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One for the thumb? Scorpions go for fifth straight PVL title

Girl hit the ball over the net.
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© Richard Gillard/Acorn Newspapers
Ashley DeWolfe of Camarillo High girls’ volleyball spikes the ball during a five-set loss to Westlake on Wednesday night. © Richard Gillard/Acorn Newspapers
The Scorpions are off to a promising start.

Now, they’ll try to win a fifth straight Pacific View League championship.

The Camarillo High girls’ volleyball team opened the season Tuesday on the road by sweeping Oak Park, a traditionally strong outfit. The next day, the Scorpions followed with a five-set home loss to Westlake, another tough squad.

Camarillo was upbeat after nearly toppling the Warriors.

“That was the best loss I’ve ever had,” said ACHS seventhyear head coach Rob Vandermay. “That’s maybe the first time in school history we have ever taken a set from Westlake.

“That’s the best team we have taken that deep.”

Vandermay and Westlake head coach Ernest Rittenhouse cocoached the Camarillo boys’ volleyball team from 1996 to 2004.

Camarillo is ranked No. 4 in the CIF-Southern Section Division 2-A poll.

Pacific View rival Oxnard is sixth in the same poll. Camarillo and Oxnard will undoubtedly duke it out for a league title this fall.

The Scorpions have won four straight league crowns, but Oxnard earned shares of the title in 2008 and 2009.

“Before I was coaching the girls, Oxnard was the top team in the Pacific View League,” Vandermay said. “Oxnard is real good this year.”

Camarillo isn’t too shabby either.

Senior outside hitters Jenna White and Michelle Valovcin are big reasons why Camarillo’s enjoyed a successful run.

White and Valovcin have the potential to become the best tandem outside hitters in school history, Vandermay said.

White is ACHS’ top attacker, but she can also deliver crisp passes.

Valovcin made drastic improvements to her all-around game after contributing off the bench last season.

White and Valovcin battled each other for playing time in the past, but they’re starting together this year.

Senior Kaitlin Faber starts at setter after playing junior varsity volleyball in 2011.

“Kaitlin Faber has stepped up her game,” White said. “She’s been doing amazing.”

Faber is one of multiple varsity newcomers.

“It’s a new team with a lot of girls coming up from junior varsity,” said White, a threeyear starter.

“Even with a new team I feel confident we could have a good season. Taking Westlake to five sets shows what our team could do.”

Middle blockers Alex McGinley, a senior, and junior Ashley Liu control the net. According to Vandermay, McGinley and Liu improve the Scorpions’ ability to block along the front row.

Camarillo returns starting libero Shannon Hill, a quick and athletic junior.

Tiffany Fischer, a 6-foot-1 senior opposite, is one of ACHS’ tallest players.

Nicole Jusino impressed her coaches with passing in the first two matches of the season. A defensive ace, Jusino will see some action at opposite hitter.

Junior opposites Lauren Van Ouwerkerk and Chelsea Mora provide depth. Both Scorpions strike the ball with authority.

Sarah Martin, Ashley DeWolfe, Miranda Faulkner and Kelsey Batelaan also contribute for Camarillo.

Camarillo seniors want to graduate with four Pacific View titles—and extend the streak to five consecutive league crowns.

“We want to keep the tradition going,” Valovcin said, “and set up the other teams for the coming years.”

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