folsom Lake College would take the Knights to five sets and eventually win match #2 of the tournament. The Renegades were determined not to have another showing like in match #1, and their offense showed it as they jumped out to an early lead in set one and never looked back. On a match high 14 kills and a 0.323 hitting percentage in set one, the Renegades would take the early lead in convincing fashion. However, the Falcons were not to be counted out as their offense came back in set two. The teams would trade points throughout the following two sets, each narrowly taking a set by only two points in extras (27-25, 25-27). Set four started just as tight as the previous two sets, but the Renegade offense lead by team captain Clare Mannion Deal (21 kills), combined with the defense led by libero Dana Lo (17 digs), would prove to be a little too much for the Falcons to combat. The Renegades would take this final match of the tournament 3-1 (25-13, 27-25, 25-27, 25-17)

Looking Ahead...

Week 6 of the 2021 regular season starts to see the Renegades' schedule normalize with matches at the regularly scheduled days and times of Wednesdays and Fridays at 6:30pm. The Renegades hope to sweep the upcoming home stand as they take on the Panthers of Hartnell College on Wednesday, October 6, followed by the Jaguars of San Jose City College on Friday, October 8. First serve for both matches will be at 6:30pm, taking place in historic Epler Gymnasium. Spectators are now allowed for Renegade home matches! However, all visitors to the college must now follow the new Ohlone College vaccine mandate that went into effect September 30. It requires proof of full vaccination to attend events on campus. Those who cannot attend in-person are welcome to check out the Ohlone Volleyball YouTube Channel to see all home matches livestreamed.