Following the Southwest High carnival at the Eagle gym on Saturday, the 2022 girls volleyball season kicks off today with two matches.
The action begins when the Holtville High Vikings host the Central Union High Spartans at 6:00 pm while the Southwest Eagles have their first home match of the season at 5:30 pm when they host the Mt. Empire Redmen.
For the two-time defending Imperial Valley League and the 2019 CIF-San Diego Section Division V champion Vikings, they are hoping their 2022 year continues to be a good one.
“We’ve been busy last winter and this spring and other than dead week we’ve been working hard as a team,” said Holtville coach Chelsey Strahm. “Since January we have been in a national program club program called Starling, and we played in San Diego.
Holtville has most of their players back from the Viking’s 2021 CIF D-IV semi-finalist team.
“We had all of our returnees back on the varsity and a few up from JV and we may add a few more,” Strahm said. “The girls have been working hard. We ended up winning the Startling national finals in San Diego this spring.”
The Southwest carnival marked the debut of new Central coach Yvanna Lopez, who along with Kristina Bird, co-coached the Spartans last season to a Desert League and a CIF-San Diego Section Division V championships.
“Saturday we played two scrimmages and it went well,” Lopez said. “We only lost one senior but we play in the Carnival to try different scenarios and figure out our team in a competitive environment and to see other teams.”
It will be a big week for Lopez and the Spartans as in addition to the Holtville match today then they host the Imperial Tigers at Central High on Thursday at 6:00 pm
Lopez’s Spartans are currently in CIF’s Division IV and wants her squad to play a competitive schedule.
“We played against a similar competitive level last year and it helped us in the playoffs,” Lopez said. “This season with us coming out of DV it is more important to play the best teams we can.”
Holtville will also host a non-league match against the Imperial Valley League rival Calexico High Bulldogs on Thursday at 6:00 pm The two schools will meet again twice in IVL play later in the season.
Tomorrow night when the Brawley High Wildcats host the Palo Verde High, it will be the first formal on-court time for Brawley and recently appointed varsity coach Lindsay Rubin as the Wildcat varsity squad did not compete in the Southwest carnival. Rubin and the Wildcats will make their 2022 debut in a non-league match at 5:00 pm, then will not play again until the 22nd at Desert Mirage High in Thermal.
The Calipatria High Hornets are idle this week after they scrimmaged this past Saturday at Mt. Empire with the Hornets opening their season hosting Warner Springs High next week.
No schedule for Vincent Memorial Catholic High is available for August and the school has made no announcement as to who the Scots coach will be.