The Gavilan College women's volleyball team will make its third consecutive appearance in the Northern California Regional playoffs Tuesday night as it faces host San Joaquin Delta College in Stockton.
The Rams, who finished the season with a 16-10 record – runner-up in the Coast Conference South – drew the No. 12 seed for the second straight year. The Mustangs (18-8) are the No. 5 seed in the bracket of 16 teams. Gavilan's Coast Conference South foes, Cabrillo, is the No. 1 seed.
"That (No. 12/No. 5) matchup is what you want and gives you the best opportunity as a low seed to advance," Gavilan head coach Kevin Kramer said. "We matchup well on paper with Delta. If things go right, obviously we will have a chance to win."
The Rams will be without starting sophomore setter Melissa Avila, who broke a bone in her foot against De Anza on Nov. 9. The team has also been dealing with the emotional toll left in the wake of the death of fellow Gavilan student-athlete Andrel Gaines, who died from major injuries he suffered in a Nov. 6 car accident. The players had worn commemorative hair ribbons during each of their last three matches.
"Nobody is dealing with it very well," Kramer said. "But they are in class and at practice, so they are doing what they need to do. Volleyball has been an outlet for these girls their entire lives. What better time than (the playoffs) to use the outlet and go out and get a win."