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Valencia volleyball regains its throne

Posted: May 1, 2014 10:30 p.m.
Updated: May 1, 2014 10:30 p.m.

Valencia volleyball's Dakota Abbott (18) spikes the ball past Hart's Tad Hawthorne on Thursday at Hart High.

 

For the 13th time in the past 14 years, the Valencia Vikings reign supreme over the Foothill League.

But the outright title clinching match wasn’t as easy as Valencia was expecting.
After dropping the first two games, the Vikings rallied back to defeat the Hart Indians 3-2 by scores of 20-25, 17-25, 25-17, 25-14 and 15-10 Thursday at Hart High School.

“I think our guys came out thinking they could just cruise past by Hart, and obviously Hart had something to say about it,” said Valencia head coach Kevin Kornegay. “They gave us all we can handle, but we tightened up, played up to our potential, and took care of
business.”

After last year’s disappointing fourth-place finish, the Vikings (11-7 overall, 9-0 Foothill League) regained their traditional form in 2014 and can finish Foothill play undefeated with a victory on Tuesday against West Ranch.

But that perfect record looked to be in jeopardy through the first two games on Thursday.

The Indians (3-9, 2-7) closed game one with a 6-1 run and finished game two with an 11-3 scoring outburst to take a commanding 2-0 lead.

“The game plan going in was to play with a lot of energy, swing hard, and go all out. We had nothing to lose,” said Hart head coach Ryan Mason. “And it was our senior night. We told them just have fun out there and play hard.”

But just when it seemed that Hart was going to pull off the upset, Valencia focused and gained momentum.

Led by Kyle Ensing, the Vikings used a 7-0 scoring run in game three to extend an 11-10 lead to an 18-10 advantage.

Ensing had six of his 27 kills in game three, and followed that up with four kills in game four and seven more in the deciding game.

“In game one and two we didn’t play too well and didn’t come out firing like we should have,” Ensing said. “But in the third, about halfway through, we started playing our game.”

Logan Riley had 45 assists from his setter position, while middle-blocker Nick Erickson added nine kills for Valencia.

Hart was led by Luke Maly and Kyle Besa, who finished with 12 kills and 19 digs, respectively.

Four other Indians contributed at least five kills, including Justin Fortner, Tad Hawthorne, Sonny Mueller and DB Gibbs.

Hart will play at Canyon in the Foothill League finale on Tuesday.

West Ranch 3, Golden Valley 0
Andrew Dieterle had 19 kills, Victor Schmitd had 38 assists, and West Ranch varsity boys volleyball won 25-19, 25-18, 25-23 on Thursday over Golden Valley. Tristan Murachanian and Connor McGuinness co-led Golden Valley with six kills.

Saugus 3, Canyon 0
Zech Lee had 14 kills to lead Saugus’ sweep by scores of 25-14, 25-19, 25-20. Max Nua added eight kills and Justin Coleman tallied 33 assists for Saugus.

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