Playoff action has concluded for a couple of Oakdale squads, as the volleyball girls and cross country teams wrapped up their seasons recently. Following is a look at their final performances.
The 2014 Valley Oak League champions entered the playoffs as the sixth seed and earned a home game against Sacramento High School on Tuesday, Nov. 11. The Lady Mustangs came out blazing as they took the game in three sets 25-11, 25-12, 25-15. Helping the Mustangs advance was Nicole Desrochers who had 12 total points, including seven aces. The Lady Mustangs, however, ran into a buzz saw in the second round when the girls fell to the third seeded Rio Americano.
Host Rio Americano took down the Mustangs in three, 18-25, 16-25 and 18-25. The loss ended the illustrious OHS coaching career of Shelli Ponce.
“I remember during the first game against Rio as we were trailing in the score and not playing up to our capability, thinking to myself, oh please don’t let it end with the girls playing like this,” Ponce said.
Though the team lost, they made some adjustments and made Rio Americano work hard for the points.
“Our Oakdale team started playing incredibly well and were back in their normal action,” Ponce said. “By the time the third game ended, I told the girls after the match that they could definitely walk out of that gym knowing that they did their very best.”
For Ponce, it was a bittersweet moment.
“I was genuinely proud of each one of them and their playing effort,” she said of the season-ending loss. “They had some exciting moments in this match and gave the crowd (and me) numerous times to get ecstatic about their play.
“I’m sad that we lost; however, I can’t be disappointed in the way they played. This was an excellent team to end my season with. They were so compatible as a team and they helped me create some wonderful memories this year.”
Ponce also offered a “huge thanks” to assistant coaches Heather Gonzales, Breanne Stevers, Grace Fernandes, and the whole volleyball program, including the parents, for the special sendoff they provided for her on the last league game, as well as at the team banquet.
“They’ve given me some wonderful memories to keep forever,” shared Ponce.
The freshmen continued to shine on the big stage. Oakdale’s freshman boys cross country team took home the top honor in the D-III team competition Saturday in Folsom at the Section Cross Country Championships.
Daniel Prado won the D III Freshman Boys individual title, finishing with a time of 12:13 over the two-mile course. Coach Guy Fowler said he had excellent help from his fellow runners Ben Miller, third; Russell Pabalan, seventh; James Forkner, 11th and Luis Martinez-Baez, 28th overall as the frosh squad claimed top honors.
The Mustang boys and girls varsity teams were also represented in this year’s sections, but came up short as Isaiah Aguilar finished 41st, running the three-mile course in Folsom in 18:14. Leading the varsity girls was Anna Perrone, who finished 37th with a time of 21:48 and teammate Kyannah Hernandez finished 55th with a time of 23:27.
“It was a great day for Oakdale. The kids ran extremely well and what can I say about the freshman boys?” noted Fowler. “We are really excited for the future with them. Our season is over but track and field season is just around the corner and they are ready to get started.”