Feather River College’s volleyball team celebrates after beating Porterville on Nov. 26. The win moved the Eagles into the second round of playoffs in Fresno. FRC lost in five games to Fresno to end the season for the Eagles with an outstanding 22-9 overall record. Photo by James Wilson
The Golden Eagles volleyball team had quite a ride this year, but its season came to an end Nov. 30 when the team was pushed out of the playoffs by Fresno City College in the second round. The Eagles previously beat Porterville in the first round of playoffs Nov. 26.
Feather River College’s loss to Fresno came in the fifth game. The Eagles lost the first set before staging a comeback attempt. Fresno dominated Feather River 25-12 in the first game.
The Eagles regained their composure and started putting some points on the board while avoiding unforced errors. FRC won the second set 25-21 and the third a close 26-24. Fresno came back again to win the fourth game 25-17 and the final one 15-12.
“This was a heartbreaking loss,” commented FRC’s coach, Sarah Ritchie. “We just made too many mistakes at critical times. We gave that game to Fresno and this loss will hurt for a while.”
The Eagles ended their season as the Golden Valley Conference champions. Similarly, the team went undefeated in conference and ended with an overall 22-9 record.
“I am very proud of these girls,” Ritchie continued. “All pre-season I kept hearing from other coaches in the state that FRC volleyball was in a rebuilding year and we would struggle this season because we were so young. My girls proved them all wrong.”
In their game against Porterville, the Eagles and their opponent were fairly evenly matched with only a two-point spread in the first three games. Porterville stayed ahead through the first set and squeaked out a 25-23 win.
FRC came back to win the next three sets, but had to fight for all of them. The Eagles also narrowly won the second and third games with 25-23 scores. In the fourth set, FRC used its momentum to win a broader victory of 25-19.
Ritchie and her team are already in the planning stages for next year’s season. The young team improved greatly from the start of the season and plans to continue improving next year.
“Three sophomores and nine freshmen won a fourth undefeated conference title and made a run at the state tournament,” said Ritchie. “All I have to say is, people better watch out next year!”