Vikings not backing down

Diablo Valley Women's Head Basketball Coach Ramaundo Vaughn got his 100th career win but what really warms his heart is the resilience of his young team, which has won four straight road games. 
The Vikings got 54 points and 30 rebounds combined from Safiyyah Yasin, Jojuan Carrington and Brandy Williams in a 68-48 win over host Santa Rosa on Friday. Newcomers Kyla Miller and Cecila Cuneo combined for nine defensive rebounds. 
DVC (18-7, 7-3 Big 8), which is tied with Sacramento City for second place, will host Big 8-leading Sierra (20-6, 9-1) at 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday. 
The lopsided win over Santa Rosa, which followed an impressive 70-63 road win over American River, improved Vaughn's career record to 100-69.  
"It's definitely been a winding road, but it's been fun as well," Vaughn said. 
The Vikings have overcome having to replace several players in the middle of the season.
 The fast-improving Yasin has been a revelation, including scoring a game-high 24 points against ARC. Not bad for a player who was the third-string point guard at one point.
"Safiyyah is just … people can't believe that she was our third-string point guard," Vaughn said proudly. "She's always had the potential." 
The Vikings beat Santa Rosa by a point in the first round of Big 8 play, and so to wallop them by 20 was a "true testament to the will of those kids," Vaughn said proudly of his squad. "Everybody's counted them out." 
He said the new "kids" on the team have proved they belong. 
"I guess they want to prove to people that, 'Yes, we lost a great deal of talent, but there's still some left. It's been great,'" Vaughn said.
Men's basketball 
Don't look now, but the Vikings are making a move. 
Buoyed by the return of point guard Leon Williams V, the Vikings (12-12, 4-6 Big 8) are coming off back-to-back road wins at American River and Santa Rosa.  
They will host Sierra (12-11, 8-2 Big 8) at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday in another must-win game. The Vikings will probably need to win their final four games make the playoffs. 
The triumph over Santa Rosa marked DVC's first victory at Santa Rosa since January2011.  
Williams is pointing the way. Since his return on Jan. 29 after surgery to repair torn cartilage on his knee, fellow guard Remy Dillard has been red hot, going 12 for 19 from 3-point range. When Williams exited on Dec. 10, the Vikings were forced to reshuffle the guard rotation, and they struggled. 
But in an 87-73 win at American River on Feb. 2, DVC shot 50 percent from the floor and 55.6 percent from 3-point range. Spencer Clark led the way with 23 points and nine rebounds. Dillard was an unconscious 5 for 5 on 3-pointers, scoring 15 points from off the bench. Troy Owens Jr. had 16 points and seven rebounds. 
"It will be interesting if we can keep is going the next couple of weeks," Steve Coccimiglio said. "If we were to make this run and make the playoffs, then obviously we would be going in the right direction."
The Vikings (3-0) are off to an excellent start to the season with wins over Lassen, Mendocino and Merced.  
They took an 8-7 thriller over host Merced on Feb. 6. Zachary Guardino and hot-hitting Ryan Meisenheimer had clutch RBIs in the top of eighth inning to extend the lead to 8-6. 
Bradley Gosiengfiao had two doubles and three runs scored in the win. Meisenheimer and Gosiengfiao each had three hits. Reliever Steven Hantos allowed one hit and no runs over 1.2 innings, and gained his first win.
In a 4-0 win over Mendocino, starter Billy Babb scattered five hits over five shutout innings to get the win. Relievers Riley Moore, James White and Andrew Merken rounded out the shutout. Meisenheimer and Daniel Defazio each had two hits, and Atticus Soane had two runs scored, a double and an RBI. 
The Vikings (2-0-1) followed up a season-opening 3-3 tie against Ohlone with a doubleheader sweep of Los Medanos, 14-1 and 13-0. 
Nicole Nordahl was dominant in the circle, striking out 10 and allowing two hits over six innings in the 14-1 triumph, and firing a three-hitter with eight strikeouts in the 13-0 win 
Juliana Deighton was 3 for 3 with three RBIs and two runs scored in the 13-0 win, and Ciara Whitesell scored three times and had two hits, including a triple. Ariana Robertshaw was 2 for 3 with a double, two runs scored and two RBIs.  
In the 14-1 win, Mallory Barnard and Bailey Simmons had three hits apiece and combined for five RBIs and five runs scored. Barnard had two doubles, Simmons tripled, and Cynthia Duenas slugged a home run. 
The Vikings braved the chilly water and still swam well at the Laney season kickoff meet. 
With the water temperature under 75 degrees because of a heater malfunction, the Vikings were undaunted. They received strong efforts from Brandon James, Drew Pitcher, Gio Hernandez and Ryan Nip. 
The women's team was bolstered by Christine Nip, Ryan's younger sister, Melody Pope and Malia Dillon. 
Expect another solid year from the always powerful Vikings, who earned men's and women's conference titles in 2015. The men finished No. 2 in the state behind internationally-seasoned Golden West, and the women finished third.  
Coach Rick Millington says the men's team still has a number of stars, but depth is down a little bit. The women's team lost its two biggest stars and stands to have an average year by its standards. 
The Vikings will find out more when they face Las Positas in two weeks. 
James, a former All-American at Heritage High, holds two state individual community college records, and is also a part of a state-record-setting relay team. He has some lofty goals in the 100 and 200 backstrokes, has been training "extremely well and looks great in the water," Millington said. "So we're excited to see where this goes."