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Surprise shortcoming for Valencia v-ball

Vikings eliminated from playoffs

Posted: November 14, 2013 11:49 p.m.
Updated: November 14, 2013 11:49 p.m.
 

Of all things to cost the Valencia Vikings girls volleyball team, poor serving seemed like a long shot.

The very aspect of the game that got the Vikings to this point suddenly became its Achilles’ heel on Thursday in the second round of the CIF-Southern Section Division IA playoffs.

Valencia missed 15 serves and lost 3-0 to the El Dorado Hawks of Placentia at El Dorado High School by scores of 25-17, 25-23, 25-20.

“It was shocking,” said Valencia head coach Ray Sanchez of the serving. “Of all the things that I thought could have happened tonight, this would have been the last thing that I would have picked.”

It was the third straight season Valencia (23-15) was knocked out of the playoffs in the second round.

The Vikings haven’t made it past this point in the postseason since 2010 when they advanced to the quarterfinals.

“We want to be at the pinnacle, and today we kind of showed ourselves how very, very far away we are,” Sanchez said.

On the bright side, this team’s entire starting lineup should return next season. This team, which will graduate just two seniors, still managed to win the Foothill League.

Some of those key players set to return include junior Lindsey Knudsen, who led Valencia with 17 kills on Thursday while adding five digs.

Another impressive junior this year is Emily Bible, who had three aces and three digs in the match. Sophomore outside hitter Makena Lautner chipped in with nine kills and 12 digs as well.

Junior setter Hayley Alvarez finished with 19 assists.

Normally, Valencia serves at a high percentage and it has used that well during league play this season.

But collectively, the team was crippled on Thursday by six service errors in the first game and seven in the second game.

That made it even easier on the El Dorado (16-8), which won the Century League.

“They’re a very good team, but not an overwhelming team anyway,” Sanchez said of the Hawks. “But we just hurt ourselves so much and took so much pressure off them with our missed serves.”

The Vikings will lose Savi Carroll and Jessie Rodriguez to graduation.

As for those returning, it’s back to the drawing board.

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