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Defending SCC Champion Women's Volleyball Reloads For 2010

Defending SCC Champion Women's Volleyball Reloads For 2010 image

Pasadena City College women's volleyball head coach Tammy Silva lost the building blocks for her 2009 undefeated, South Coast Conference champion team. But the SCC Coach of the Year didn't miss a beat in reloading the Lancers roster for the 2010 season. 

Silva has said goodbye to PCC career digs leader and libero Marissa Rangel to graduation (now at Texas Wesleyan University), All-State outside hitter and conference MVP Patti Blasco to a full scholarship to the University of Hawaii-Hilo, and All-State setter Jessica Xu to an injury that will prevent her from competing this year. Overall, only two players return from a 23-2 team that was ranked as high as No. 2 in the state poll late in the '09 season.

Seeing the need to add veteran leadership, Silva managed to recruit three sophomore transfers and bring back another player from the 2007 PCC team.  

"We have a totally different lineup coming off a great season in 2009, but this team has limitless potential," Silva said. "We are far more experienced at several positions. We're realizing the heights that this program can accomplish, especially after a PCC first in winning the conference. We missed out on the state championship tournament last season, so we're hoping to make the cut in 2010."

PCC returns two starters in All-SCC First Team middle blocker Miranda Doing, who will also play right side opposite this year, and Second Team middle blocker Jessica Foley, who led the team in block kills with 61. Returning after two seasons off is 5-foot-9, middle blocker Aliyyah Abdullah, who was All-SCC Second Team in Silva's first season at PCC in 2007. A dynamic leaper, Abdullah recorded a team-best 91 block kills that year.

"Aliyyah has grown so much as a player since a few years ago," Silva said. "She will be used in every front row position. Jessica is becoming more of an offensive threat while Miranda continues to be a great blocker. Miranda and Jessica are just two parts of our large offensive arsenal."

Silva is excited about the addition of Markisha Richie, who was an All-Orange Empire Conference outside hitter at Riverside Community College in 2007. Richie finished sixth in the state that year in kills per game (5.16 per set). Richie previously was 11th in the nation in kills as a prep senior at Pomona High.

Another key sophomore transfer is setter Danielle Stewart, a bounce back from Northwest College (Wyoming). Stewart was an All-San Antonio League performer from one of the top San Gabriel Valley programs at South Hills High (West Covina). 

"Danielle is a great defensive player, especially for a setter," Silva said. "She's very aggressive and her tenacious attitude will help lead our team. Markisha is hard hitter and will take over as our go-to player for attacks. Both step right into the starting lineup as experienced players."

The final sophomore newcomer is 6-foot, middle blocker Kirsten Taylor, who recorded 240 kills and led her C.W. Post (Long Island University, New York) in service aces with 52 in 2009. Taylor earned her scholarship out of South Pasadena High.

"Taylor likes to run quick sets and has that 4-year college experience to help the team right away," the coach said.

Silva's freshmen class is made up of defensive specialists in Katherine Gonzalez (El Rancho High), Mallorie Hopkins (Bell Gardens), Jessica Vargas (California High in Whittier), and Brenda Moscoso (St. Lucy's Priory). The only non-D.S. of the rookies is 5-8, outside hitter Ella Moe, an All-State talent from Orem High in Utah.

"Ella is very coachable kid, and and an extremely smart, all-around player," Silva said. "She will do fine with the sophomore talent."

On the team's strengths and weaknesses, the fourth-year PCC coach said, "We have perhaps our best offense ever here. But our question marks right now are defense and passing. We will have to see who will emerge as a libero for us. Rangel is a tough player to replace."

Silva's assistant coaching staff has changed with Ali Oliver, a former head coach at Cerritos College, and Angelo Tan, a long-time assistant at Mt. San Antonio College, aiding this year's Lancers.

PCC opens the 2010 season Friday, Aug. 27 with two matches in a Lancers' quad tournament at Hutto-Patterson Gymnasium. PCC faces '09 state runner-up Cypress at 3 p.m., followed by a 5 p.m. contest v. Santa Barbara City College. All three colleges were ranked in last year's top 10 in the regular season state poll. Glendale Community College also will take part in the tourney.

[Photo--Miranda Doing is one of just two returning players from the South Coast Conference defending champion Lancers volleyball team in 2010.]

Release Date: 08/26/10
Robert Lewis, Sports Information
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