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Around the SCV: Canyon senior makes watch list

Kaul named as a potential 2010-11 All-American

Posted: September 5, 2010 8:50 p.m.
Updated: September 6, 2010 4:55 a.m.
 

Three years ago, Canyon senior Samantha Kaul wasn’t sure if she even wanted to play volleyball.

Now entering her final year of high school, the decision has certainly paid off.

Since receiving an early push to get involved in the sport by her mother, Kaul accepted a full scholarship to Cal State Bakersfield in April and was named to the American Volleyball Coaches Association’s 2010-11 Under Armour Girls’ High School All-America Watch List on Aug. 10.

“I argued with her constantly about it and the fact that I got to this point is overwhelming and incredible. Just amazing,” Kaul said of the early debates with her mother.

The watch list features 381 players from 36 states.

The AVCA will select 24 first-teamers and 24 second-teamers from the pool of players in November.

Kaul has played for Legacy’s elite-level 17-1 team for the last year.

“She’s an incredibly physical athlete who was very raw, but very aggressive and extremely coordinated,” said her club coach, Walt Ker. “She was a very fast learner and physically so superior that I didn’t have a choice but to start her. She continued to improve throughout the entire season both as an attacker and as a blocker. She also has superior back-row skills as a middle blocker. ... She’s got huge top-end potential.”

Noting the need to stay focused on her studies, Kaul said her verbal commitment took some weight off her shoulders heading in her senior year.

And the decision to play volleyball could yield even more dividends come November should she make the final list of All-Americans.

“It’s definitely an honor,” she said. “I can’t even describe it to you.”


Vikings excel on elite softball stage


Valencia freshman Maddy Jelenicki and sophomore Sydney Mundell helped lead their club teams to first- and fourth-place finishes, respectively, earlier this month at the 16U ESPN Rise National Softball Championships in Huntington Beach.

For Jelenicki, it was her second championship in as many weeks as her team, the Orange Country Batbusters, also took first place at the American Softball Association’s 16U Girls Fastpitch National Championships.

The young catcher recorded 18 RBIs throughout the ESPN Rise tournament.

Mundell, meanwhile, struck out 21 batters and posted an ERA of 1.79 over 39 innings for her SoCal Choppers team, which fell to the Corona Angels 2-1 in the semifinals.

The Batbusters went on to beat Corona 6-4 in the championship game.


Former Wildcat headed to Concordia

One of West Ranch’s top hitters to date is taking his talents to the NAIA.

Allen Sarkissian, who graduated in the spring with the Wildcats’ career record for hits with 96, has committed to Concordia University of Irvine.

The two-time All-Foothill League and All-Santa Clarita Valley selection hit .416 with 23 RBIs, 25 runs scored, two home runs and six doubles last season as an outfielder and pitcher.

On the mound, he had a 3.67 ERA with 32 strikeouts over 34 1/3 innings.

Concordia, a Golden State Athletic Conference rival of The Master’s College, finished sixth in the GSAC with 27-24 overall record in 2009.


COC softball sends three to next level

West Ranch graduate Melissa Herndon and Saugus graduates Whitney Bruce and Ashley Imperial have signed letters of intent to continue their softball careers at the NCAA Division I and Division II levels.

Herndon, who was named the 2010 Western State Conference Player of the Year, an All-State first-teamer and All-American in her final year at College of the Canyons, will play for the University of Albany in New York. She was also a two-time All-Western State Conference outfielder.

Imperial is headed to Morehead State University in Kentucky after earning her second consecutive WSC Pitcher of the Year award. She was 18-7 with a 2.55 ERA as a sophomore this season.

Bruce, who earned first-team All-Conference honors, is headed to the New York Institute of Technology.

The University of Albany and Morehead State University are both NCAA Division I schools, while the New York Institute of Technology is in Division II.

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