Four Garces teams seeking state titles

Local Sports

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) — Playoff fever has descended on Garces Memorial.

Some of the Rams’ postseason success was expected.

“I knew we had a good team,” girls tennis coach Marc Gomez said. “They had a great team in the spring season, that short season.”

Some was a little more surprising.

“If you would have asked me, back in September, ‘Hey, you guys have a shot at the Valley,’ I would have thought you were crazy,” head volleyball coach Rachel Wulff said.

Right now, four Garces teams — volleyball, girls tennis, and boys and girls water polo — are competing in state playoffs. It’s got players excited, and campus buzzing for playoff games.

“It was like being at a college Division I tennis match,” Gomez said of the tennis team’s latest playoff game. “I was there on the other side coaching, and you could hear the cheering going on. It was nice, looking up there and seeing parents, administration, alumni, kids, students supporting our team.”

And all this winning has come on the backs of three first-year head coaches. Gomez, volleyball coach Rachel Wulff, and water polo coach Eric Marsh all joined Garces this year.

Wulff admitted there have been growing pains this season.

“It was hard,” she said. “It was hard, you know, and I had to earn the trust of the players, and it took a while. It wasn’t an overnight thing.”

It’s been a long road for all of these teams to reach the state playoffs, but postseason success is key in building a program — something Marsh hopes to continue.

“That’s just the tip of the iceberg,” Marsh said. “We’ve got so much more room for growth when we play these teams from East Bay, we play teams from Sacramento area. I’m hoping we can enhance water polo in this area so we can start putting Bakersfield on the map a little more, other than just Garces.”

Boys and girls water polo head to Arroyo Grande at 5 and 6:30 p.m. Tuesday evening. Volleyball visits Santa Clarita Christian at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, and girls tennis takes on Westlake at Garces Friday at 11:15 a.m.

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