Folsom volleyball heads to Rocklin for section opener

By: Nick Pecoraro/Telegraph Correspondent
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Despite fighting through a subpar 5-16 season, the Lady Bulldogs were able to grab the 16th and final spot in the Division II bracket. That’s the good news. The not-so-good news is that Folsom is slated to challenge No. 1 seeded Rocklin at 7 p.m. on Tuesday. Rocklin (35-3) is the three-time defending Sierra Foothill Conference champ and winner of 11 straight matches heading into the playoffs. Folsom coach Cinnamon DaSilva and company may be feeling a little déjà vu as they faced the same Rocklin team as a 16-seed in the postseason a year ago. The Thunder abruptly ended Folsom’s playoff run last season with a 3-1 victory over the Lady Bulldogs in the first round of the section playoffs. “What do we have to lose? Mentally, we just need to relax and see what a great opportunity we have been given to play in the playoffs,” said DaSilva. “Everything is on the line for Rocklin, so the way I see it, we have the upper hand. If we can mentally keep ourselves in the game and execute smart plays, then we have a chance.” After the regular-season finale against Oak Ridge on No. 2, DaSilva and the Lady Bulldogs were almost certain that the postseason was out of reach with just a 3-7 regular season record—good for fourth place in the Delta River League. “(Making the playoffs) was a bit of a surprise. We thought our second half loss to Pleasant Grove would keep us out, but I was wrong. I think the short break from practices may give us a fresh approach and an advantage going into playoffs,” DaSilva said. New additions to the Delta River League such as Oak Ridge and Ponderosa gave Folsom much stiffer competition this year, perhaps impacting the number-crunching aspect of selecting playoff teams from tougher leagues throughout the section. This is the seventh consecutive year that Folsom has reached the postseason. “I think everyone is pretty stoked to be going to playoffs again,” said DaSilva. “Rocklin is a good team and we expect them to have big hitters, tough servers and good defense. This is the playoffs. We expect them to play us tough.”