Redlands East Valley will have new nonleague opponents next year and won’t have to travel far at least for a couple of them.
Coach Kurt Bruich said the Wildcats will play Upland and Etiwanda, and need to find a third opponent.
“We’re not scared of playing anybody. We’ve been trying to schedule Upland for years,” he said. “It finally worked out.”
This year, REV played road games against Chaminade, St. Bonaventure and Rancho Verde.
Senior Stephanie Ruelas of Redlands East Valley has committed to Concordia University in Irvine, where she will continue her softball and academic career.
Ruelas will conclude her high school career, following what will be her fourth year on the Wildcats’ varsity team.
“I want to make this season my best. To really go out with a bang and grow as a team. We have a great team this year with a lot of good talent,” she said. “I look forward to a successful season both personally and with my team as a whole. It’s also bittersweet knowing this will be my fourth and final season playing with my best friend Riley Plogger.”
Going into her senior season, Ruelas has goals in mind that will not only benefit her as a Wildcat but as she prepares for the next chapter in her career.
“I want to become more of a leader,” she added. “I also want to build up more strength and speed overall.”
While the Wildcat did draw offers from other college programs outside of Southern California, she stated that Concordia was her first official offer.
“I loved the small size of the campus and that it provides a great learning environment with a high education. I also loved the religious aspects of the school,” she explained. “Their softball team, along with their coaching staff, made me fall in love and they are so welcoming and nice.”
Ruelas also added that she is wanted to be apart of the universities’ transition into NCAA Division 2.
Redlands East Valley is used to going on the road. After all, the Wildcats are one of the few large schools in the county without their own stadium on campus, but coach Kurt Bruich is glad the long road trips are behind them, at least until the playoffs.
This week, REV is hitting the road for the third straight week to start the season, but Bruich is looking forward to a more reasonable road trip to Moreno Valley Rancho Verde after trips to West Hills and Ventura the first two weeks.
“We didn’t get back to the school until after midnight, and I’m not getting home until 2 or 3,” Bruich said. “We’re ecstatic it’s only 35 miles.”
REV will play its first “home” game next week in the Citrus Belt League opener against Carter at Citrus Valley High.
Many of the top girls volleyball teams in the CIF Southern Section will be in Las Vegas this weekend for the 64-team Durango Fall Classic, which will be held at four high schools.
TX Body: And several of the top teams from San Bernardino County will be there, including preseason Sun Top 10 teams Redlands East Valley, Chino Hills and Rim of the World. Los Osos is a fourth county team in the tournament.
“I’m interested to see how we compete against bigger schools.” Rim coach Linda Pattison said.
All three of the county ranked teams, could end up facing each other if the seedings hold.
All three are seeded third in their four-team pool, so if they all went 1-2 in their pools on Friday they’d have a chance to play each other in Classic qualifying round Saturday morning or in the Classic Division Bracket or Contenter Division Bracket later on Saturday.
Rim is the highest seeded of the four county teams, seeded 40th overall, followed by REV (43rd), Chino Hills (47th) and Los Osos (57th). Los Osos is seeded fourth in its pool.
Pattison said Rim’s 14-25, 20-25, 25-16, 25-21, 15-12 win last week over REV improved the Scots’ seeding for the tournament.
“It moved us up more than it moved them down,” she said.
Rim’s win also did a lot for her team beyond tournament seeding.
“REV’s a good team and it shows we’re capable of beating a team like that,” she said.
In the match, Pattison said middle blocker Tia MacGuire, who Pattison did not expect to play due to an ankle injury, provided a big lift by playing in Sets 3, 4 and 5. They also had regular standouts Maddie Newcombe and Chloe Castillo (17 kills).
Rim usually schedules a tough preseason, so beating REV could help Rim in this tournament, in REV’s tournament Oct. 17 or in the CIF-SS playoffs.
Rim will play Honolulu ‘Iolani, Vista Murrieta and Los Osos in pool play on Friday.