Claremont High School volleyball coach Mark Mina went into the season thinking his team had the potential to win the Palomares League. Well that didn’t happen, a key factor being the absence of top player Emilee Rohrer who was out with a knee injury.
The team settled for a third-place finish behind Glendora and Bonita.
But the Wolfpack (17-11) have Rohrer, a USC commit, back and they have notched a couple of impressive playoff wins over Apple Valley (3-0) and Palm Desert (3-1).
The task gets a little tougher as the Wolfpack gets top-ranked Louisville in a Division 2A quarterfinal at 7 p.m. on Saturday.
“It was nice to get a couple of playoff wins because we were disappointed with third,” Mina said. “It took awhile but we started coming together.”
Mina credited some of his other players for picking up the slack with Rohrer out including another sophomore Kylie Robinson. He also singled out junior Simone Bliss.
Mina said Rohrer looks back to her usual self on the offensive end. She had been playing all the way around but he will use her only in the front row and when she is back to serve.
“Defense is one of those things you have to play as a cohesive unit and move together,” the coach said. “It might be more disruptive to try and put her back there now. And this way she is also just focused on hitting.”
The winner of this match advances to meet the winner of the quarterfinal between Glendora and Notre Dame Academy.