BAKERSFIELD, CA – The Bakersfield College Women's Volleyball team has earned some success in the past couple of seasons. Three back-to-back WSC conference championships to be exact, and are looking for a four-peat in the 2019-20 season. Last year's post season run was nothing but short of accomplishments and new records as the Renegades advanced as far as the 2018 CCCAA Women's Volleyball State Championships but fell short to Fresno City College in the first round.
"Every year is a new year. You are always looking to create what's next," said Coach Carl Ferreira the 2018 California Community College Women's Volleyball Coaches Association (CCCWVCA) Coach of the Year and 2018 Western State Conference (WSC) South Coach of the Year "As a coach you're always trying to reinvent yourself from the previous season, you are not wanting to stay the same."
The Renegades only have eight returning players this season. Ferreira notes these athletes will be playing a massive role for the freshman not only because they have a year in college athletics under their belts, but also, they will help shape and keep the culture of the team.
Fortunately, Coach Carl has the bulk of his talent back defensively. Outside hitters Lanie Camarillo, who led the 'Gades last season in kills (4.03/set), and Penelope Zepeda, who was close behind with (3.50/set) are returning. Also coming back is middle blocker Ryan Bayne, who had an impressive 70 block assists and 11 solo blocks.
Another returner, not to be forgotten, is the 2018 WSC South Libero of the year, Jessica Merante, who led the conference with 412 digs and averaged 4.63/set. Unfortunately, the Renegades will need a little help in the setting position after WSC South Player of the Year and AVCA 1st Team All-American, Sarah Armendariz, moved on to Southern Illinois University Edwardsville. Coach Ferreria is confident freshmen Francesca Hernandez and Sophia Palm will be able to transition smoothly into that spot.
Ferreira does not feel the pressure of last year's success because the focus of the team is one game at a time. He teaches the team not to focus on the opponent and has the athletes play by certain standards to establish priority and keep consistency with the opposition. "I am a present type of guy and I coach the same way; the past years are gone. This is the most important team I have coached in my life because it's the only one I can give energy to right now," as he explained why winning a fourth conference title or not, will not hinder the teams level of play.
The Renegades and Coach Ferreira would like the community to support the student athletes and knows they have a good product to put out on the court. Bakersfield College's first match of the season will take place at home featuring a double header on August 31st against Mt. San Antonio at 10am followed by Fullerton College at 2pm.