Perfect start to Roseville season

By: Tom Kellar, Press-Tribune Sports Editor
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The new-look Roseville High School volleyball team got the 2008 season started with a bang on Thursday, whipping Casa Roble in straight games, 25-13, 25-21 and 25-17. This year’s Lady Tigers team has only four returning players from last year’s squad, which finished 6-22 overall. There are 11 new players to the Roseville varsity and nine are underclassmen. Coach Ron Grove is also back at the helm after taking a year off from coaching duties at the school. This will be Grove’s 22nd year to lead the Lady Tigers and if Thursday is any indication, the team has enough skill and depth to make some noise in the Sierra Foothill League. Unofficially, eight different Lady Tigers recorded kills with the majority of assists coming from setter and co-captain Lindsey Gallo. Roseville definitely has height and talent up front, as evidenced by the play of co-captain Stefanie Burkhead, Breanna Warnock, Stephanie Blumm, Kelsey Roland, Krystal Smith, Simone Durham, Katie Simon and Abbey Wade. Roseville was also the beneficiary of numerous Casa Roble service errors (10), many coming at crucial times during the match. Roseville put the first game away after leading 8-4, when Warnock served nine straight Roseville points, a stretch that included no Roseville kills. Casa Roble committed numerous unforced errors and was unable to regroup. Game two was extremely tight with both teams knotting the score 14 times. But with the score tied at 21, Roseville scored the game’s final four points, thanks to a kill by Smith off a set from Kali Lauhon and a block from Blumm. Game three was all Roseville as the Lady Tigers got off to a 7-1 lead and never looked back. Casa Roble was able to close the gap to 14-10, but got no closer. Highlights of game three were kills by Warnock, Smith, Durham and Wade and a block from Warnock. Roseville will try to improve to 2-0 in non-league play on Tuesday against a perennially tough Loretto High School team. The match should be a good indicator of the strengths and weaknesses of the Lady Tigers at this early juncture in the season.