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Vaqueros add local flavor

Believe it: The Glendale Community College women’s volleyball team

would like to become heavy hitters.

It’s a program that’s struggled for many years, culminating in it

being shut down in 2002 because the college’s athletic department


decided the team couldn’t field a sufficient amount of players.

Things have changed since.

Granted, the Vaqueros haven’t posted a winning record since the

program resurrected. But, they appear to have followed through on


their well-conceived plan to recruit from the local talent base.

Glendale College, which went 2-16 and 0-10 in the Western State

Conference’s Southern Division last season, will feature two former

Hoover High and four Burbank-based athletes to try to change the

team’s direction. The Vaqueros, who will start their season with a

nonconference road match against Antelope Valley College at 7 p.m.

Sept. 2, will return two players to their 10-member roster this



Having the players stay local was something Glendale College Coach

Yvette Ybarra wanted.

“We know that there’s good local talent,” said Ybarra, who coached

at Santa Ana Saddleback College in 1996. “We haven’t had a player

from Hoover come here in years.

“The local athletes who usually go on to play at the junior

college level will go to College of the Canyons or Pasadena City

College, but we wanted athletes who want to learn the basic skills


and move them up to the more advanced skills.”

The returning players will be middle blocker Tamirah Washington

and libero/defensive specialist Karla Martinez. The duo will be

counted on to provide leadership.

Washington and Martinez will be surrounded by Hoover graduates

Lourdes Loyola and Carolina Yernazian. Loyola, who was named to the

All-Pacific League’s first team last season, will be an outside

hitter and middle blocker. Yernazian will serve as a defensive

specialist and libero.

Ybarra, who also coached the Costa Mesa High boys’ and girls’

programs from 1997-99, didn’t stop there. She tapped in to the

Burbank area, picking up Dani Regan and Christine Hyman from

Burroughs and Maria Clement and Ashlei Limbaga from Providence.

Regan will likely be the starting setter and Hyman will be an

outside hitter. Clement will be a defensive specialist and libero,

and Limbaga will serve as an outside hitter.

The Vaqueros will also feature outside hitter Maria Casco-Otero

and setter/opposite hitter Amber Barton.

“Last year, we started with 13 players and then it dropped to

seven,” Ybarra said. “I’m eager to see this team because I see their

mindset that they want to pass and hit the ball better.

“They’ve worked hard to better their skills. If there’s an

obstacle put forth, they’ll jump over it.”