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SBVC Volleyball Set to Begin New Era

By Bill Norris
Sports Information Specialist
05/24/2023 at 04:31 PM

When Robert Vansant was named the new head coach of the San Bernardino Valley College women's volleyball program, he knew that he would need to bring in players who were going to have to work hard to help the Wolverines rebuild after several down seasons.

Vansant brings a wealth of local experience to the SBVC program and he hopes his knowledge of the local volleyball community will be an asset to help SBVC grow the volleyball program.

"I want to thank Athletic Director Dave Rubio and the San Bernardino Valley College administration for giving me this opportunity to lead such a storied program," Vansant said. "I am honored to have the chance to mold young women on and off the court. San Bernardino Valley volleyball has always been about the players and helping them reach their goals achieving excellence in all that they do, and I can not wait to start a new chapter with them."

Vansant spent the last two years as a volunteer assistant at Cal State San Bernardino, helping the Coyotes to a 46-11 record and a CCAA title. Previously, he was the head coach at Redlands East Valley from 2014-19, leading the Wildcats to two Citrus Belt League championships, posting a record of 112-57. He also served as an assistant at REV, when the Wildcats won three CIF championships and made two appearances in the state finals. He has also served as a coach with the Rancho Valley Volleyball Club, based in San Bernardino.

That local knowledge has helped Vansant as he was looking to build his first squad. He has brought in a group of hard workers, he said. Players who are ready for the challenge of playing at the next level.

Leading the charge are two returners to the program, sophomores Maddie Kettle and Sidney Habaradas. Kettle, an outside hitter, was second on the 2022 team in digs, and third in kills for the Wolverines. Habaradas returns to the squad after sitting out the 2022 season. 

"Both of these returners will be expected to lead this young and talented Wolverine group," Vansant said. "Both have extremely good ball control skills that will be needed for us to be successful. I am excited to see to what heights they can take this team. Together they are ready to bring a championship culture back to SBVC."

Joining the two sophomores are a group of freshmen that Vansant has high hopes for leading the Wolverines to the top of the Inland Empire Athletic Conference.

They are:

Loleaulelei Mamea, Outside Hitter, Summit High School

"The level of competitiveness Lole has is contagious. Her athleticism can be intimidating for opponents. She brings a wealth of experience to our young team. I can't wait to see where Lole will take us."

Manaia Mamea, Outside Hitter, Summit High School

"We are extremely lucky to have Manaia join the Wolverine family. She has the ability to take over matches with her athleticism and intelligent shot-making abilities. Manaia embodies a lot of the values we value in our program: hard work, competition, and a team-first attitude."

Destiny Parker, Defensive Specialist/Libero, M.L. King High School

"Destiny brings a grittiness that is hard to find. She is constantly working to be the best player she can be. Her willingness to sacrifice for the good of the team is unmatched. We are expecting Destiny to do great things during her time at Valley."

Annika Ferreras, Setter, Grand Terrace High School

"Annika brings a wealth of knowledge to the setting position. Her tenacity on the defensive and service line will be an asset for us this year. I am looking forward to seeing her growth this season."

Alexia Campos, Outside Hitter, San Gorgonio High School

"Alexia is a strong attacker from the left and the right. She is the type of player that makes everyone around her better. Her humble approach to the game is going to make her a great teammate."

Abigail Kitts, Setter/Opposite Hitter, Serrano High School

"The joy that Abby brings to the court is going to make her a fan favorite. She is like a sponge and wants to soak up as much information as possible. The ability to play multiple positions is going to make us better as a team."

Anai Casillas, Middle Blocker, San Gorgonio High School

"From the first day I met Anai, I could tell she is the type of player we wanted in our program. She is always going to work hard and cares about others' successes as much as her own. She will be pushed to continue to grow offensively and defensively."

Rita Avei, Middle Blocker, Eisenhower High School

"What Rita lacks in experience, she makes up for in determination. She is a quick learner that wants to be great. We expect Rita to be a force at the net and to bring some much-needed offense. The sky is the limit for Rita."