Service line success keys Fountain Valley sweep of Ocean View in opener
The Fountain Valley girls’ volleyball program began a new era with a sweeping success on Monday, as the Barons defeated host Ocean View 25-15, 25-19, 25-12 in a season-opening match.
Rebecca Cheltenham has taken the reins as the head coach for the Barons. She brings with her experience that includes serving as an assistant for the women’s volleyball program at Golden West College.
Cheltenham, who played at Hope International University, also coached at El Modena High School and Cerritos College.
“I’m just trying to bring a culture to the program that they all support each other and they’re all excited for each other,” said Cheltenham, whom Fountain Valley athletic director Roger Holmes said will also coach the boys’ program in the spring. “It starts with simple chants, doing like a tower before the game, things like that.
“They’re very excited to play. They’re a great group of girls. They work hard, so it’s been fun.”
Fountain Valley proved particularly potent from the service line, logging 19 aces as a group. Libero Josie Templin had a match-high 13 aces for the Barons.
“I’m really happy with it,” said Templin, who has had two siblings — James and Sadie — precede her in the Fountain Valley volleyball programs. “I’m surprised, kind of, but I hope that continues to go throughout the season, keep winning.”
Middle blocker Judy Juhala had a team-leading five kills and one block for Fountain Valley. Outside hitter Rebecca Staffieri had four kills and four aces, and Dezi Butler contributed four kills, seven assists and two aces while also operating from the left side.
Outside hitter Brooke Abascal had five kills to pace Ocean View, while Sam Abascal added three kills, three assists and two aces. Setter Natalie Christensen chipped in with nine assists and an ace.
Julian Santiago, an assistant to Ocean View head coach Cara McGhee, handled the coaching duties for the Seahawks in their opener.
Ocean View faced a tough first match with a Sunset Conference opponent right out of the gates.
“We were trying to have more success on our side of the court and trying to ignore how strong they were on their side of the court,” Santiago said. “I think we did pretty well, not as well as we wanted to, but pretty well. It was more of a measurement today than showing us where we are as a team.”
Santiago also spoke to the internal successes for the Seahawks in their home opener.
“One of the big moral victories is not getting too down on themselves,” Santiago said. “Facing a bigger, stronger opponent, making sure that we keep our wits about us and don’t get frantic in certain times of the game, so I think for us, that was probably the biggest goal — staying calm.”
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