Fresno City volleyball, men’s soccer teams one win from state finals

Fresno City College right side hitter Sydney Molander will never forget what happened to her team last season in the playoffs.

The Rams needed one win to get to the state finals and standing in the way was a Foothill team looking to spoil that quest. Fresno City fell short of that bid, losing in four sets in the third round.

Fresno City and the Owls met again in the playoffs Tuesday – this time in the first round of the NorCal Regional – and the Rams swept their way to victory, 25-17, 28-26, 25-19.

The Rams on Saturday will host No. 10 Feather River at 5 p.m., with the winner advancing to the state elite eight in Woodland Hills on Dec. 3-4.

“We’re going to play our hearts out,” said Molander, who finished with seven kills and three blocks. “They had one specific player that killed us (last year) that we couldn’t block her or pass her. She was very good and knew our weaknesses and took advantage of them. That was extremely upsetting. The sophomores came back this year and said, ‘We’re not going to let it happen and we’re going to win.’ ”

Rams outside hitter Jenna Goldsberry had 13 kills and seven digs.

Fresno City was pushed to the limit in the second set before winning 28-26. The Rams led 8-1 in the third set before the Owls reeled off five straight points. Fresno City controlled the match from there.

“We got in some ruts as a team,” Goldsberry said. “We weren’t doing as well as we could, but we needed that pressure and it was good for our team to overcome that.”

Said Rams coach Kieran Roblee described: “We’re excited we’re moving on. We know what we’re going to focus on the next few days in practice so we can get to that next level. We have to be ready to go.”

Men’s soccer - Andres Rios scored off a rebound in the 74th minute as top-seeded Fresno City edged No. 8 Evergreen Valley 1-0.

The goal came off a free kick and Evergreen Valley goalkeeper Matt Brasil made the initial save before the ball bounced off him and Rios kicked it in.

“We played really well in the first half with a bit of hard luck not finding the net,” said Rams coach Eric Solberg, whose team outshot Evergreen Valley 11-6. “The men kept grinding and we found one to push us to the elite eight in the state.”

No. 5 Feather River (16-0-4) defeated No. 13 Clovis Community College 4-1. The Crush ends their inaugural season at 10-7-6.

Fresno City (17-1-4) and Feather River meet in the third round of the NorCal Regional at 2 p.m. Saturday, with the winner advancing to the state semifinals at Ventura College.

“We are not satisfied and know Feather River is a very tough matchup,” Solberg said. “Got to find a way (to win).”

Women’s soccer - No. 5 Fresno City was eliminated from the NorCal Regional after No. 4 San Joaquin Delta won in penalty kicks, 3-1, after a scoreless match. The Rams end the season at 17-3-3.

Anthony Galaviz: 559-441-6042, @agalaviz_TheBee