North wins in Four Over South in Optimist in Division-I game

By Jeremy McDonald

SACRAMENTO -- The 31 athletes involved in the Optimist Boys Volleyball Division-I All-Star Game gave the fans at Capital Christian High School a good game.

Despite  North winning with just one practice as a team in a 22-25, 25-18, 25-21, 25-23 victory, the honor of playing in a game like this was still present through the competition.

"It felt great, ending my senior year in volleyball ending this (like this) and represent Woodcreek," said Timberwolves Wesley Levins.

For the first three sets, Whitney's Cole Aidnik and Roseville's Trevor Pratt were dominant forces on the north side of the court.

"We just decided to come out and have fun," said Pratt.  "That's what this whole game is about.  I guess we just relaxed a bit and go for it."

For Roseville Head Coach Jason Cole, sitting number two to Nevada Union's head coach Marco Salcedo, he said that it was an honor to see the kids go out in one more game.

"It's just an honor when you get a bunch of kids that work hard and see them come out here in one final moment," said Cole.

Set three went to the North 25-21, and with the help of Whitney's Cavan Stewart, the North built a 15-7 lead on the south in set four.

"Overall as a team we played really good the entire game," said Aidnik.  "We were kind of making stupid, little mistakes.  Missing serves, trying to force sets that we didn't need to force.

"But overall everyone stepped up and played phenomenally."

The south rallied with a 13-4 run to tie the game at 22

"We were ready to go to the fifth set if we need to," Pratt said. "But we were thinking we can get the ball down and not going to worry about it."

The North settled in, and with a Cavan Stewart kill, the North won the match and Aidnik won the MVP award.

"It feels really good," said Aidnik.  "I couldn't have done it without my team.  I've played with these guys for my entire life and it felt good to play one last game with them and finish a high school career together."

Six Tigers Going To Volleyball Jr. Nationals

From Left-Right:  Tommy Morin, Jacob Cole, Neal Reilly, Cooper Badly, Brain Nuevo.  Sam Toomey was not picture ( Jeremy McDonald- 65 Sports)

From Left-Right:  Tommy Morin, Jacob Cole, Neal Reilly, Cooper Badly, Brain Nuevo.  Sam Toomey was not picture (Jeremy McDonald- 65 Sports)

By Jeremy McDonald

This summer, the Roseville Tigers boys volleyball team will have six athletes from this years squad competing in the USA Junior National Championships between June 28 and July 5.

“It’s very exciting and very honorable because only top 35 or 40 teams from the nation goes to nationals,” said Neil Reilly.  “So it’s a very cool experience to be able to go through and this is my third time going, it’s really cool and it get’s better and better each year though.”

Reilly’s was on Tiger head coach’s Jason Cole’s fifth-place 15’s squad last year and made the All Tournament Team, but the team goal is to medal this year.

“Our team goal is we really want to get a medal, (and) that’s either first, second or third,” said Reilly.  “Last year as a 15 team we got fifth, so we definitely want to get up to the medaling position.”

For Nuevo, competing in club this year for the first time and will be participating on the Cole’s 15-year-old’s squad

“I’m very happy to making the team and I’m very excited to play with my new teammates and working with them and getting better with my game,” he said.

Is he nervous knowing that his high school head varsity coach is coaching the team he is on?

“Just a little, not that much though,” Nuevo said.  “I love coach Cole, he’s a great coach.”

For Roseville Head Boys Volleyball Coach Jason Cole, who’s also an assistant coach on the 17-1 squad to go with head coaching duties with the 15-1’s, his goals are simple for the kids.

“My goal is to help prepare these younger boys for what the expectations are at the varsity level,” he said.

He also mentioned that Junior National Volleyball is a whole different game because of the type of players that are playing at this level, but acknowledge it’s a wonderful experience for these kids to take away with for their respective high schools.

“We are competing with kids from all over the nation (and) some of these kids at the older levels have already secured D-I volleyball scholarships,” said  Cole.  “The Junior National Championships give these athletes the opportunity to be looked at by hundreds of college coaches looking for athletes for their program.

“It is a great opportunity for these kids and a wonderful experience.

Cole has had experience coaching at this level before, prior to his fifth place finish in 2014, his 15’s bronzed in 2013 with nephew Logan Cole who plays at Del Oro, with son Jacob Cole, and Andrew Gruber from Whitney at the game’s at Reno, Nevada.

How they got to this point came down to how they did in qualifiers, the 16’s and 17’s from the Northern California Volleyball Club finished number one in Northern California.  The 17’s got their bid from finishing fifth at the SoCal qualifier, on that team, is Cole’s 15-year-old son Jacob.

“It has been quite a year for him being able to play (Outside Hitter) as he usually only plays Libero during club season,” said Jason Cole.  “It still blows our mind that he is only 15 and competing against the 17 year old boys.”

The 16’s earn their open bid from finishing first in the NorCal Qualifier.  The 15's will be competing in the club division this year.

The 15's are playing in the club division this summer as we did not have enough kids interested to accept the open bid in January," said Cole.  "So we had to make a new team in May. Teams compete year round in tournament in hopes of earning an open bid to Jr.  Nationals during the summer."

Through it all, Cole is thrilled with how many of his own athletes are playing club and he knows the benefits will pay off down the road in a Section Title, NorCal Championship and a State Championship at Roseville High School in the future.



NAME               TEAM

Jacob Cole       17-1
Neal Reilly          16-1
Sam Toomey      16-1
Tommy Morin     16-2
Cooper Badley   15-1 (RHS JV)
Brian Nuevo       15-1 (RHS JV)

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Confidence is high for Tigers in 2016

By Jeremy McDonald

Roseville’s Cinderella season came to an abrupt end Tuesday night versus Deer Valley in the CIF-NorCal Regional playoffs in a 25-9,25-23, 25-20 sweep to the Wolverines, but Tiger Head Coach Jason Cole and his squad aren’t dwindling on that as they’re focused on the future.

We are a young team and it is just awesome for them to accomplish so much being that they so young,” said Cole.  “Like I said before every match from the very first playoff game until now is the experience that Roseville needs to be a solid contender.”

Before the start of the season, before winning the Capital Valley Conference and making a run to sections, the goal for 2015 were simple.

“Honestly we just took it one point, one set, one match at a time,” said Cole.  “Our goal was to win on game day. If I were to have these guys set a long term goal I think they might have lost focus on the task at hand.

“We really had no idea this season would turn out the way it did, We didn't change anything. We just kept doing what worked for us and most of the time we got the win”

As the famous saying goes, ‘If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it!’, and that philosophy followed Roseville throughout the season.

With that the Tigers went 27-9 in the regular season and 13-1 in CVC play, almost unheard of with a team that had three seniors to eight sophomores and three freshman by season’s end on roster!

What was the recipe for success?

“We just worked hard in practice to perfect our skills and increase our knowledge of the game or Volleyball IQ as I like to call it,” described Cole.

Roseville made some noise once they got into the playoffs, first time in school history, by upsetting Jesuit in a three-set sweep in the second round of the CIF-Sac Joaquin Section Division-I bracket.

Then, they took down Division-I powerhouse Granite Bay in four sets and taking CIF-Sac Joaquin Section Division-II powerhouse Whitney to five in the Division-I Section Title game on May 22 to make it to the NorCal Regionals Bracket.

Making it to NorCals was such a great experience,” said Cole on the experience.  “Now all of the Boys in the program and coming in to the program at Roseville know what to expect and what will be expected of them.

Expectations are set high for the Tigers entering 2016 as they aim to get back to get to the section title game once more.

“Do I want to get back to the Section Title match and win? You better believe I do,” said Cole.  “I think now that these boys know what it is like to lose a section championship they are that more hungry to get back to that same title game and do their best to bring home the banner!

The 2016 will be the first year of a true State Champion, said Cole, and the members of his squad will be ready to go and aiming for that banner by the start of the season with the help of club and travel volleyball during the offseason.

Good things are yet to come for the Roseville Tiger Boys Volleyball team in the future!

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Roseville Boy's Volleyball Run Continues into Regional's Tuesday

Head Coach Jason Cole and Jacob Cole share a few words in between plays on the court ( Jeremy McDonald- 65 Sports)

Head Coach Jason Cole and Jacob Cole share a few words in between plays on the court (Jeremy McDonald- 65 Sports)

By Jeremy McDonald

The Maiden Voyage continues for Roseville Boys Volleyball.

Despite a five set defeat to Whitney in the CIF-Sac Joaquin Section Division-I playoffs on May 21, Tigers head coach Jason Cole said the game was an invaluable experience for his team.

"After the emotional loss to Whitney we had a long talk Friday during practice," said Cole.  "A lot of my boys were feeling pretty down on themselves."

But the inspirational message Cole gave his team was simple, be proud.

“For a team loaded with underclassmen they should be pretty proud of what they accomplished this year," said Cole. “I needed them to understand that they have already surpassed every goal that we set out to accomplish so far this year."

Pulling up four Junior Varsity players for the game, Cole expects to be back next season to the big stage at Capital Christian High School in Sacramento since the team has already seen this type of pressure in the playoffs.

I am glad that I pulled up four JV kids to experience the pressure of playoffs,” started Cole.  “Because I expect to get back to Sections next season. Hopefully the experience they have gained in Sections will help them to be confident in what they can accomplish and who knows maybe we will pick up a win on the road Tuesday.”

That’s right, even losing the title game Thursday night, Roseville was awarded the sixth-seed in the CIF-NorCal Division-I Bracket, and even though Monday was a holiday, the Tigers were in the gym, preparing for Tuesday’s road match against Deer Valley (39-1, 10-0 Bay Valley League).

“ Their only loss this year is to Jesuit,” said Cole on the Wolverines.  “So, that will be my motivation for the boys as we were able to beat Jesuit easily in the 2nd round of SJS Section playoffs.

“If we want to beat them we are going to have to play defense. They have one of the best players in Northern California on their team.”

That player is six-foot-four senior Jordan Ewert, a Stanford University commit who has 561 kills, 248 digs and 86 aces in 97 sets that he has played in during the 2015 season. 

But it won’t change the Tiger’s strategy.

“We just need to minimize our errors and play our game,” said Cole on the game plan for Ewert and for Deer Valley.

If Roseville can play spoiler again and defeat the North Coast Section Winners, they’ll play the winner of the Washington/Monta Vista game in the semi-final game Thursday evening.

Tuesday's match begins at 7pm at Deer Valley High School in Antioch, California. 

Whitney Nabs Title In Five over Roseville

Roseville overcame a two sets to none deficit to fall in the fifth set  (Jeremy McDonald 65 Sports)

Roseville overcame a two sets to none deficit to fall in the fifth set (Jeremy McDonald 65 Sports)

By Jeremy McDonald

SACRAMENTO –  It was truly the ‘Battle of the Cats’ at Thursday night’s CIF-Sac Joaquin Section Division-I boys volleyball Section Title game between Whitney and Roseville.

After being in full control of the game entering the third set, the Wildcats were stunned by two set wins by the Tigers that forced the Section Title to come down to a decisive fifth set.

But the experience of the Wildcats proved too much, winning their third section title with a three sets to two victory, 25-18, 25-19, 19-25, 20-25, 17-15 their first title in Division-I.

"It's the greatest feeling I've ever had," said Will Bebinger.  "After all the hard work and going through all the obstacles we've had, losing to them twice.  They're a great team.  It feels really great to win."

"Just desire, from both sides," added Daniel Jones on the game.  "I feel like we've came out, really really strong and you saw it in the first two sets.  We went on runs and they couldn't do anything to come back.

Whitney found themselves down in a 4-1 hole to the upbeat Roseville squad. 

That was until the figurative Goliath woke up.

The Cat’s rallied and had build a 18-13 lead before the Tigers tried to answer.

Behind  Trevor Pratt, Roseville managed to cut the Whitney lead to three before Whitney proved too much in the 25-18 first set win.

The 'Cats used their first set momentum to build a 12-5 lead before a Tiger 7-2 advantage brought them to two.

With the help of Daniel Jones, Whitney were within a point of a set two victory before poor outside hitting allowed Roseville to bring it to 24-19 on a 6-0 run.

Cavan Stewart ended the set with a kill, but the Tigers used the set two momentum to take set three 25-19.

“Teams fall down and they comeback up,” said Zach Mancha.  "Within those two sets, we got down on ourselves.  We weren't playing Roseville Volleyball how it should be.

"We fought back.   We've played this team before, we knew we could play them.  We just had to put our best first foot forward and just attack it."

Roseville jumped on Whitney once more in the fourth set by building a 19-6 lead.

But Stewart and company rallied on a 8-2 advantage to bring it to a 18-17 deficit.

The Tigers proved too much however as strength in their hits had caught Whitney off guard as Roseville forced a decisive fifth set for the Section title with a 25-20 set win.

Entering the fifth set, it was a pound for-pound slugfest. 

One team would go up by two, the other would tie it and they would take a two point lead before the other tied it.

"Then they started to pumping it up and we let up a little bit," said Jones. "That's when they took those two sets from us.  After that, it was neck to neck.  A couple of balls went our way and a few great effort plays by our backrow players and it put us ahead."

It wasn't until it was tied at 15 with a kill and a block by Matt Honberger and Bebinger that would seal both teams fates.

"I'm just super proud of this team," said Tiger head coach Jason Cole.  "They're young and you can see towards the end that they're experience outweighed us.

"We've been here.  Pressure wise, but never been here to experience it.  This is the first time and I could've asked for anything better., they didn't roll over and give them the game."

Up next, both teams are heading to the NorCal Regional Tournament.  It is suspected that Whitney will get a home game following this win, but both team’s will find out Sunday afternoon or evening of where they’ll be Tuesday.

"We've been working hard," said Mancha.  "Right now, we have to prove to people that we aren't a team that lose by two and give up, we push forward.

"Regionals we have to push farther.  We got to show people that we can play at this level even though our experience is young."

Stay tuned to Placer 65 Sports for updates on where Whitney and Roseville will be Tuesday!

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"Eye of The Tiger": The Bryce Reichmann Story



By Jeremy McDonald

When you hear Survivors ‘Eye of The Tiger’, images may run of iconic scenes from the movie Rocky and the underdog Rocky Balboa overcoming adversity for a chance to live his dream boxing.

 Bryce Reichmann, the Roseville High School graduate and former Sierra College baseball pitcher, is living his version of Rocky through the ‘Eye of the Tiger’.

Let’s back track three years, to Reichmann’s junior year of high school when he was playing on a travel ball squad, playing in front of collegiate recruits.

This is when this college sophomore got discouraged of the sport he had played his whole life.

 “When I was out there,” said Reichmann.  “No one was really interested in me because I couldn’t hit 80 miles an hour and I got discouraged.  I remember coming back into the dugout one time and a coach told me, ‘Can you hit 80 miles an hour on the gun so I can try to sell you to a school’. 

“No one really wanted me there and I got discouraged with the sport and I just got burnt out.  So I took a year off and decided that baseball wasn’t going to be for me.

His senior year he worked at Baskin Robbins off of Foothill Blvd in Roseville and played water polo.

But during this time, he realized his passion was still there with baseball.

“While I was at Baskin Robbins, I really missed it and I wanted to get back into it,” said Reichmann.  “I went to a Crossfit gym got into really good shape. I played water polo that year, so I honestly say my senior year I was in the best shape of my life.”

He met up with pitching coach Dan Greenhalgh to get his pitching mechanics back to par, and Reichmann hit a ‘growth spurt’ of sorts in his pitching.

“When I got back into it, I started working with my pitching coach again, my velocity had jumped tremendously.”

Two months after he started throwing again, Reichmann was throwing 86, 88 and eventually hit the 90 miles an hour mark.

“It was just fun getting back into it,” he said.  “I didn’t realize what it was like to go without it until you experience it.  It gave me a better appreciation for the game.”

That’s when he arrived at Sierra College in Rocklin.

The preparation for the four year tested one’s senses at the junior college level.

“At the college level it’s a little different than the high school level,” said Reichmann.  “They can talk to you with a little bit more intensity at the college level, and really prepare you for the intense situation.

“When you’re out there it’s not just the coaches, it’s your peers, it’s everyone out there.  Everyone at Sierra wanted it more than anyone wanted it at high school.”

But the hard work would pay off.

By Reichmann’s sophomore season, he was 4-6 in 11 starts with 46 strikeouts and a 3.46 earn-run-average.

“He has gone from sort of a nobody his first semester to our ace by his sophomore season,” said Wolverines Head Coach Robert Willson.  “He did this by working hard and listening and learning our pitching philosophy. We have a very unique philosophy which is different from other teams.

“Sierra was just a great program out there and the coaches made me understand it more,” said Reichmann.  “Every level higher, I imagine people want it more, they’re all more dedicated to the sport.”

His hard work paid off, receiving an offer at NCAA Division-I St. Mary’s College in Moraga, California.

“When I gone to visit, the campus was really nice,” “It’s a smaller campus.  To be honest I might be going to a campus that’s smaller than Sierra.  It’s going to be different.”

St. Mary’s student body this year is 3,055.  Sierra College is at 18, 635 for their student body.

But that’s no big deal as Reichmann focuses on the task at hand to help out a Gaels team that went 28-27 in 2015.

“When I talked to the coaches, how they broke it down their program for me,” he said.  “They video tape your bullpen, they watch everything.  They have their weight room on the side; they have you run a lot. 

“That seems like a program that really would help me.”

 Eric Valenzuela and his coaching staff explained that every spot on the chart is open and that you have to come back and work hard for your spot every year.

“You got to come back and earn if you were a starter last year,” said Reichmann.  “Work hard at it and they see it in you, I could be a starter, I could fill in as a reliever…but if you give it all, only good can come out of it.”

But as any good athlete knows, the classroom is just as important as athletics.  For Reichmann, the business major reiterates the idea of being a Student-Athlete, knowing that athletics isn’t forever.

“Academics is basically everything,” “That’s what you’re going to school for. That’s your priority, school and I’m trying to do my hardest to get the best grades that I can. 

“When you get out of school, you don’t have anything to your name.  I could put down I play baseball and worked at Baskin Robbins my senior year, but the first thing they’ll see is where you came from and what your GPA is.  The higher GPA is, (it) shows your work ethic.”

Reichmann also added onto his belief that hard work in the classroom pays off in the real world and that A’s and B’s have a higher weight than C’s and D’s.

As finals wind down at Sierra College, the hopes are high for Reichmann as he reports for the prospect league in Illinois on Saturday, May 23 to play for the Danville Dans for two and a half months.

“The prospect league, St. Mary hooked me up with that,” “They provide such great learning experiences.  It’s going to be different going out there.”

Someone Reichmann was speaking with said that average attendance to games were about 1,800 people.

“I mean I never played in front of that,” said Reichmann with a laugh.  “It’s going to be a different experience.  You’re going to learn to be around that, you’re going to learn to make your pitches under that kind of pressure.”

It is something that Reichmann is ready to tackle.

In a matter of three years, Reichmann went from feeling discouraged about playing the sport he loved to working his way up to a Division-I College team.

Bryce Reichmann, a modern day Rocky Balboa.  A modern day ‘Eye of The Tiger’.

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The Battle of the Cats

By Jeremy McDonald

It's dubbed 'The Battle Of The Cats', the rematch of the Capital Valley Conference season.  It's Roseville versus Whitney for the CIF-Sac Joaquin Section Division-I Section Title.

During the regular season, the Tigers swept the Wildcats in CVC play, winning six of the nine sets played during league play.

But Whitney would take a tournament match however, on April 11 at the JDVBT Tournament in Chico, two sets to one.

In the playoffs the 'Cats have made some noise in the Division-I bracket en route to the section final game after being moved up from Division-II.

They swept Elk Grove and Grant in the first and third rounds and winning a five-set thriller over Nevada Union on May 14 in the second round of the playoffs.

(It’s) very excited,” said Whitney Head Coach Erich Means on the playoff push.  “(The)  team has worked very hard in practices and been focused on each upcoming opponent,.

“(We’re) really forward to playing in the Section Title game,” Means added.  “Division-I versus Division-II does not mean too much really.  The teams in each of the division play against each other all year.  “

Means also mentioned that having three teams from the CVC making playoffs and are still in play, shows how strong the league is a whole.

For Roseville, who won the CVC with a 12-1 record and are 30-9 overall in 2015, have dominanted throughout the playoffs.

In their three games entering Wednesday match up with the Wildcats, the Tigers swept McClatchy to start the playoffs before upsetting Jesuit in a three-set tight sweep over the Maudaders.

Despite dropping one set to Granite Bay in the semi-final game, Roseville settled in to win three sets to one en route to their trip to  the CIF-Sac Joaquin Section Division-I Section Final.

"Honestly the run that we have has this year has been just amazing," said Tiger Head coach Jason Cole.  "These guys really just want to go out there and win for each other. They are a great group. 

"This is the first year Roseville has even made it to the playoffs. I think a lot of teams tend to underestimate us. I think it is safe to say that we have proved that we can contend with the best teams in the Section and win those games too."

Jeremy's Prediction:  Roseville Wins A Four-Set Thriller.  Two of the Sets will go into extras.

First serve is slated for 730pm at Capital Christian High School in Sacramento.


Roseville Boys Volleyball Pull the Upset

By Jeremy McDonald

The last time Jesuit has lost a Men's Volleyball match was April 25, one of their eight matches dropped in 2015 entering Thursday's Match with Roseville in the CIF-Sac Joaquin Section Division-I playoffs.

That was, until the TIgers pulled perhaps one of the biggest upsets in the bracket with not defeating the Maraduers, but sweeping them 25-19, 25-20, 25-23 to advance to the Final Four of the bracket.

"We played together as a team," said Tiger Head Coach Jason Cole.  "We have just been focused on one point and one game at a time."

"We really did not have any limitations other than Jesuits gym has a very low ceiling. So they definitely had home team advantage over us."

Up next for Roseville is Granite Bay.  First serve is at 7pm in Granite Bay with the winner going to the Section Final at Capital Christian High School on May 21.



Roseville Baseball gets No. 1 Seed In Playoffs

By Jeremy McDonald

In their first season playing in the Capital Valley Conference after moving over from the Sierra Foothill League, the Roseville Tigers (16-11, 11-3 CVC) were awarded the number one seed in the CIF-Sac Joaquin Section Division-II bracket.

"My reaction to us being awarded the number one seeding is that it's flattering, but at the end of the day it's just a number." said head coach Lance Fischer. "It doesn't matter what number they give you, you still have to go out and play really good baseball to make a run at this thing. 

"This is the point of the year where every team is good, motivated and hungry to get the job done so we have to compete our tails off to get where we want to be and accomplish what we what to accomplish."

As most teams in the bracket have the next few days off to recover for preparations of the "third season", the plan to fill the time is to reflect and improve.

"This time off may be beneficial as well in that it will give our arms a little time to recover a bit," said Fischer. "It will allow us some time to kind of look back on our season and take note of where we were deficient and really take some time to work on those aspects, as well as revisit and/or add in some things."

During this time, the Tigers will be playing some intrasquad competitions to try to simulate "game speed" the best they can.

The strengths for Roseville that they'll turn to are pitching and defense that helps out set up their offense.

"Our starting pitching has really kept us in games this season," said Fischer.  "Our defense has done an exceptional job this year as well."

On the mound; Devin Orr and Nick Espino compensate starters Adam Erickson, Andrew Hansen and Andres Lara perfectly to get the play going and are expecting to continue their dominance into the playoffs.

The defense behind the pitcher have been outstanding for the Tigers entering the playoffs, helping Roseville permit only 2.8 runs a game in CVC-play.

"Jordan Woods and Justin Robbins have done an outstanding job at third for us," said Fischer. "Our shortstop Devin Orr just seems to make every tough play look easy and our center fielder Brad James may be the best defensive outfielder I've ever coached. 

"Our catcher Chad Alves has worked his tail off and become a much, much better receiving and blocking catcher along with putting a very good offensive season together.  John Kidder, or left fielder has done a stellar job defensively and is a tough out at the plate having only struck out one time all season."  

Offensively, Fischer points to his team being contagious with the bats once they get rolling; regardless where it starts in the lineup

Brad James has eight stolen bases and has six extra base hits that includes one homerun, Orr leads the team with 31 hits, in doubles with eight. and has drove in 14 RBIs for the Tigers.

But the overall plan entering baseball's next season is simple said Fischer:  ' play clean baseball, we can be a very tough team to beat'

They await the winner of Monday's Laguna Creek/American Cayon game and will play at American River College at 7pm.