Assistant coaches compare coaching to playing

February 23, 2011

Assistant coaches Natatlie Cooley and Conni Holloway are two former Solano players who are instrumental in advising this year’s Solano players on a variety of issues. Whether they are confided in to talk about basketball or personal matters, the Falcons know they can turn to Natalie and Conni at any time.

Natalie and Conni took some time to talk to us about what it means to be an assistant coach as a former player.

Conni Holloway

Being a coach and a former player means a lot to me because players and coaches put in a lot of hard work and dedication. Being a player at Solano meant a lot to me, because you work your butt off during practice and games. When you win games and a championship you feel good about it and all the sacrifice that went into winning. You also develop relationships with teammates and the coaches that will never be forgotten.

As a coach you sacrifice more family time and me time for the sake of the players and the program. It may go unnoticed but it still feels rewarding to know that what you are doing pays off when you win games and a championship.

As a mother, wife, student, coach and friend, life becomes tangled and sometimes you have to sacrifice one thing for the next and you have to sit back and wonder, “Did I make the best decision?” Not only for me but for the people that surround your life.

Winning a championship means more than a banner, it means that “EVERY SACRIFICE, EVERY PRACTICE, EVERY LONG RIDE IN THE VANS, EVERYTIME YOU’RE GONE FROM HOME MEANT SOMETHING.” Now I can show my daughters what we accomplished together.

I tell the players all the time that it all starts at practice, once you have fully understood that, then you’re prepared for every game. I text them about things they need to improve or just words of encouragement. At the end of the day they are young ladies of the game and what they go through in life matters whether we win or lose.

Natalie Cooley

This was my first year in probably 10 years that I have not played basketball. At first, the transition of coaching from playing was hard. When Coach Matt first said “on the line,” I wanted to run to the line! There are days it’s hard to watch the girls compete in such great practice drills and not be part of it. However, after a few months I began to realize the benefit of coaching- connecting with the girls.

My favorite part about coaching is advising a player about a move or technique or expectation and the player reacts with such eagerness to learn! I love when players say, “Hey Coach Nat can you watch me for a minute? Can you tell me if I’m doing this correctly?” I love to help those who want to learn and their attitude makes coaching so rewarding!

Being a Solano basketball player reflects so much of who you are as a person. As the season ends, practice and games may end and sophomores may leave, but what you learn from Coach Matt and the Solano program lasts forever. You learn that discipline, dedication, hard work and friendship never end and in order to be successful you must continue with what you learned at Solano. Every player who comes out of the Solano program becomes a better person whether physically, mentally or academically. I hope the girls understand the great accomplishment they all have gone through by getting through another successful year of Solano basketball. I hope when the year ends they will be proud that they got through a program that many cannot handle and what that means about their character and about their future.


Jones named first team all-state

February 21, 2011

Ivy Jones was named first team all-state on Monday.

Ivy Jones, Solano’s sophomore point guard, was named first team all-state on Monday.

Ivy is the first Solano player since Welana Toki in 2006 to earn the honor. She’s the eighth all-state selection in Solano program history. Ivy was named Bay Valley Conference MVP over the weekend.

“Ivy was so consistent for us and this is a very well-deserved honor,” said Solano coach Matt Borchert. “In addition to be our leading scorer, she’s the emotional leader of this team. She’s very well-respected by her teammates.”

Ivy scored in double figures for Solano in 22 of the team’s 27 games and leads the team in scoring, assists and steals. Ivy and the Falcons head to the NorCal playoffs where they take on Delta College on Saturday at 7 p.m.

Solano to take on Delta in NorCal playoffs

February 21, 2011

Solano's Ivy Jones (5) and Carmen Belser (15) are ready to lead the Falcons into the postseason.

The Solano Community College women’s basketball team, fresh off its BVC regular season and tournament championships, will take on San Joaquin Delta College on Saturday in the quarterfinals of the NorCal playoffs.

The game will start at 7 p.m.

Solano earned the No. 12 seed while Delta, which finished the regular season 21-9 overall and 11-3 in the Big 8 conference, is the No. 5 seed. Delta finished second in the Big 8 behind Santa Rosa.

“This is right where I thought we would be,” said Solano coach Matt Borchert. “We are looking forward to a strong week of practice to get ready for a very tough opponent. Our girls are excited and want to keep the season going.”

Click here for directions to Delta College and to navigate around the college once on campus.

Jones named BVC MVP; Sinegal, Cooley all-conference

February 19, 2011

Ivy Jones was named Bay Valley Conference MVP on Saturday.

Ivy Jones became the fifth Solano player to be named Bay Valley Conference Most Valuable Player at the conference’s coaches meeting on Saturday.

Jones, a sophomore guard, finished the regular season averaging 14 points, 6.2 assists  and 3.0 steals per game. She shot 40.6 percent from the field and 34 percent from the 3-point line.

Destinee Sinegal, also a sophomore guard, was named all-conference. She’s averaging 13.1 points, 4.7 rebounds and 2.0 assists per game and 2.4 steals per game. Tara Cooley, a freshman guard who splits time at the point guard spot with Ivy, was also honored by the conference as an all-BVC selection. Tara is averaging 7.6 points and 4.0 rebounds per game. She also shoots 40 percent from the field and 39 percent from the 3-point line.

“I am extremely happy for our entire team for coming together to win the conference title,” said Solano coach Matt Borchert. “Ivy, Destinee and Tara deserve these honors and I am very proud of them. We are excited for the upcoming playoffs and to keep our season going.”

Jessica Woods, a sophomore, was named to the BVC’s academic all-conference team for her hard work in the classroom.

“Jessica is a true student-athlete,” said Coach Matt. “She’s worked very hard to get good grades and this honor is extremely well-deserved.”

Rankin powers Solano to BVC tourney title

February 19, 2011

The Falcons celebrate their BVC tournament title.

Freshman Shannon Rankin had a career night with 22 points and 14 rebounds to lead the Solano Community College women’s basketball team to a 71-65 win over Laney College on Friday in the championship game of the inaugural Bay Valley Conference tournament.

“Shannon was the player of the game tonight,” said Solano coach Matt Borchert. “She had energy for 40 minutes tonight that we really needed.”

Solano led by as many as seven in the first half before a Laney run gave them a one-point advantage, 34-33, at halftime.

The Eagles came out strong in the second half and eventually took a 57-52 lead with five minutes to go. Solano had plenty of fight left and Shannon wasn’t going to let the game get away from her and her teammates. Solano finally took the lead for good at 60-59 and extended it to 66-63 with 22 seconds remaining.

A thrilling finish, which included a Tara Cooley free throw to make it 67-63, saw Jessica Woods rebound the missed second attempt while falling out of bounds and save it to Shannon who scored immediately to increase the lead to 69-63 with a little more than 10 seconds left.

Shannon Rankin came up big for Solano.

Ivy Jones added 14 points, 10 rebounds and six assists for the Falcons while Carmen Belser added eight points and eight rebounds.

Solano now awaits the NorCal playoffs seeding which will be released on Monday afternoon.

Click here to see more photos from the game.

Solano advances in BVC tournament

February 17, 2011

Carmen Belser, left, and Shannon Rankin exchange high-fives during the Marin game on Wednesday.

The Solano Community College women’s basketball team topped College of Marin 67-52 in the semifinals of the Bay Valley Conference tournament on Wednesday.

Destinee Sinegal led the Falcons (16-10) with 16 points and added three assists and five steals. Solano advances to the championship game of the tournament where it will take on Laney College at Solano on Friday at 6 p.m.

Solano came out of the gates strong behind solid shooting and pressure defense. The Falcons developed a double-digit lead before Marin cut the lead to seven, 31-24 at the half.

Solano was able to keep Marin at bay in the second half and the Mariners were never able to get closer than seven. The Falcons turned it up in the final five minutes of the game, building to a 20-point lead and easily recording the victory.

Shannon Rankin added 15 points and five rebounds for the Falcons while Jessica Woods chipped in eight points and 12 rebounds. Ruby Leon also scored eight points while Tara Cooley added nine points, four rebounds, three assists and four steals. Carmen Belser was solid on the boards and finished with 10.

Click here to see more photos from the game.

Solano takes on Marin in BVC tournament

February 16, 2011

The Solano women’s basketball team opens play in the inaugural Bay Valley Conference tournament tonight at 6 p.m. against College of Marin.

The Mariners defeated Contra Costa College on Tuesday night in the tournament quarterfinals 84-74.

Game notes for tonight’s contest can be accessed by clicking on the “Game Notes” link at the top of the home page. Come out and support the Falcons as they head toward the postseason!