I was a bit nervous when I hadn’t heard from Sierra soccer coach Jason Gantt last night regarding his team’s huge game at Modesto. After all, the Pirates were the only Big 8 team to defeat the Wolverines this year - a 2-0 win over an injury-depleted Sierra team that was forced to use a forward in goal – and a win Tuesday night would inch Gantt’s team to the brink of a Big 8 championship.
A few minutes past 7:00pm, Gantt’s text arrived, “Won 1-0. Bravo goal, assist from Martell.” The win moved Sierra to 14-3-2, 9-1-2 in the Big 8, and gave them a four-point lead (three points for a conference win, one point for a tie) over seven-time defending champion Santa Rosa with two games left.
While nothing is ever certain in the crazy world of junior college athletics, a tie against either CRC or Sac City would give the Wolverines at least a share of the title. A win against the Hawks or the Panthers secures the outright Big 8 championship.
Back to Modesto for a moment. Brittany Bravo’s goal was her team-leading ninth of the year, while Meghan Martell’s assist gave her 19 points, second only to Bravo’s 23. Keeper Molly McConnell recorded her tenth shutout, which, according to what I can find on the CCCAA website, leads all NorCal goalies.
Sierra hosts CRC this Friday at 3:00pm at the Sierra Soccer Complex. It will be Sophomore Day and the regular season home finale. More importantly, it could be the day Sierra secures the first conference crown of the Jason Gantt era.
For a team with so much physical ability, just saying the Sierra College volleyball team is fighting for playoff positioning, rather than the Big 8 title, tonight when it hosts San Joaquin Delta is perplexing.
Vera Nelson’s Wolverines (17-6, 6-3 Big 8) are 6-5 in their last 11 matches, and they need a win tonight to secure a home playoff match. While the play of Madi Macauley and Haley Biles has been at All-NorCal and, possibly, All-State level, the productivity of the rest of the team has been as up-and-down as the team’s record.
Nelson needs a big match from her front-line players against the Mustangs (14-5, 7-2) tonight. Bieber, Campbell, Ellner, Hall, Pomeroy and Simon must block and hit like there’s no tomorrow because, in reality, there aren’t many tomorrows left for this talented, but underachieving squad. First serve is 6:30pm at The GoGo. We’ll see you there.