By Ray Hamill — The College of the Redwoods women will close out the 2019 volleyball season at home to Lassen on Thursday afternoon, and head coach Petra Lorenzi is hoping for a big finish from her players.
In terms of wins and losses, it’s been a disappointing campaign for the Corsairs, who are 3-18 overall and 1-8 in the Golden Valley Conference, but a small roster of players has displayed an unusual toughness in games despite their record.
Before the season began the Corsairs saw a number of players opt off the team for various reasons, while a number of lingering injuries have continually limited a squad of just nine.
That, however, hasn’t dampened the spirt of the players who have stuck through it all, including a number of them who are playing through various injuries and continue to push themselves every night.
“We’ve got some tough girls that have battled through some adversity this year,” Lorenzi said. “They’re tough kids who really want to play, who love to play.”
Kaylin Campbell, Arriana Gallegos and Alondra Ledezma in particular have continued to show up every night despite battling various injuries, and have showcased a mental toughness for their younger teammates.
“We can’t ask for much more,” Lorenzi said of them. “And it hasn’t been a question.”
Ledezma and Gallegos are two of the team’s three sophomores who will be honored before the game, along with Ashlynn Maddeoux.
All three will be missed.
As for Ledezma, “she puts everything on the court and she’s just a great athlete,” Lorenzi said, adding that Maddeoux has been a “stable strong performer. She goes hard every night.”
Campbell, a 2018 Arcata High grad who transferred from Humboldt State this year, has also been a consistent threat for the Corsairs, as has Gallegos, who closes out two impressive years with the program this week.
Overall, Lorenzi has seen plenty of improvement from her players.
“It’s been disappointing (in terms of wins and losses) for the athletes,” the coach said. “But we’ve played for the most part with everybody, minus Feather (River).
“We’ve been playing well the last couple of weeks. Their energy, their attitude, their competitiveness is all in the right place.”
Freshman Sarah Malone is also enjoying a big season since returning from injury a few weeks back, and has become one of the biggest defensive threats in the conference, according to her coach.
“She’s a wall defensively,” Lorenzi said.
Fellow freshman Alexis Goodman also offers plenty of optimism for the future.
“She’s just kind of done it all,” Lorenzi said of the versatile Goodman, who has filled in at multiple positions as injuries to other players have dictated.
The return of Annabel Nixon, who has missed much of conference play through injury, will give the coach more options for the finale.
Thursday’s game is set for 4 p.m.