With the first half of the Delta Valley Conference schedule now in the books, following a three-game sweep of Elk Grove on Tuesday at The Cage, Davis High boys volleyball coach Julie Crawford likes the way her team is playing.
So, after winning three of those first five league matches, the Blue Devils are looking to do even better the second time through. That means turning the tables on Grant and Franklin, the only two DVC squads to top DHS so far this spring.
“The boys really want to make playoffs,” Crawford said. “I see no reason why we can’t (win the next five games to) go 8-2.
“Now that we’ve seen everyone, we can start to build our practice toward teams like Grants and Franklin’s strengths and weaknesses.”
That’s exactly what will happen at Wednesday’s practice with the powerful Wildcats scheduled to visit The Cage on Thursday at 5 p.m. The Devils will be able to build on a strong performance in Tuesday’s 25-20, 25-19, 25-20 win over Elk Grove.
“We were able to take momentum away from them early in each game, which is something I and (assistant coach Ron Duer) have been telling them,” Crawford said. “We want to control the tempo and pace.”
Davis was able to do that with good offense from Dan Bonetti and strong passing and defense from the entire back line — Mike Basso, Dominic Fannjiang, Milton Hong and Rodney Glasgow.
“Elk Grove is always such a consistent team so I’m really pleased with how we played,” Crawford said.
The Blue Devils brought their best effort on Tuesday at Granite Bay — as shown by the tremendous individual performances — and the team results were reminiscent of the 2012 Sac-Joaquin Section championships.
Like the CIF meet, the DHS girls defeated the Grizzlies — this time 97-73 — and the Devil boys finished just behind Granite Bay, 89-81.
A first glance at the individual results certainly favors Davis as the local girls won seven of eight events and the 400 freestyle relay, while the Blue Devil boys captured the 200 medley and 400 free relays and five of eight solo swims.
Chenoa Devine had a breakout day for the DHS girls, winning the 200 free and the outlasting the field in the 500 free. Tara Halsted also doubled for the Devils, touching first in the 200 individual medley and the 100 backstroke.
Halsted later anchored the winning 400 free relay squad, joining Alex Rieger, Emma Barksdale and Marissa LaFreniere, who took first place for Davis in the 100 free. In addition, Rieger swam to victory in the 50 free, while Kathleen Benjamin prevailed in the 100 breaststroke.
The local boys got two wins each from Jonathan Pun (100 breast and 200 IM) and Riley Hickman (100 and 200 free). The other Blue Devil to get an individual victory was Matt Whittle in the 100 butterfly.
Those three also teamed up to earn DHS triumphs in the 200 medley relay — where they were joined by Bradley Nicholson — and the 400 free, where Sean Li completed the quartet.
Aggie junior Alycia Cridebring was named the Big West Conference Female Track Athlete of the Week for the third time on Wednesday after running a career-best time of 4 minutes, 21.44 seconds in the 1,500-meter race at Sacramento State on Saturday.
Cridebring, whose two previous awards came after stellar efforts in the 5,000, finished second in her race at the Mondo Mid-Major Challenge last weekend, moving from fifth to second on the program’s all-time list. Her time is the fastest in the Big West this season and ranks 17th in the West Region and 37th nationally.
The Pleasant Hill native helped the UCD women take third place at the meet.
The Aggies will return to action this weekend, sending some athletes to the Mt. SAC Relays while keeping the bulk of their team home for the annual Woody Wilson Classic on Friday and Saturday.
UCD athletes honored
Fourteen Aggie student-athletes from eight different sports were announced as Arthur Ashe Jr. Sports Scholars for 2012-13 in last week’s issue of Diverse: Issues In Higher Education.
Senior gymnast Katie Yamamura was previously announced as a finalist for the Sports Scholar Award of the Year award in mid-March, an honor eventually won by West Virginia’s Jessica Nicole Harlee.
Now co-sponsored by the NCAA, the Sports Scholar Award was created to recognize undergraduate minority student-athletes who achieve academically, athletically and in the campus and community.
UCD’s Mountain Pacific Sports Federation champion women’s gymnastics and women’s swimming teams each had three student-athletes on the Sports Scholar rolls. In addition to Yamamura, senior Michelle Ho and sophomore Cassandra Quebral were the gymnasts honored, while pool standouts Liliana Alvarez — a junior — sophomore Marilyn Carey and junior Megan Leung earned accolades.
Junior Jessica Chuyla and senior Demi Runas represented the Aggie women’s golf team and Andre Brown and Matt Sheldon were UCD men’s soccer players honored.
Kathleen Brandl (women’s soccer), Lauren Curry (women’s tennis), Anthony Kaspar (football) and Josh Granger (men’s golf) were the other Aggies to get the award.
Davis resident signs NLI
Loni Kreun, a Davis resident who plays volleyball at St. Francis High, will continue her career in college by suiting up for Montana State.
Kreun is one of 15 Troubadours who were scheduled to participate in a National Letter of Intent signing ceremony on Wednesday at the Sacramento campus.
Picnic Day fundraiser
Hot dogs, hamburgers, refreshments, beer and fun things for the kids to do will be part of the annual festivities as Martha Bernauer, her husband Marc Hicks, Mary and Steve Swimley and the extended Bernauer and Swimley families host their fifth annual Picnic Day fundraiser for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.
This year the Saturday event will begin at 11 a.m. and run through the late afternoon at Lyon Real Estate, 401 Second St.
The event began as a fundraiser and cancer awareness outing on behalf of Mary and Steve Swimley’s daughter Samantha — a cancer survivor who now plays softball at Mayville State in North Dakota.
Registration begins on Wednesday for the Davis AquaMonsters’ summer swim team.
The AquaMonsters are a seasonal swim club that offers children an opportunity to compete on a recreational team, while improving stroke technique and fitness. The squad is also a good way to improve conditioning for water polo.