Last season, the Glendale Community College men’s soccer, women’s soccer and women’s volleyball teams missed qualifying for the postseason.
Following two straight second-place finishes in the Western State Conference South Division, Glendale’s men’s soccer squad finished in last place in 2018 and didn’t win a division match.
The women’s soccer team showed huge improvement as it posted a winning record for the first time this decade while playing in the Western State Conference South Division.
In women’s volleyball, Glendale finished last in the Western State Conference South Division, but have since brought in additional depth with the goal of moving up in the division.
Here is a closer look at the teams.
Coach Laura Matsumoto experienced a frustrating campaign after Glendale finished 1-17-3, 0-9-1 in the division last season. Now, Matsumoto will look for the Vaqueros to escape the basement after bringing in a core of area athletes who excelled at the high school level.
“It was tough to go through and some things didn’t go the way we wanted them to,” Matsumoto said. “We look at is as learning from the past to make the future better.
“We want to have them get to the next level. We think we can do that. The biggest thing is that we stay on the right track in terms of developing and maturity. We have about 10 returners to help the team get going.”
Glendale will have about 20-25 players and will be anchored by sophomore midfielders Wilmer Bonilla and Kai Saito. They will be joined by a contingent of freshmen, including midfielder Esteban Alcantar, goalkeeper Alfredo Tejeda, defender Matthew Cardenas, midfielder Jafet Perez, forward Danny Meza Gonzales and defender Brandon Carrillo.
Alcantar, Tejeda and Cardenas are from Burroughs High and Carrillo is from Crescenta Valley.
Glendale will start its season Tuesday with a nonconference road match against Santa Monica. The Vaqueros will begin conference action Oct. 15 at Antelope Valley.
The Vaqueros will look to build off last season’s performance in which they went 8-7-2, 2-6 for fourth place under coach Jorge Mena.
Mena is optimistic the Vaqueros can continue to improve.
“We’ll have about 19-20 players and we have some key returners in the mix,” Mena said. “They can help show the way and we think we can pile up some victories.
“Like always, we will have to find a way to stay healthy. That’s always the key.”
Glendale will return sophomore midfielder Haley Tsarofski (Crescenta Valley), sophomore forward Emily Sawitskas (Hoover), sophomore forward Sarina Bedikian (Crescenta Valley) and sophomore midfielder Adrianna Sarukhnyan.
Tsarofski led Glendale with 17 goals last season.
The Vaqueros will kick off their season Tuesday with a nonconference home contest versus Cerro Coso. Glendale will start conference Oct. 1 at home against Bakersfield.
Coach Yvette Ybarra sees the Vaqueros putting things together. With added depth, Glendale will seek to improve after going 4-14, 1-7 a season ago.
“I like the way we are set up with our depth,” said Ybarra, who will carry a 14-player roster. “It will give us more options and that’s always a good problem to have.
“I think we can compete very well on defense and be able to pass and serve receive at around 60 %. Those are some of the goals we have planned and will look to achieve.”
Glendale will bring back a group of sophomores in setter Kaitlin Ronduen and outside hitters Nicole Oberhammer and Claire Codding (Crescenta Valley).
Glendale will kick off its season Wednesday at home with a nonconference match against Saddleback and will start conference Sept. 25 at Santa Monica.