The Student News Site of Sacramento City College

The Express

The Student News Site of Sacramento City College

The Express

The Student News Site of Sacramento City College

The Express

They can dig it; Panther volleyball’s outlook for fall


Nick Pecoraro
Sports Editor
[email protected]


The City College volleyball team is a program that is back on the rise. Last season the Panthers began the season winning their first 14 games on their way to a 22-4 record, with a 13-3 mark in the Big 8 Conference good enough for a second-place league finish, before falling to Sierra College in the second round of the NorCal playoffs.

Laurie Nash, who enters her 17th season as head volleyball coach, picked up her 300th career win at City College while guiding her squad to its first 20-win season since 2010.

The 2016 season was a very successful season for our program,” said Nash.We had a strong, competitive team who worked hard in the gym daily.”The Panthers have three returning sophomores from last year’s team, all of whom Nash is leaning on for leadership: outside hitter Alexis Tomlinson and defensive specialists Bryce Ellman and Emilie Grant, three key pieces to the Panther puzzle.

“The three returning sophomores are making their mark already,” said Nash. “They are leaders because they know the system we play and know what we expect as coaches. Everyone will impact our team this year, and everyone will contribute. We only have an 11-player roster, which means we will ask a lot from everyone.”

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The only other sophomore on this year’s team is libero Kailee Orsi, a transfer from Mendocino College who tallied the third most digs of any Bay Valley Conference player in 2016.

Among the incoming freshmen are outside hitters Gianna Bell and Cylee Dulude, setters Monica Ramirez and Gabi Mata, middles Brittany Honeycutt and Evelina Drozhzhin, and defensive specialist Maiko Nelson.

City College made the playoffs in every season from 2002–11 before enduring a three-year absence from 2012–14. The Panthers returned to the postseason in 2015 and have continued to build upon their recent success.

I am proud of our recent playoff success, but I don’t like to focus on it too much,” said Nash. “We just try to focus on getting better every day in the gym and becoming a stronger team who will play for each other. The Big 8 is one of the strongest conferences in California. It is a weekly grind.”

The Panthers play a double-dip Aug. 30 at the City College of San Francisco against CCSF and Reedley College to jumpstart the season. The first home games will be on Sept. 1 against Feather River and Butte College. The Panthers went 12-1 at home last season. Big 8 play begins at home against San Joaquin Delta on Sept. 20 at 6:30 p.m.

For more information on the volleyball team, visit

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