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Kyle Ensing sets record in Valencia win

Vikings V-ball stays on top of league

Posted: April 16, 2014 10:09 p.m.
Updated: April 16, 2014 10:09 p.m.

Valencia's Kyle Ensing, left, hits the ball toward West Ranch defenders Brett Krahl, center, and Victor Schmitd, during Wednesday's game at West Ranch High School.

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The Valencia Vikings boys volleyball team may not be dominating the rest of the Foothill League like it once did when it won 12 league titles in a row from 2001-2012.

But there’s no arguing at this point — even if it is by a slim margin — that the Viking are the top team in the league.

And there’s also no question who is the best player in Foothill so far.

Behind Kyle Ensing’s record breaking 37-kill performance, Valencia outlasted the defending league champion West Ranch Wildcats for a 3-2 win

on Wednesday at West Ranch High School by game scores of 23-25, 27-25, 16-25, 30-28, 15-11.

Ensing’s tally broke the Valencia single-match record of 34 set by his older brother, Eric, in 2012.

Kyle particularly starting teeing off on West Ranch (17-5 overall, 3-2 Foothill League) in the fourth and fifth games after the Vikings (8-7, 5-0) fell behind two-games-to-one.

With his team on the ropes, the junior outside hitter made an appeal to teammate and starting setter Logan Riley.

“We didn’t want to lose there. I told Logan that I would get kills every single time and I would help my team win,” Ensing said.

Riley did his part as well as he racked up 52 assists and also added nine digs.

The senior distributed the ball well to Ensing, Dakota Abbott (13 kills) and Viking middle blockers Zachary Peirce and Michael Barritt late in the match.

It was also Riley to served an ace down the line to secure match point.

Valencia remains the last undefeated team in league play at the halfway point.

“We got through the first half and we couldn’t be happier,” said Valencia head coach Kevin Kornegay, whose team finished fourth in league last year and missed the playoffs. “Not a lot of people thought we’d be here.”

The Wildcats, on the other hand, suffered their second straight Foothill loss after going undefeated in league a year ago.

“You have to regroup,” said West Ranch head coach Nate Sparks. “League is no longer in our hands. We need other teams to help us out now.”

Early on, West Ranch appeared to hold a slight upper hand in a match that has served as a marquee Foothill League matchup in recent years.

While Ensing caught fire for Valencia, the Wildcats countered with their own weapon in senior outside hitter Andrew Dieterle. He ended up with 26 kills and he helped his team take advantage of a mistake-prone Valencia team to gain a 2-1 lead in games.

All five games were tight most of the way through with the exception of a late run at the end of game three that allowed West Ranch to pull away.

The Wildcats’ attack was anchored by Dieterle and fellow hitter Clay Burns, who had a strong all-around game with 19 kills and 20 digs.

Ethan Marshall had 60 assists for West Ranch.

At one point in the fourth game, West Ranch held a 24-23 lead with a chance at a match point.

But Valencia overcame 10 serving errors and managed to win enough of the high-pressure rallies.

Having a sure-bet player like Kyle Ensing helped.

“We couldn’t stop him and we stopped making the adjustments,” Sparks said of Ensing.

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