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Prep volleyball: Vikings get even

After losing to El Dorado earlier this season, Valencia wins rematch and reaches third round

Posted: November 11, 2010 11:53 p.m.
Updated: November 12, 2010 4:55 a.m.

Valencia teammates Carly Carapella (10), Emily Ellias (22) and Ashtyn LaVoise (5) try to block a shot by El Dorado’s Kelly Claes on Thursday at Valencia High School. The Vikings advanced to the third round of the CIF-Southern Section Division IA playoffs with a 3-1 win.

Less than two weeks ago, Valencia lost handily to El Dorado of Placentia in the Redondo Power Classic Tournament.

In Thursday night’s second-round CIF-Southern Section Division IA playoff match, Valencia made sure history didn’t repeat itself.

With scrappy defense and strong net play, the Vikings beat El Dorado 3-1 at Valencia High School with game scores of 25-23, 23-25, 25-20 and 25-21.

“This time, we wanted it more,” said Valencia outside hitter Ashtyn LaVoise. “We were a little more prepared, a little more ready this time.”

The No. 8 Vikings (16-10) advanced to the quarterfinals of the Division IA playoffs with the win over the No. 9 Hawks.
El Dorado had seven players standing at least 6 feet tall on the roster, yet Valencia continuously won the battles at the net.

“Most of the adjustments we made had to do with blocking,” said Valencia head coach Ray Sanchez, referring to the changes made since the two teams last met.

Throughout the match, the Vikings set up three blockers in front of the net to control the towering Hawks hitters.

The setup didn’t always cause a successful block, but it kept the ball alive enough times for Valencia to win points on long rallies.

Libero Brooke Dawson led with 30 digs.

“I think the girls kind of challenged themselves and they wanted to play better defense tonight,” Sanchez said.

On the offensive side, Valencia found ways to power hits through the El Dorado block, with middle blocker Emily Ellias’ 15 kills leading the way.

LaVoise followed with 11 kills.

El Dorado (17-10) kept the score close most of the match, but rarely led. In the second game, which the Hawks won, they didn’t lead until Rachael Matson’s kill gave them a 21-20 edge.

El Dorado started taking advantage of the extra Valencia blockers and was able to lob a few kills over their heads.

The Vikings once again made the right adjustments and went up 4-0 to start the third game. They never looked back after that, holding a steady four-to-five-point lead throughout the next two games.

The match ended fittingly, with Valencia making several diving digs to keep the ball alive and Serena LeDuff smacking a kill through an El Dorado block.

Due to a pre-determined coin flip, the Vikings will play on the road for the third round, which will potentially be against the tournament’s overall No. 1 seed Marymount.

“We want to hold one more practice, play one more game, one more match,” Sanchez said. “We’ll keep playing until they tell us we can’t anymore.”


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