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Even with pandemic, Ashley Reynoso looks toward a promising future with Cal State Monterey Bay
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Even with pandemic, Ashley Reynoso looks toward a promising future with Cal State Monterey Bay

The COVID-19 pandemic has not dimmed Righetti High School alumnus Ashley Reynoso's outlook considering her future at Cal State Monterey Bay.

A shoulder injury cut the sophomore's freshman collegiate basketball season short. She said the shoulder is healed now, and that is part of the reason why Reynoso's outlook is sunny.

"My freshman year, I was only able to play about half the season," said Reynoso. "I had to get shoulder surgery.

"I had to miss a couple of games my sophomore year because they had to re-check (the status of the shoulder)," said Reynoso. "The shoulder is 100 percent healed. I definitely feel good. I feel healthy."

With team workouts cancelled because of the pandemic, Reynoso, back home in the Santa Maria Valley as she takes online courses at Cal State Monterey Bay, is making due with home workouts.

Reynoso was a decorated player for Righetti basketball teams that won their last 30 league games under coach Desiree Domingues (now Desiree Hitch) before Reynoso graduated in 2018.

Meanwhile, Cal State Monterey Bay got all its games in for the 2019-20 campaign before the NCAA cancelled sports for the rest of the academic year because of the pandemic. The Otters went 6-18.  

With team workouts cancelled because of the pandemic, "Workouts have usually been by myself," Reynoso said. "Conditioning workouts have been by myself. I've been doing weight training for shoulder rehab, doing runs around the block, staying in shape."

Reynoso's solo workouts would likely include shooting at a basket — if she had a basket to shoot at. "They took down all the hoops," to try to thwart overcrowding at local basketball courts during the pandemic, said Reynoso. "It's crazy."

Before the shoulder injury cut her freshman season short, Reynoso pulled down 12 rebounds in a December game against Cal State Dominguez Hills her freshman year. She had eight starts and averaged 3.5 rebounds and 2.4 points a game her sophomore year.

"I think I will get a lot more playing time next season," and that is another why Reynoso has an optimistic outlook.

Besides, "We have six returnees, with 10 newcomers coming in, so it looks promising for next season," Reynoso said.

The Cal State Monterey Bay offense, Reynoso said, is much different than the one Righetti uses, but her role remains the same.

"Cal State Monterey Bay runs a lot of of motion offense and doesn't really rely on the post as much as Righetti did," when Reynoso played there, she said.

"I've been playing the small forward position, but I'm sometimes even having to play center," said the 5-foot-11 Reynoso. "So it's definitely the same role as it was in high school."

Reynoso said, "From my knowledge, we have some taller players coming in, so we're definitely looking into getting into the post a lot more next year."

As far as adjusting to collegiate basketball, "I feel my hardest adjustment as a freshman was how much faster college basketball is than high school. I feel I'm definitely up to speed now."

Once she returns to Cal State Monterey Bay, Reynoso will return to what she calls "a beautiful area.

"You could walk to the beach if you want to," she said. "The campus is nice. It is in a beautiful area. It's pretty much beautiful scenery anywhere you go."

Reynoso said she has switched her major to biology.

"After my four years (of undergraduate work), I will continue my schooling," she said. "My ultimate career goal is to be an orthopedic surgeon."

Right now, "I would definitely rather be in lecture halls," she said. "Online work is definitely tougher, especially with the harder classes such as chemistry. So I would definitely rather be in lecture halls."

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Sports Reporter

Kenny Cress, sportswriter for the Santa Maria Times since September of 2000. BA in political science from Cal Poly Pomona. BA in journalism from Cal State Northridge.

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