Injuries vex womens volleyball as conference games start

Patrick Loera

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Photo by Maria Laura Miramon / TIMES STAFF                             From right: No. 5 Samantha Ybarra and No. 14 Dania Carrilo team up for a block during their match against West Valley on Sept. 26 at SJCC.

The San Jose City College women’s volleyball team stays dedicated as it begins conference games with a thinning bench.

“We have had a tough start that has been plagued by injuries,” head coach Tait Rafat said.

With three players temporarily out and one who will be out for the rest of the season, the Jaguars are concentrating on their strengths rather than their thin bench, Rafat said.

“Conference is important. First and second place teams go to playoffs. That is everyone’s goal,” Rafat said.

The Jaguars are 1-9 in nonconference games and 0-2 in conference games.

“Having that record isn’t going to stop us from trying hard and giving it our all every time we’re on the court,” freshman defensive specialist Felicia Segura said.

The first win of the season came during the SJCC invitational volleyball tournament when the Jaguars beat Skyline College, three sets to one.

“Our biggest strength is zero drama, which is a big benefit in team sports,” Rafat said. “The girls also work just as hard in practice as they do in the game.”

The Jaguars have two players on the California Community College Athletic Association leader board — one player for digs, No. 2, libero, Jessyka Quisquino, and the other for assists, No. 3, setter, Cathy Nguyen.

Although the road has been rough for volleyball this season, the Jaguars remain high-spirited as a team, sophomore middle blocker Dania Carrilo said as she left the trainer’s office to get an MRI on her injured knee.

Many of the Jaguars’ volleyball players have expressed that they will continue to show poise in conference games, and try to adjust accordingly as their roles on the team change.

Injured or not, “we encourage the support of all the students and faculty on campus,” Rafat said.

The Jaguars face DeAnza College for the next home game on Oct. 10 at 6:30 p.m.