Even with a strong defensive showing, Glendale’s Lady Vaqueros lost a valiantly fought game against Bakersfield College (3-1) on Nov. 14 in their last home game of the season.
The night started with a rousing introduction of the sophomore players who would be playing their final home game. These players included team captain and scoring leader Aya Nakano, assists leader Nicole Diller, libero Anne Figueroa and middle blocker Isabelle Carter.
After being down 2-0 after the second set, Glendale showed life as they rallied to score the first 9 points of the third set. They went on to win the third set and it seemed like momentum was starting to shift their way.
But, as the game went on, the same problems and issues that have plagued the team in the past kept haunting them. The same errors and missed serves kept on repeating over and over again.
“I don’t want to walk out of this completely negative. I did see some good things, I saw more fight in them,” said Coach Yvette Ybarra. “But it just goes back to our errors. We make the wrong errors at the wrong time. I think our biggest problem is that we don’t stay focused throughout the whole game.”
One good aspect of the night’s game was the incredible defense that the Lady Vaqs put on.
“I was very happy with our defense. We were very scrappy, that made it harder for the other team [Bakersfield] to put down balls that would normally be easy for them,” said Ybarra.
As a norm for all other games Glendale has played, Aya Nakano once again led the team in kills. Nakano put down 19 kills against Bakersfield. Instead of commenting about the night’s game, Nakano spoke about her love for the game and her attitude toward it.
“I’m the kind of person that likes to have fun and I really love to win,” said Nakano. “I just want to keep playing volleyball and to keep playing with my team.”
Losing their star player would certainly put a dent in Glendale’s offensive power. We can all just sit and watch to see if ever there will be another player like Nakano on the team.
After the game, most of the focus went back to the players who will be departing the team. As they walked out with bouquets of flowers tightly grasped in their arms, they bade farewell to the gym they have played in for the past two years.
“It’s a hard bunch to watch go; I’ve kind of seen them grow,” said Ybarra. “I’ve been with them, I’ve watched them mature.. It’s like my kids are going away.”