Local seniors headline all-league volleyball
Coaching volleyball in the Sierra Foothill League is a nightmare of a challenge.
An Oakmont team that has fared quite well outside of league play in recent seasons is exhibit A in that regard. First-year Viking head coach Rachael Ramsey saw her team win nearly half of its matches overall despite going just 2-10 in SFL play.
Sierra Foothill League teams reached at least the second round of postseason play in Division I (Nevada Union), Division II (Rocklin, Roseville and Granite Bay) and Division III (Del Oro), and four of those teams were eliminated only after a battle with the eventual section champion.
With that as a backdrop, the selection of an all-league team in SFL volleyball is a monumental task, and the league’s coaches obviously are unable to narrow it down to the top seven in your typical volleyball lineup.
The coaches voted the league’s top honors to Dave Muscarella (Rocklin – coach of the year) while Rocklin’s Lauren Orozco and Nevada Union’s Abbie Miraldi split the player of the year award.
Here in this area, Roseville and Granite Bay each placed two players on the first team.
The Tigers are represented by seniors Katie Simon and Morgan Diminyatz.
Katie would single-handedly dominate games at the net and was rarely beaten on a ball near the net,” said Roseville coach Ron Grove. “She changed how other teams attacked us. They did not want to hit near her and she was able to seal off enough of the court with her block so we had less area to cover on defense. Many college coaches asked about her and were disappointed to find out she was going to Nebraska for basketball.”
Morgan was the heart and soul of our team,” Grove said. “An inspirational leader on and off the court, she supplied fire and desire for our team. She was fearless on the court. Morgan covered a lot of ground on defense at the middle back position that required her to read where the opponents’ hitters were hitting and get into position to make the dig.”
A senior duo from Granite Bay is also part of the first unit, as Karli Pedone and Brielle Fisher were selected as well.
Pedone is an all-around player who was particularly dominant at the net. She will be moving on to play volleyball on scholarship at the University of Seattle.
Fisher was the Grizzlies’ setter, and her playmaking was a key to a strong regular season and postseason run by Granite Bay.
While Oakmont did not win as many league games as it would have liked, senior middle blocker Maddie Lozano was an overwhelming presence at the net. Lozano has turned her skill in the middle into a scholarship opportunity next year at the University of Arizona.
“Maddie was essential for us at the net blocking,” Ramsey said. “When she would get a block the excitement and energy of the team would come together.”
A number of other local players earned honorable mention at the end of an exciting season on the court.
2009 All-SFL girls volleyball team:
Coach of the year: Dave Muscarella, Rocklin
Players of the year:
Lauren Orozco, Rocklin
Abbie Miraldi, Nevada Union
Katie Simon, Roseville
Morgan Diminyatz, Roseville
Karli Pedone, Granite Bay
Brielle Fischer, Granite Bay
Maddie Lozano, Oakmont
Ellie Selleck-Nevada Union
Tessa Butterfield-Nevada Union
Kate Kessler-Del Oro
Belle Obert-Del Oro
Emily Mattevi-Del Oro
Roseville/Granite Bay area honorable mention:
Simone Durham, Roseville
Jessica Richardson, Roseville
Kali Lauhon, Roseville
Sheralynn Johnson, Granite Bay
Rachelle Kinney, Granite Bay
Melissa Luke, Oakmont
Johnna Franks, Woodcreek