South Valley Players Excel After High School
Oct 07, 2015 12:02PM
● By Bryan Scott
Salt Lake Community College setter Rachel Davis has become an important part of the Bruins offense. Photo courtesy of Dave Hubert
By Greg James
South Valley - Riverton and Herriman high schools have produced a pair of volleyball players that have helped Salt Lake Community College Bruins become a nationally ranked program.
Sophomores Sadie Pond of Herriman and Rachel Davis of Riverton have become players that Bruin head coach Sue Dulaney depends on for her volleyball program to succeed.
“Rachel is a team captain and our setter. She knows what it takes and knows our offense,” Dulaney said. “Sadie was middle for us last season and we moved her to outside hitter this season.”
The Bruins have climbed in the rankings to number eight so far this season. They are 9-3 to begin the No. 1 team in the nation, Iowa Western Community College, Aug. 29 in the final day of the Western Wyoming Tournament. The Bruins went up two sets to none to begin the match, but had to hold on in the fifth set to win the match 3-2.
Davis racked up 55 assists in the game and Pond came off the bench for two kills in two attempts and a block in her short time on the court.
Earlier this season Pond was named SWAC (Scenic West Athletic Conference) player of the week. In the Dana Hatch Invite tournament in Tyler, Texas, Pond had 38 kills, six assist blocks and four solo blocks.
“Sadie hits a heavy and hard ball that could knock you unconscious if she hit you in the head. She is great for us coming off the bench. She can play in the outside and pass well,” Dulaney said.
Davis leads the team in assists with 150 in 17 sets. As the setter she is the quarterback of the offense and helps to direct the Bruins attack against the opponent’s defense.
“Rachel was a full-time setter last season. She is definitely learning where to set and when to set for the best play for our team. She directs the offense,” Dulaney said.
Both athletes had growing experiences in high school. Davis played for three different coaches at Riverton and Pond was a member of the first team at Herriman.
“I saw what it took to put together a team. We had to learn to fight together. I remember the first time on the court against Bingham, we were like what is this, but we got together and started the traditions that the team has now,” Pond said.
Davis learned new systems from new coaches every season.
“I had to prove myself. I had to show that I wanted to play and I was committed to be there. Sports have made me into the person I am today. I loved my experience at Riverton,” Davis said.
Davis and Pond agreed that commitment was important to reach their goals as volleyball players.
“Responsibility is huge in college. Our players are held to a different standard. We need to want to be there. There are times that I had to give up hanging out with my friends because of practice or homework so I could get to this level,” Davis said.
Dulaney is in her eighth year as head coach at SLCC. The Bruins have developed into a nationally ranked program.
“Thirteen of our players are from Utah. We have really tried to get the best Utah kids. Families have embraced us. Which is hard at a two year school because of the constant turnover,” Dulaney said.
The Bruins return home to face USU-Eastern on Oct.9, Colorado Northwestern Community College Oct. 10 and College of Southern Idaho Oct. 13. Their complete schedule and team statistics can be found at ww.slcbruins.com