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August 19, 2009 > Fall-ing forward?

Fall-ing forward?

Ohlone fall sports preview

By Jeff Weisinger

It's safe to say that the fall sports teams (women's volleyball, men's and women's soccer, and men's and women's water polo) at Ohlone College haven't exactly been on top of their game in the past few years. 2008 was no exception to that theory.

With the men's soccer team starting 0-15; the women's volleyball team finishing 2-14; and both water polo teams finishing below .500, the fall sports teams did what they normally do, finish without a whisper.

However, there was one bright spot for Ohlone in 2008 with the women's soccer team making the playoffs for the first time since 2006.

Can Ohlone's fall sports teams follow in the footsteps of the 2008 women's soccer team and reach postseason play? We'll have to watch for that, but here's a recap of last year's fall sports:

Women's Soccer:

The Lady Renegades, under Head Coach Larry Heslin, finished the 2008 campaign with a 14-8-1 record, winning five of their last six matches before losing in the opening round of the playoffs at Modesto, 3-2, back on November 22. The question surrounding Heslin is whether he can get his team to repeat the success in 2009. They'll kickoff the season with the Sophia Ngo Alumni game at Ohlone on August 29, then host Sacramento City College on Sept. 1 for their first match of the 2009 season. The Lady Renegades start the season on a three-game homestand before traveling to Monterey Peninsula on Sept. 15 for their first road game of the season.

Men's Soccer:

On the men's side of the field, it was a season to forget. An opening day 9-0 loss to Fresno City at home went from bad to worse as the Renegades dropped the next 14 straight to start the season 0-15. In the October 7 loss to Chabot College, goalkeeper Iman Aghel admitted to the Ohlone College newspaper that he "wasn't feeling it" against the Gladiators. Ohlone would eventually pickup their first win of the 2008 season at Mission College, defeating them 3-0 on October 24. They would build off that win, going 2-2-2 after the October 24 win, and would finish with an overall 3-17-2 record.

This season will be different for the men's soccer team though. With new Head Coach Jan Nordmo at the reigns, and returning captains Daniel Galloway and Weihan Jin, the Renegades have shown a lot of promise in the offseason friendly matches. Their first test of the 2009 campaign will be at Lemoore against West Hills College on August 29, with their home opener the following Tuesday against Gavilan College.

Women's Volleyball:

When Jeremy Penaflor took the job as the head coach of the Ohlone women's volleyball team, he hoped for great things.

After starting the season 2-2, Penaflor seemed to be on track. However, the sickness and injury bug hit the Lady Renegades hard in 2008, causing the Renegades to drop 12 straight en route to a 2-14 final record.

Going into his second year at the helm, Penaflor's squad looks healthy and will be ready to end the 12-game losing streak they are currently riding when they host American River College on September 2 in the season opener.

Men's and Women's Water Polo:

Ohlone swimming and Water Polo Coach Gene Kendall helped his team avert a disaster in 2008 when his Men's Water Polo team started the season 1-5, including a 5-0 loss to the hands of Santa Rosa College in the San Joaquin Delta College Tournament in early September. The Renegades would fight back from a 1-5 start winning four of the next six matches highlighted by an 11-3 win over Solano College and a 12-6 win over rival DeAnza College in the Ohlone College Tournament.

Yet, despite the amount of fight the Renegades had throughout the season, they couldn't seem to keep consistent in 2008, finishing with a disappointing 9-14 record. They'll look to start on the right note in 2009 when they travel to Saratoga to play in the West Valley College tournament on the weekend of Sept. 11.

On the Women's side, the 2008 season began as a nightmare. Starting the season 0-14 with five losses via forfeit, the Women's Water Polo team seemed as if they would never take off in 2008. However, once conference play started, they were near unstoppable.

Despite an overall 8-23 record for the 2008 campaign, the Lady Renegades 5-1 record, highlighted by a decisive 17-2 victory over rival DeAnza College is a sign that this team is headed in the right direction.

The Lady Renegades kickoff their season on September 10 at the Cuesta College tournament in San Luis Obispo.

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