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On the Beat Volleyball: Targets still on Valencia's back

Posted: May 25, 2014 10:02 p.m.
Updated: May 25, 2014 10:02 p.m.
 

A year ago it all looked like the tide was shifting among the local high school volleyball scene.

Valencia High School has dominated both the girls and boys slate since just about the state of the 21st Century.

But all of a sudden, an influx of talented club volleyball players all around town gave the appearance of parity among Foothill League teams.

In the fall of 2011, the Valencia girls were brought down to earth when Saugus won the league title to end a nine-year Valencia reign.

Last year, the Valencia boys finally saw a 12-year undefeated streak in league end when West Ranch stole the Foothill crown.

Critics were asking: Is this the end of the Valencia era in volleyball?

With the 2013-14 season in the books, the answer is a resounding no.

Coming into this season, West Ranch looked like it could be the team to beat in the Foothill League in both girls and boys with others also contending.

What we ended up with was the Valencia girls winning their 11th league title in the last 12 years and the boys claiming their 13th in 14 years.

Without question, the talent in this valley is much more spread out than it used to be. So how does Valencia keep winning?

Is it the coaching? Is it the tradition of the program or the mystique of the purple and gold uniforms that make it tough on opponents?

It’s tough to know for sure, but despite what may have appeared to be programs on the decline are clearly alive and well. And, as much as many in the valley probably hate to hear it, Valencia is still the class of the Foothill League until someone proves otherwise.

A year in commitments: Local volleyball players continue to earn spots on college teams of all levels, some of them major NCAA Division I schools.

Two of the more prominent players in the Santa Clarita Valley are juniors, but both have already committed to Division I programs. Valencia’s Kyle Ensing issued a verbal to Long Beach State and fellow Valencia junior Lindsey Knudsen is set up to play at Saint Mary’s.

Knudsen was The Signal’s 2013 All-SCV Girls Volleyball Player of the Year.

There were also some seniors who are well on their way to the college ranks.

West Ranch’s Haley Lind will play at the University of Virginia and her teammate Alexis Clewis is off to Gonzaga University.

In addition, Valencia’s Teresa Cernosek committed to Chaminade University of Honolulu, a Division II team.

Finally, two locals will be playing for Division III schools, with West Ranch senior Brett Krahl going to Regis College and Saugus senior Zech Lee on his way to Vassar College, according to the Legacy Volleyball Club’s website.

Though the list of 2014 commits probably isn’t complete yet with boys club season coming up, it’s worth a tip of the cap to those who are moving onto the next level.

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