With a past of success, Grossmont College women’s volleyball is a team that means business

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It has been overlooked over many years that the Grossmont College women’s volleyball program has been a winning tradition. To those who are not aware, the Griffins have taken the Pacific Coast Conference (now the Pacific Coast Athletic Conference) crowns, in 1985-1993, 1995, 1999, 2000,  2001, 2002, 2010, 2011, and 2012. They were also state champs in 1987 and 1988.

It has been overlooked over many years that the Grossmont College women’s volleyball program has been a winning tradition. To those who are not aware, the Griffins have taken the Pacific Coast Conference (now the Pacific Coast Athletic Conference) crowns, in 1985-1993, 1995, 1999, 2000,  2001, 2002, 2010, 2011, and 2012. They were also state champs in 1987 and 1988.

Griffins are on pace to win yet another PCAC championship and a very reachable State Championship. As of Oct. 8, the Griffins are sitting pretty at 15-2 overall, with a state ranking of No. 1. Its only two losses were suffered at the hands of a pair of Arizona teams, and they are an astonishing 15-0 against California squads. This is the third of four state ranking polls in which they are No. 1, and show no signs of losing their rank.

Cabrillo at 11-0 remains the class of the North at No. 2; Golden West, Fullerton, and Irvine Valley are an honorable 3, 4, 5 mention.

Sports fans should venture out and see these ladies in action.

The key date on the schedule to come out and support your Griffins is Oct. 16 against the always-tough conference opponent, San Diego Mesa at 5 p.m. at Grossmont.

The 2013 Griffins are the hot ticket in East County, led by four impressive standouts, all captains. They insist they are a team, not individuals like last year, which hindered advancement through the playoffs.

Leading the Griffins into battle at every match is outside hitter, Simone Henderson, a sophomore transfer from the University of Alabama. Henderson’s reason for transferring to Grossmont was fueled by her mother’s desire to have her close to home, and attend the same school as her mother. Henderson is taking a broadcasting course at Grossmont and has high hopes of becoming a professional sports broadcaster after completing her education, primarily for football broadcasting.

“As far as the team goes, I believe we are stronger, more confidant, and trusting of each other to get the job done,” Henderson said. “We are working together more as a team than individuals.”

Henderson said she has never been on a team with so much great chemistry, great attitudes, and mentality, which is the formula to annihilating teams in the finals.

“I have a big job to motivate and bring energy to the team,” Henderson said.

She will accept nothing less than a state championship, and wants to also win it for Coach Jamie Ivers, who “keeps them on their toes.” Henderson is unsure of a specific school to transfer to, but would like a full-ride based on her performance, and says it must be a division one school.

Sophomore setter Lauren Hays another key to the success of the team, hails from a family of four that grew up in the college area of Allied Gardens in San Diego County. She attended Patrick Henry High School and has been playing organized volleyball for 12 years. Hays played her freshman year at San Diego State.

“Coach Ivers has been recruiting me ever since I was at Henry,” Hays said. “I received too many empty promises at San Diego State, so I picked Grossmont as the best community college for athletics and academics.”

Majoring in child development, Hays signed with Vanguard University, just an hour up the coast, which she will be attending next year.

“We are one of the better teams, we just need to stay focused and disciplined,” she said. “When we play on point we are crazy good.”

Outside hitter Megan Kurz, sophomore, first attended her freshman year at Pace University in New York. Kurz didn’t want to attend college right out of high school originally. She grew up in Del Cerro, and like her teammate, Lauren Hays attended Patrick Henry High. She chose to go to a school on the east coast, since her sister was attending school in Boston.

“Coach Ivers did heavy recruiting while I was attending Henry,” said Kurz. “As far as the direction our team is going, this group of girls is very good, and we have so much depth, that we fight for our positions daily. Mesa is definitely a tough but winnable match in conference, and we definitely have a shot in the finals.”

Sophomore outside hitter Rudy Leasau started at Grossmont as a freshman after attending Helix High in La Mesa, where she still resides. Leasau is majoring in Sports Medicine. She would like to transfer to a school in Colorado, but is still unclear of exactly where.

“I think we can go undefeated in Conference play, even though rival Mesa will battle with us until the end,” said Leasau. “We lost in the first round last year, but that will not happen this year.” she stated firmly.

Leasau has been playing for four years of organized volleyball. Her three sisters, Diana, Mele, and Sinoi all played basketball at Helix. Mele graduated from HB Houston University on a full basketball scholarship. Talent runs in this family for sure.

Coach Ivers also speaks very highly of her squad and their improvements from last year, and also the learning aspect of losing to the two opponents from out of state.

“We feel that if we take care of our side we will win conference,” Ivers stated. “If we stay at No. 1 ranking we can play the No. 16 seed in the finals, and we have to keep winning to maintain home court advantage. I’m proud of my team and have faith in them they can win it all,” said Ivers confidently.

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