Women’s volleyball team losing streak continues

Cerritos+College+freshman+%2317+Jody+Suski+and+freshman+%234+Nataly+Reynoso+both+dive+after+a+ball+during+Fridays+game+against+Golden+West.+The+Falcons+were+swept+by+the+Rustlers+in+3+games.+Photo+credit%3A+Lindsay+Helberg

Cerritos College freshman #17 Jody Suski and freshman #4 Nataly Reynoso both dive after a ball during Friday’s game against Golden West. The Falcons were swept by the Rustlers in 3 games. Photo credit: Lindsay Helberg

Benjamin Garcia

The Falcons, now 0-4 after another loss on Friday against 2-3 Golden West, need to start adding numbers to the win column before their regular season starts on Oct. 4.

This gives the team eight more matches to find their rhythm and gives Head Coach Kari Pestolesi some time to get her new, mostly freshman team, in a position where they can compete at the college level.

Pestolesi noted that most of her players have never competed at a high level, making it an even greater challenge to get all 12 athletes up to speed in such a short period of time.

The Falcons have a challenging pre-season schedule that Pestolesi hopes will give her team the experience and skill they will need to win conference games.

The first match of pre-season the Falcons fell short to Santa Ana on Aug. 25, then lost two matches in one day, against both Fullerton and Citrus Colleges, on Aug. 30 at Fullerton.

Cerritos lost both matches in the 3-way mini-tournament, dropping all six games, leaving the Falcons with only 2 wins out of 9 games played so far this season.

In the first match of the 3-way against Fullerton College, the Falcons consistently fell behind in each of the three games, resulting in big losses, 18-25, 12-25, 17-25.

Cerritos finished the match with eight service errors, which ended up giving the Hornets free, unearned points.

The second match of the 3-way the Falcons fought back against Citrus College, and although it was a more competitive match, they were unable to close a single game, concluding in a 23-25, 22-25, 22-25, sweep for the Owls, sending the Cerritos College volleyball team home winless for the day.

Commenting on the increased competitiveness Cerritos showed towards Citrus, head coach of the Owls, Shin Jung, said, “When the whistle blows during the match, nerves have a lot to do with mistakes,” adding that he also has a number of freshmen on his team.

The most recent game Cerritos College played was at Golden West on Sept. 1, once again falling to its opponent in 3 games.

The Falcons continued to miss the mark offensively against the Rustlers, ending the match with a hitting percentage of .114%, with most of their kills coming from tips, off-speed or missed hit-balls.

The lack of a strong offense and power hitters in the front row has proved to be a problem for Cerritos so far in the season, with a hitting percentage of only .124% in 4 matches.

Despite the lack of a strong offense, the Falcon defense was scrappy and quick, digging and returning balls that were visibly difficult to get up. Continuing to make big plays like this can potentially benefit Cerritos later in the season and can be momentum changers at crucial times in big games.

“We are working to build a mindset to play at a high level,” said Pestolesi.

When asked about her team’s lack of communication, serve receive errors and inability to keep the ball in play, Pestolesi said that her team needs to “Work on it all- we just need to hang on and keep fighting.”

Pestolesi noted that the next match for the Falcons will be at Irvine Valley College (3-0) on Sept. 6 at 5 pm.

This match promises to be exciting and has special significance for Pestolesi, as her team will be facing off against her father, head coach for the Lasers, Tom Pestolesi, for the first father/daughter match-up in her coaching career.