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Vikings v-ball makes it work

Posted: November 12, 2013 11:09 p.m.
Updated: November 12, 2013 11:09 p.m.

Valencia volleyball players celebrate after scoring a point against Saint Joseph High of Lakewood on Tuesday at Valencia High.

It didn’t look pretty for the Foothill League champions in the opening round of the CIF-Southern Section Div. IA playoffs.

But the end result is all that matters.

Despite dropping the first game, the Valencia Vikings girls volleyball team rallied back to defeat the St. Joseph Jesters of Lakewood 3-1 (22-25, 25-18, 25-21, 25-13) Tuesday at Valencia High.

“We played a pretty good team in the first round,” said Valencia head coach Ray Sanchez. “We just settled down and played our game.”

As she has been doing all season long, Lindsey Knudsen carried the Vikings (20-12) as she recorded 17 kills, 15 digs, and four service aces from her outside hitter position.

“(Knudsen) had a very good all-around match,” Sanchez said. “She’s that player for us. Whenever we need a big play, a side-out, a point, or a tough serve, she’s usually the kid we can count on.”

Hayley Alvarez added 37 assists and 11 digs, Makena Lautner had nine kills and eight digs, Emily Bible had 13 digs, and Emily Burns supplied eight kills for the Vikings.

“We were maybe a little unprepared for that first game,” Knudsen said. “But we pulled it together and just kept getting better and better throughout the match.”

The Vikings pulled out game two but scoring seven of the final eight points, including three straight kills from Lautner to end it and even the match 1-1.

In game three, Valencia controlled a 19-13 advantage before letting the Jesters (10-14) tie the score at 21.

However, behind the serving of Bible, the Vikings closed out the game on a 4-0 run as she delivered an ace for the game-winning point.

As a team, Valencia recorded 17 service aces, but also had 11 service errors.

“The serving got better as the night went on, which was good to see,” Sanchez said. “We’re trying to get less than 10 percent error rate. That’s kind of our goal. And today we were at 12 percent.”

Precise serving was instrumental in game four as the Vikings used four aces to build an early 13-3 lead.

The Foothill League champions will be in action again on Thursday against the winner of El Dorado and Capistrano Valley.

The Vikings were eliminated in the second round of the playoffs last season — a 3-1 loss to Canyon of Anaheim.

“We just need to focus a little more,” Knudsen said regarding a potential playoff run. “I know that we will. I know that we’ll pull it together and keep getting better.”


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