Freshmen takeover

Among the Saddleback Women’s volleyball team are three standout freshmen. Mandy Sides, a 5 feet,10-inches tall outside hitter from Whittier Christian High School, leads the team with 132 kills so far this season.

Nicolette Spriggs, also an outside hitter, is a JSerra High School alumna with 0.750 kills per set this season. Mariah Torres, a setter from Vista Murrieta High School, leads the team with 250 aces this season.

The Gaucho Women’s Volleyball team has placed seventh in the Orange Empire Conference since 2006, however they plan to step it up this year. With the team’s present record of 4-6 compared to last year’s record of 5-17, the ladies are already showing improvement early in the season.

What makes this season different may be the fact that the team is made up of a large majority of freshmen players.

“Because we have a whole new team we are working completely fresh,” said Torres.

From what the team has proven, it is a great possibility that they will surpass seventh place in the Orange Empire Conference for the first time in six years!

For Sides, Spriggs, and Torres choosing Saddleback had two main factors: education and volleyball, stating Saddleback had more appeal than other schools. “Saddleback felt like a good fit for me when I felt a good connection with the girls on the team,” said Sides.

Off the court, all three freshmen enjoy Saddleback College as a learning environment and a community.

“I chose Saddleback because it is well known and has a great transfer rate,” Spriggs said.

As of now, none of the ladies have plans to pursue volleyball competitively at a four-year university.

Sides, Spriggs, and Torres are enjoying their time at Saddleback College as part of the Gaucho Athletic Program.

“We work hard at practice and keep it fast paced, but also have fun,” said Sides.

Catch the women in action October 5 at home against Fullerton and October 7 at Orange Coast College.