Sep 01, 2015
The Diablo Valley College women's volleyball team has just four returners, but coach Jackie Ponciano-Babb expects the new-look team to be very competitive.
The Vikings will open at home against Yuba and Shasta on Friday in the Vikings Classic.
Versatile Jade Lee of Northgate is a key freshman newcomer who will switch back to middle hitter after playing right-side hitter as a senior. Lee led the powerful Broncos with 309 kills in 2014.
Ponciano-Babb knows the athletic Lee well, having watched her compete since her freshman year in high school.
“She will be a force to be reckoned with because she has a heavy hand,” Ponciano-Babb said of Lee. “She’ll hit hard. She’s a big block. She moves well for a big girl and she’s like a beast at the net, which is great because that’s what we need.”
Freshman Sita Manoa of Concord High, who was a libero her senior year and can also play on the front row, is an important addition.
Jamie Chow of Piedmont, a sophomore academically, is a newcomer at setter. Sophomore Krisha Carpio is a defensive specialist.
Returning libero Kanoe Pruett, an all-Big 8 honorable mention pick out of Hercules, worked hard during the summer and is looking good. Returner Noelle Zleisides, a San Ramon Valley graduate, is transitioning to the left side after excelling on the right and dabbling as a setter last year.
Ponciano-Babb re-positioned Zleisides because the team has a shortage of front row players. She has taken well to the move.
“I see her coming into practice with a smile from ear to ear, so she’s all for wanting play outside left up front, a left-side hitter, which is great,” Ponciano-Babb said. “I think she will be effective. She’s a great all-around player.”
The Vikings opened last season with nine straight wins before finishing 6-8 in the Big 8 and 15-9 overall.
Ponciano-Babb hopes the team will be strong enough to advance to the playoffs, which is always the goal.
- Matt Schwab