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Legionnaires gaining volleyball skills

Joe Naiman

Village News Reporter

Bonsall High School’s girls volleyball team had a 1-12 record and the Legionnaires were 0-4 in Sierra League play after a 25‑12, 25-19, 25-5 league loss Oct. 4 on the road against River Valley Charter School, but Bonsall coach Jessica Kaller isn’t disappointed with her team.

“I love the girls’ great energy, great effort,” Kaller said. “I’m happy with where we’re at. I wish we had a little more time to practice.”

Bonsall was winless in 2022. Kaller, who played volleyball and basketball at Temecula Valley High School and was also on the Cal State Fullerton women’s basketball team for a year, has been hired by the Bonsall Unified School District as a SEAS (Social, Emotional, and Academic Success) special education professional. Kaller also took over the Legionnaires’ girls volleyball program, and she will be Bonsall’s girls basketball coach once that CIF season begins.

“I love it. I’m excited,” Kaller said.

Kaller sees opportunity for her players to grow. “Just very proud of the girls. For me, it’s all about them,” she said.

Bonsall’s season began Aug. 22 with a 25-5, 25-7, 25-16 home loss against Borrego Springs. The Legionnaires fell to 0-5 Sept. 5 with a home loss against Warner Springs but, for the first time all season, Bonsall won a game during the 25-10, 25-12, 23-25, 25-10 match.

“It was incredible,” said Bonsall senior right side hitter Noelani Kaimuloa. “I’m really confident in the team this year.”

Bonsall followed the match against Warner with a 25-13, 25-14, 25-13 loss Sept. 7 at Borrego Springs. The Legionnaires then won a Sept. 11 match at Guajome Park.

River Valley Charter School, which is chartered by the Lakeside Union School District but is a K-12 school, opened and joined the CIF in 1997. In 2007, the CIF San Diego Section formed the Frontier League for independent schools. The Frontier Conference now splits its teams into leagues based primarily on competitive balance, but in many cases a school is unable to obtain enough players to field a sport and some schools are transferred to a different league.

River Valley and Bonsall, which opened in 2014 and began CIF athletics in 2015, were Apollo League opponents in 2015 and 2016 and Pioneer League opponents in 2017. The Legionnaires and Snow Leopards had not played each other in a league match since 2017 prior to the Oct. 4 competition, which was also the teams’ first match against each other since the CIF Division V semifinal on Nov. 5, 2019, when River Valley defeated Bonsall in three games to advance to the 2019 Division V final.

River Valley and Bonsall were both league champions in 2019; the Snow Leopards compiled an undefeated Sierra League season and Bonsall had clinched the Patriot League before losing the final regular-season match that year. River Valley also defeated Bonsall in the first round of the 2018 CIF playoffs.

“We have really good teamwork, really good energy,” Kaller said. “They’re learning what hard work is.”

 

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