College of the Redwoods

Competition for places as CR women prepare for Alameda

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By Ray Hamill — Competition for places will keep the Corsairs on their toes this weekend, as they prepare for their season opener in volleyball at the Cougar Classic in Alameda.

With some starting spots still up for grabs, and plenty of depth on this year’s roster, College of the Redwoods head coach Petra Lorenzi will likely utilize a heavy rotation over the two tournament games on Saturday.

And that could continue for some time, according to Lorenzi, who says some of the starting positions could be open all season long.

“We have almost a new lineup out there every day,” the second-year head coach said. 

That depth will help in more ways than one, providing competitive practice sessions and keeping players from growing complacent.

“Absolutely,” Lorenzi said. “I would rather have an issue of not knowing who to put on the court … just knowing at practice that somebody is right on your heels makes you step up.”

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Mikenzie Palotas of Fortuna and Alondra Ledesma of Del Norte are two players who appear to have locked down a starting spot at middle blocker, “as long as they keep doing their job,” the coach said.

Ariana Gallegos out of New Mexico will also start at setter, although another freshman, Katie Bergor, has been impressive enough for the coach to weigh her options at the position.

“We’re training another setter to be able to run with two,” the coach said.

The Corsairs will play Alameda at 10 a.m. on Saturday, followed by a matchup against Los Positas out of the East Bay at noon.

Alameda was just 3-19 a year ago, but Lorenzi isn’t putting too much stock in that.

“I know they do have a decent core of returning freshmen, and at this level you never make predictions based on what a team did last year,” she said. “We’re preparing for them to come out strong.”

And at this stage of the season, after several weeks of practice and playing against each other, a tough matchup is just what the Corsairs want.

“We’d love to have someone put up a good fight. We want to earn our points,” Lorenzi said.

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