College of Marin Volleyball Coach Lisa Gera has waited a long time for her first game at the helm. Hired in January, Coach Gera used her time to build a squad suited to compete for the Bay Valley Conference title. Her team, armed with several talented freshman, passed its first test on Wednesday as they won their first match of the season 3-1 over San Jose City College.
The Mariners got the jitters out early as they easily pushed pass San Jose City College in the first set by a score of 25-16 and in the second set by a 25-10 score. The third and potential clinching set was a bit more troublesome as the Mariners controlled it, but ultimately allowed a comeback by San Jose who won the set 26-24.
Down, but not out, the Mariners rallied and put the match away with a convincing 25-16 fourth and final set for the victory.
Coach Gera was very pleased with her team after the match, "I was really proud of our team tonight, we showed a lot of resiliency and fighting spirit." Though the team had a chance for a sweep she was upbeat and pleased with the way they responded, "After dropping the third set we showed poise and stuck to the game plan." The game plan certainly worked as the team earned its first win of the year.
Alejandra Leon, product of Sir Francis Drake High School, led the way for the Mariners with 15 kills and added 17 digs. Coach Gera expressed how impressed she was with Leon's skill and ability as well as her arm speed. Setter Sarah Harris had 35 assists and 10 digs while her sister Emma added eight kills and 13 digs of her own.
The 2017 Mariners squad is composed of all freshman who have the opportunity to grow with each over the next two seasons.
Middle Blocker Salomi Galodamu, from Terra Linda High School "is very athletic and a force to be reckoned with" according to Gera, Galodamu had three blocks in her team debut on Wednesday.
For Gera, with Assistant Coach Olivia Urban, "Our goal as a program is to embody a growth mindset, make each day a masterpiece, and take care of the things that we can control on our side of the net. We may be an undersized team, but our ball control and first contact is our strength."
Given the early results, the team is on the right track.