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Valencia V-ball named national champs

Posted: May 31, 2008 1:53 a.m.
Updated: August 1, 2008 5:03 a.m.
 

No shock here-The 2008 CIF-Southern Section Division II champion Valencia Viking volleyball team was named national champions by Web site rivals.com.

The Vikings, who began their season ranked No. 1 in the nation, ended their run atop the Foothill League at 36-2, and defeated Santa Barbara on May 24 in the finals to clinch the championship title.

For the Valencia team, it was a long time coming. Last season, the Vikings were eliminated in the semifinal round and entered into this postseason with a vengeance.

"From the beginning of the season, being national champions was in the back of our mind." said Viking Jamey Ker. "We really wanted to attain that goal."

And sure enough they did.

"Naming ourselves national champs is pretty cool." Ker added.

Head coach Mark Knudsen had no doubts that his team would go far this season.

"Looking at our roster, there was no other team that was better on paper." he said. "I knew this team could deliver.
And now the precedent has been set for future teams.

"It's definitely a nice legacy to support," Knudsen said.

The team will officially receive their championship rings next week and the school will recognize the teams accomplishment with a banner that will hang in the gym making them apart of a rich athletic program.

The volleyball squad joins the 2007-CIF Division I champion softball team as the only other program to be named national champions for Valencia.

"The administration has been so supportive," Knudsen said. "They have allowed these athletes the opportunity to excel in sports. They have been really great."

Valencia's Athletic Director Brian Stiman said its extremely important to have the support of the administration in order for a program to flourish.

"We have to credit the coaches and the athletes," Stiman said. "We're all just happy to be a part of it."

Ker credits the team's camaraderie to its success this season.

"We had more chemistry on this year's team." he said. "Last year we were a young team without a lot of experience."

With a roster containing six of the teams regular eight players advancing to Division I colleges in the fall, it's no surprise this team got to where it did this season.

"We had a lot of great athletes that complement each other," Knudsen said. "No other school could match that."

Ker believes the team's accomplishments will only make Valencia volleyball more attractive.

"It shows that Valencia volleyball is a powerhouse," he said. "It will make people want to play volleyball and teams in the future will be intimidated."

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