ARC Women’s volleyball finishes as the state runner up

ARC falls short of a state championship as they fall to Feather River College


American River College women’s volleyball huddle during a timeout against San Joaquin Delta on Nov. 15 at home. (Photo by Jonathan Plazola)

American River College women’s volleyball finished its season as the California Community College Athletics Association State Championship runner-up after losing to Feather River College in Fresno during the weekend of Dec. 2 through Dec. 4.

ARC won its games against Orange Coast (3-1) and San Joaquin Delta (3-2) on Friday and Saturday, but was swept in their games against Feather River College on Sunday.

“I am so happy and thankful to have experienced this season with this group of gals. We played our best volleyball of the year at the end, including the latter part of the conference season,” head coach Carson Lowden said.

ARC volleyball has had a successful five-year run since 2018, when they were crowned California State Champions.

Their success can be attributed to the depth of their roster, but also to Lowden, who has been the head coach for the women’s volleyball team since 2016.

In the last five years, they were crowned Big 8 Conference champions, made it to the Elite 8, and last year made it to the Final 4.

Shanaley Iakopo and Awelina Fakalata represented ARC in the 2022 All-State Tournament Team, an annual award given out to volleyball players around the state of California for their standout season.

Although the season didn’t finish the way they wanted it to, the team and their leader had mostly positive takeaways from this past season.

“There were a lot of tears, but the tears weren’t because we lost,” Lowden said. “The tears and emotion came because there was a general consensus that we had all experienced something really special together and we were all acknowledging that and sharing in that. It was really beautiful.”