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D-II brackets set

Boys tennis earns three postseason spots, while boys volleyball sends four

Posted: May 11, 2009 10:51 p.m.
Updated: May 12, 2009 4:55 a.m.
Valencia junior setter Jason Halliday (4) dives for a serve against Hart on March 31 at Valencia High. Valencia junior setter Jason Halliday (4) dives for a serve against Hart on March 31 at Valencia High.
Valencia junior setter Jason Halliday (4) dives for a serve against Hart on March 31 at Valencia High.

With the 2009 boys volleyball and boys tennis seasons in the books, seven teams now turn their attention to the postseason, but one sport feels slighted.

The CIF-Southern Section released its pairings Monday, laying out the path for four volleyball teams and three tennis teams’ Division II title runs.

However, one theme that resounded across the hard court was a feeling of confusion and disrespect.

Schools such as Beverly Hills and Santa Monica, which spent the year in Division III were shifted to Division II in the final weeks, hurting such schools as Valencia and West Ranch in bracket seeding, said Vikings head coach Annie Kellogg.

“I just don’t understand how (the CIF) moves them around at the end of the season,” she said. “I just never understand how the CIF does things.”

However, Kellogg and the Vikings remain resolute to shrug off any displeasure and compete with whomever is put in front of them.

The league team champion and doubles champions J.R. Macalutas and Matt Cheng welcome Burbank, while West Ranch and singles champion Jordan Hovis travel to Bonita.

Both matches begin at 3 p.m. on Thursday.

West Ranch head coach Eric Spiecker said he is going into the first round blind to his opponent, but believes his team is up to the challenge.

“You know, I have confidence,” he said. “We have played well all year. Jordan (Hovis) was undefeated in the second half of the season, so we can have hopes. And the only players that Beau (Martin) lost to were Tyler (Gottshall) and Jordan (Hovis). So, both those players should come in with a ton of confidence.”

However, should the Wildcats advance, they could face No. 1 Brentwood in the second round, something that did not sit well with Spiecker.

“I was disappointed and surprised,” he said. “I felt like maybe we deserved a little more respect. It is what we talked about in practice today. I hope we can take that emotion and take it to Bonita and play as well as we did against Valencia, Camarillo and Canyon.”

Canyon will take on South Pasadena Today at 3 p.m. in a wild card match, the winner of which will go on to play Beverly Hills.

Cowboys head coach Kent Ganevsky is more concerned about his team’s ability to prepare than, the matchup itself.

“Without really scouting their school and having these draws come out at 11 a.m. when we are playing (the next day), it is surprising,” he said. “Then if you win, you are playing two days after that. You just have to stay ready. ... But we can’t complain, we are on our own courts.”

Acknowledging the frustration of the divisional shuffle, he ultimately said the moves did not bother him.

“You have to play who they put you against,” Ganevsky said. “It isn’t like football where you may have 40 people on one team and 150 on the other. We only have nine people out there and we all have the same courts and same opportunity to work.”

But when it comes to volleyball, at least one team liked its pairing.

Coming off its national championship a year ago and its 82nd consecutive league win, Valencia volleyball begins action on Friday when they host Marmonte League at-large Simi Valley at 7 p.m.

“It is going to be us playing our game,” said Valencia head coach Mark Knudsen. “If we can play loose, we will do well. We don’t know much about Simi Valley so we’ll try to do some research.”

Though he returned only two players from last year’s team, he doesn’t see experience as a factor.

“Now at the end of the season, they have all been through it,” Knudsen said. “There are no more butterflies.”

The Foothill League’s No. 2 team, Canyon also has a home game in the first round, playing Brentwood of the Olympic League, while Saugus travels to Saddleback of Santa Ana to play the Golden West League’s No. 1 team, both at 7 p.m. on Friday.

The Cowboys and Centurions finished in a tie for second place in league this season, but Canyon was awarded the No. 2 seed due to a head-to-head tiebreaker.

“We weren’t expected to do much,” said co-head coach Brian Ingino. “They really came a long way as a team. It is just kind of hard to have a week off then play in the playoffs, but every team has to deal with that.”

Describing his team’s style as “intense” and “playing off pure adrenaline and excitement,” Ingino said this season will help with garnering interest in the sport.

“I think the big thing this season was to have (Michael) Edwards and Brian Nnaoji come over from basketball,” he said. “Chad (Phillips, Canyon’s head basketball coach) always encourages his players to do it. I think that might have opened the door for us in the future.”

However, playoff volleyball action begins on Wednesday 7 p.m. when Hart, who received an at-large bid, will host Pacific View League’s at-large Hueneme of Oxnard.

If the Indians advance, they will face Westlake, the Marmonte League’s No. 1 team, and bracket’s No. 2 seed.



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