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Five local v-ball teams learn playoff draws

Posted: November 9, 2013 9:12 p.m.
Updated: November 9, 2013 9:12 p.m.

Valencia's Hayley Alvarez (66) and Holly Pittman (33) block a shot by West Ranch's Kendall Myers (7) at Valencia on Tuesday.

 

Only one Foothill League girls volleyball team gets to play at home in the first round of the CIF-Southern Division IA playoffs.

The Foothill League champion Valencia Vikings (22-14) were granted a home match against St. Joseph of Lakewood (10-12) in the first round on Tuesday with the release of the girls volleyball CIF playoff brackets on Saturday.

St. Joseph finished third in the Del Rey League. The bracket is set up so Valencia wouldn’t have to play a top-ranked team until a potential quarterfinal matchup against No. 4 seed Flintridge Sacred Heart.

“It’s pretty tough. The field isn’t that big and there are a lot of quality teams,” said Valencia head coach Ray Sanchez. “There’s no dodging them.”

As for West Ranch and Hart, the other two Foothill playoff teams, they’ll both head on the road for first-round matches.

After finishing second in Foothill, West Ranch (12-4) will travel to face San Juan Hills (8-5-1), which finished second on the Sea View League.

Aliso Niguel of Aliso Viejo (21-2) is the champion of that same league, and it will host Hart (15-11), the Foothill’s third-place finisher.

If Hart wins, it is set up for a possible contest against No. 1 seed La Salle in the second round.

Also looking ahead to the second round, West Ranch could end up facing No. 2 seed Laguna Beach.

All first-round matches are scheduled for Tuesday at 7 p.m. initially, though the times are subject to change.

The same goes for the CIF-SS Division VAA and VA playoff matches, where two additional local teams will participate this week.

Fresh off a second straight Heritage League championship, Santa Clarita Christian (13-3-1) earned a No. 3 seed and a first-round bye in the Division VAA bracket.

“The thing that bumped us up (to the No. 3 seed) was our strength of schedule against a couple of teams and the fact that we finished first in our league,” said SCCS head coach Darcy Brown.

That means SCCS won’t play until Thursday, when it will host a second-round matchup against the winner of Coast Union vs. Upland Christian.

“My girls are super excited. We’ve seen some of these teams that are toward the top and I think they’re excited to see what our potential is,” Brown said. “I think for once they’ve got the confidence where they can potentially do this.”

The final local girls volleyball playoff team this week will be Albert Einstein Academy (12-6), which travels to face Shalhevet of Los Angeles (5-5).

Einstein finished third in the Omega League and Shalhevet took second in the Mulholland League.

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