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CV, CHS volleyball squads look to reverse fortunes in 2012
Central Valley's and Ceres High's varsity volleyball programs were both hit hard by graduation.

The Hawks lost five key players, including Melinda Camarillo, Drucella Miranda, Maday Padilla, Geena Wade and Breanna Wideman.

The Bulldogs will have to compete without major contributors Kiana Crawford, Praubleen Kaur, Sofia Luna and Kassondra Jordan.

"It's going to be a growing year," Central Valley head coach Margo Arzola said. "We're going to get better every day. That's what I expect. I think they'll surprise me."

The Hawks, fourth in the Western Athletic Conference a season ago with a 4-8 record, return just three players. They are Malynda Lomeli (Sr.), Julie Flores (Sr.) and Jessica Martinez (Sr.).

Lomeli and Flores are captains.

"It's their team," Arzola said. "I want them to be role models. Julie's my patience. Malynda is my spark."

Newcomers Courtney Ahart (Jr.), Lexy Cordova (Jr.), Daisy Gutierrez (Jr.), Mia Lorenzo (Jr.), Sarah McElroy (Jr.), Nicholette Mendez (Jr.), Lynaya Lerma (So.), Casey McCloskey (Jr.), Leah Faamati (Jr.) and Kirsten Berengue (Sr.) round out Central Valley's 13-player roster.

Ahart, Cordova, Mendez, McElroy and Lerma were members of the Hawks' JV squad last season.

Lynaya was team MVP.

She also plays softball and basketball.

"I honestly think this is her sport," Arzola said. "She's so natural at it."

McCloskey, Faamati and Berengue are transfers.

Casey and Leah attended Enochs and Downey, respectively.

McCloskey changed schools after her father Jason was named head coach of Central Valley's varsity football team.

Berengue used to reside in Oregon.

"We have a lot of athletes that play multiple sports," Lomeli said. "We all bring something different to the team. We're capable of doing anything if we put our mind to it. We'll do pretty good in league if we communicate and work together."

Ceres High, fifth in the WAC in 2011 at 2-10, missed the playoffs for the first time in three years last season.

"It was hard on all of us," Bulldogs head coach Stephanie Hamilton said. "Learning to lose gracefully was new. We want to turn things around this year. We definitely have the talent. It's just putting it to use."

Ceres High will compete with a revamped roster.

Diana Salgado (Sr.), Laura Story (Sr.), Dia Borden (Sr.), Kassandra Ruiz (Sr.), Arianna Mata (Sr.) and Aileen Alarcon (Sr.) all gained experience at the varsity level a year ago.

Story ranked first on the team in assists (59), third in aces (16) and blocks (eight), and fourth in digs (45).

Salgado was second in digs (72) and kills (30), and third in aces (16).

Borden was second in assists (35). She collected 34 digs, eight aces and three kills.

Ruiz totaled 26 digs, eight kills, eight aces and three assists.

Mata chipped in with 17 digs and one ace.

Alarcon had five digs.

Jasmine Magana (Sr.), Brooke Anderson (Jr.), Sara Graham (Jr.), Izabell Saldana (Jr.), Fulu Tevaseu (Jr.), Yvonne Verduzco (Jr.) and Valerie Hamilton (So.) are newcomers.

"The girls are hungry," coach Hamilton said.

Central Valley compiled a 2-0 record against Ceres High last year. The Hawks won 3-2 (23-25, 25-22, 25-12, 24-26, 15-12) and 3-1 (26-24, 15-25, 25-23, 25-20).

The Hawks and Bulldogs will battle on Oct. 3 and Oct. 29.

"It should be a good match-up," Lomeli said.

"It's going to come down to who wants it more," coach Hamilton said.