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Foothill League spring sports: Sights set on playoffs

Valencia boys tennis, volleyball thinking big; Grizzlies debut

Posted: May 10, 2010 10:13 p.m.
Updated: May 11, 2010 4:55 a.m.
 
One tennis team is thinking big.

One volleyball team is thinking about getting back.

One other volleyball team is making a first.

The CIF-Southern Section released playoff brackets for boys tennis and volleyball and seven local teams will be competing — three in tennis and four in volleyball.

Valencia tennis’ Annie Kellogg has made mention that this Vikings team could be one of the best she has ever had.

But will that translate into postseason success?

Kellogg believes so.

“We have to pull off some close matches,” she said. “My top three singles have to pull off close matches. They have to be stingy about giving away points. I think I have nine guys who have game.”

Valencia will meet the winner of the Atascadero-Rio Mesa wild-card matchup on Wednesday at Valencia High.

The Vikings, despite winning their eighth Foothill title in nine tries, are unseeded in this playoff bracket.

West Ranch, which finished in second place in the Foothill League is in a rough part of the bracket. In the first round, the Wildcats will travel to play Pac-7 League champions Arroyo Grande. A potential second-round matchup could have the Wildcats playing the bracket’s No. 4 seed, Arcadia.

Canyon will host Charter Oak in the wild-card round today.

If the Cowboys win, they’ll travel to play No. 2 seeded Brentwood on Wednesday.

On the volleyball side, Valencia is the No. 4 seed and will host Marmonte League fourth-place team Newbury Park tonight at 7 p.m.

Valencia’s streak of eight straight seasons with at least a semifinal appearance in a CIF-SS playoff was snapped last year when the Vikings fell to Royal in the Division II quarterfinals.

Vikings head coach Mark Knudsen is confident that this year’s team can make a run back to the Division II championship match.

“I think looking at the bracket right now, I think we have a really, really good opportunity to win a championship,” Knudsen said.

He points to the team’s balance and depth as the reasons.

The Vikings swept the Foothill League and finished 20-11 on the season.

They went 1-1 versus the bracket’s No. 3 seed, Thousand Oaks, and lost in the second match of the season to No. 1-seeded Westlake.

The other three local volleyball teams in the tournament will all have to travel in the first round.

Hart, despite a strong 8-2 record in the Foothill, will play at Burroughs of Burbank tonight at 7 p.m.

Golden Valley, in the boys volleyball postseason for the first time ever, faces Arroyo Grande and Saugus gets San Luis Obispo.

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