Sierra Sports Insider: Midterm report card for Sierra’s fall teams

By: Matt Folsom Posted in: Business Applied Academics and Physical Education
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Midterms are upon us as we enter the eighth week of the fall semester. Likewise, most of Sierra’s fall sports teams are at or near the halfway point of their seasons. Before we take a look at each team’s “progress report”, please note the combined record of Sierra’s teams so far is 34-15-1, with a pair of teams in first and three in second in the Big 8. Hard to find another NorCal school with that kind of across the board success.

Let’s take a brief look at the teams, starting with the programs atop the standings:

Soccer

Overall record: 8-3-1, Big 8: 3-1-1; tied with Santa Rosa for first in the Big 8; Ranked 8th in California, 3rd in NorCal

Coach Jason Gantt’s team has had to weather a grueling schedule and the loss of numerous key players to injury, including BOTH goalkeepers, Molly McConnell and Celene Johnson. Five other players—Bizzy Baldwin, Adrienne Black, Rachel Dortch, Marissa Griffin, and Vicki Millan—have had season-ending injuries or have missed multiple games due to injuries. But, this team keeps winning.

Meghan Martell and Brittney Bravo are third in the conference in goals (5) and points (11), while Jasmin Lopez is second in assists (6). McConnell is #2 in saves (46) and save % (.868), and Carissa Schlesinger in second in shots (23).

Women’s Water Polo

Overall record: 5-2, Big 8: 3-0; tied with ARC for first in the Big 8

Keeper Brittany Tyra, attacker Annie Harriman and utility player Hannah Jarvis lead this deep, aggressive Wolverine team. Coach Scott Decker has the team primed for a deep playoff run.

Women’s Golf

Second in the Big 8, 10 strokes behind Modesto

April Chang, who may be the best JC golfer in the state, has led Coach Kim Silva’s Wolverines all season. Her 77.38 average score is tops in the conference and in NorCal. She shot a 67 on 10/14, which, according to my research, is the lowest score in the state this year and may be one of the lowest scores ever in the CCCAA.

Chang is not alone in the team’s success, however. Teammates Jodi Finkelstein, Allyson Koehler, Michelle Latini and Lexus Peterson make the Wolverines one of the top teams in NorCal.

Volleyball

Overall record: 13-4, Big 8: 2-1; second in Big 8, one match behind ARC; Ranked 15th in California, 6th in NorCal

This is a team of unlimited potential, capable of capturing the Big 8 crown and going deep in the playoffs. Coach Vera Nelson’s Wolverines have been inconsistent since late September and they must recapture the cohesiveness that helped them go 8-0 to start the year.

Madi Macauley and Haley Biles have had all-star seasons so far. Macauley leads the Big 8 in assists per set (9.48), but her all-around play is drawing the attention of D1 programs. Biles is the runaway leader in digs (385) and digs per set (6.88), and has been Sierra’s leader on defense. Freshman Jen Simon leads the Big 8 in hitting % (.411) and is third in kills (178), while Brittany Campbell is third in hitting % (.378).

Men’s Water Polo

Overall record: 5-4, Big 8: 1-2; tied for second in Big 8

Coach Chris Breitbart’s Wolverines have been paced by freshman goalie Tyler Copley, freshman center Austin Stewart and freshman utility player Matt Fors. This young Sierra team has had its ups and downs, most notably a heartbreaking 16-14 OT loss at San Joaquin Delta last week.

Football

Overall record: 3-2, Valley Conference: 0-0; open at Fresno City 10/19; Ranked 23rd in California, 9th in NorCal

But for a narrowly missed FG at the end of regulation that would have won the game against Sac City in the season opener, Coach Ben Noonan’s team could be 4-1. These Wolverines have shown amazing toughness: a last-minute win over Feather River; a program-defining triumph at De Anza after getting blown out the week before at home by Siskiyous; a big homecoming win over Foothill last week.

Daniel Harding tops Valley Conference QBs in passing yards per game (270) and passing TDs (13), Calvin Burns is fourth in rushing yards per game (63), and Austin Wyatt-Thayer is second in tackles per game (11). DB RaShawn DuPree has a 92-yard kick return and a 70-yard pick-six.

Across Sierra College

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