Los Angeles County never advanced to a tier that would allow for indoor assembly during the abbreviated and recently completed high school girls’ volleyball season. But San Marino High School head coach Angel Ramirez is thankful that there is a vibrant outdoor version of the sport which allowed for at least a modicum of participation.
David Irie, the school’s director of athletics, helped assemble what was known as the San Gabriel Valley Grass Volleyball League, allowing for the Titans to experience some bumping, setting and spiking, even though schools were closed during the pandemic.
“I am really thankful that we had a something available where we could develop some team chemistry and try out some rotations,” said Ramirez. “After seeing our talent, I thought we had the potential to do some pretty good things. We have been working really hard since August and had a lot of anticipation.”
The Titans will graduate three seniors — Erin Hill, Kira Glasse and Leela Anvekar — who were sophomores on the 2018-19 school year squad that won SMHS’ first Rio Hondo League championship in 28 years, but Ramirez likes what he will have coming back in the fall.
Marlene Ketelaar, who will be entering her senior year in August, is an experienced setter and will have hitting options in classmates Conner Sund and Gabriela Salim. Junior Amanda Redding has shown potential at middle blocker and libero Heidi Doerges has a toolbox of skills.
San Marino won its final tournament game of the season and hopes to carry that momentum into the the next year.
“I am looking forward to the [fall] season,” Ramirez said. “We did everything on the fly this year but, overall, it was a good experience.”