Vik­ings earn re­demp­tion

Prep girls vol­ley­ball: Valencia beats Hart after loss in 1st round of league

The Signal - - SPORTS - By Ha­ley Sawyer Sig­nal Sports Ed­i­tor

On Thurs­day night, Valencia vol­ley­ball cel­e­brated in their bright, ex­cited home gym flooded with pur­ple and lit­tered with a dis­persed, but still rowdy, stu­dent sec­tion.

Just out­side the walls of the gym, Hart left un­der the cover of dark­ness, most play­ers star­ing at the pave­ment.

About 15 min­utes prior, the Vik­ings swept the In­di­ans and stomped Hart’s dreams of an un­de­feated sea­son. Ear­lier in the league sea­son, the In­di­ans beat the Vikes 3-0.

“Vic­tory is pretty sweet to be hon­est, we worked re­ally hard these past few weeks since we lost (to Hart) and I think all our prepa­ra­tion showed,” said

Valencia se­nior Lo Russ.

The Vik­ings (14-5 over­all, 6-1 in Foothill League) ran away with a 25-19 win in Game 1 and had a sim­i­lar re­sult in the sec­ond game. They got points on the board early, and only gave up the lead once.

The 25-17 game was capped by a block from Macy Kirk­wood, who was mak­ing her first var­sity ap­pear­ance.

“(We) put her in the mid­dle and she made a huge impact for that,” said Valencia coach Ray Sanchez.

“…I told the kids a mil­lion times, there’s ab­so­lutely no rea­son that we’re not a re­ally good de­fen­sive team, but we haven’t been. And so we re­ally made it a pri­or­ity to be­come a bet­ter de­fen­sive team and it’s start­ing to come around.”

Kirk­wood ended the night tied for first on the team with Jess Throck­mor­ton with three blocks. She also added seven kills, the sec­ond best out of all Vik­ings.

The In­di­ans (14-9, 6-1) bat­tled to a 9-4 lead in the third game, but strug­gled to stay ahead. The two teams went point-for-point un­til a hand­ful of er­rors gave Valencia a boost. Alyssa Grodell’s kill ended the game at 25-19.

“A lot of times the fear of mak­ing er­rors gets in their head and they end up be­ing more pas­sive with their hit­ting,” said Hart coach Mary Iril­ian. “We keep preach­ing to be ag­gres­sive and go after it, which is what Valencia did.”

With the win, the Vikes are tied with the In­di­ans for first place in the Foothill League.

Russ led Valencia with 11 kills. Kae­lyn White had 29 as­sists and Lau­ryn Shock­ley had 17 digs.

For Hart, Zoe DiNardo had 11 kills, while Kylie Matt­son added 23 as­sists and Makenna Fall to­taled 19 digs.

West Ranch 3, Golden Val­ley 1

The Wild­cats won with game scores of 26-14, 22-25, 25-17, 26-24. Gwen Garate had five aces and Al­li­son Ja­cobs had 23 kills. So­phie Bobal added seven kills and Tyler Do­browsky had five.

West Ranch moves to 11-11 over­all and 4-3 in league. The Griz­zlies are 4-13 and 0-6.

Sau­gus 3, Canyon 0

The Cents took the match 25-13, 25-16, 25-15. Kayla Tait had 10 kills and nine digs. Caitlin Liebe added nine kills and Holly Piroli had 10 digs. Gabby Scheisser topped the team with 27 as­sists and five aces.

Sau­gus is 12-8 and 4-3, while Canyon is 5-7 and 0-6.

Niko­las Sa­muels/The Sig­nal

(Above) Valencia’s Jess Throck­mor­ton (18) hits the vol­ley­ball dur­ing a game against Hart at Valencia High School on Thurs­day. (Be­low) Hart’s Ash­ley Cosey (11) goes for a kill as Valencia’s Lau­ryn Shock­ley (11) Alyssa Grodell (25) and Kae­lyn White (21)...

Niko­las Sa­muels/The Sig­nal (See ad­di­tional pho­tos on sig­

Hart’s CJ Catabona (41) hits the vol­ley­ball dur­ing a game against Valencia on Thurs­day. The Vik­ings won 3-2.

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