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Foothill League boys volleyball: Grizz get in with win

Golden Valley’s victory over Canyon earns it a playoff berth

Posted: April 29, 2011 1:55 a.m.
Updated: April 29, 2011 1:55 a.m.
 

This is a new Golden Valley boys volleyball.

New attitude. New approach. That’s what it committed itself to coming into the day.

After two losses in its last three Foothill League matches, the Grizzlies got what they needed, a 3-0 (25-19, 25-21, 25-12) dispatching of Canyon on Thursday at Golden Valley High.

“When we put pressure on ourselves, we don’t play as well,” said Golden Valley senior setter Colton Korne in reference to his team’s 3-0 losses to both Hart and Valencia in the past week and a half.

Instead, the Grizzlies (15-10, 5-3) went back to what worked earlier in the season — having fun.

After going neck-and-neck in the early games, they gained more confidence and spread out Canyon’s defense enough to take the third game easily.

Golden Valley clinched third place in the league at worst with the win, securing an automatic CIF-Southern Section Division II playoff berth.

Led by the strong hitting of Alec Schlossman and his match-high 14 kills, Golden Valley got its offense going in game 1, but struggled a bit on the serve-receive and defensive end.

The Cowboys (5-10, 0-8) took advantage and nursed a small lead for the first portion of the game until an Andrew Raulinaitis ace gave Golden Valley its first lead at 17-16. That was part of a 11-3 run which finished the game for the Grizzlies.

“My guys just get comfortable,” said Canyon head coach Andrew Spackman. “We’d win if the team hadn’t made seven errors at the end of the game.”

In the second game, Korne began to run the offense through a multitude of hitters in addition to Schlossman. Raulinaitis and Ryan Kessler both finished with seven kills.

“If Ryan and Andrew are getting seven or eight kills, that’s a good sign that we’re getting Alec in good one-on-one situations,” said Golden Valley head coach Jeff Cody.

Once again, the Cowboys stayed in it until 16-16, after which serving and hitting errors crippled the inexperienced team.

Preston Richardson led Canyon with 10 kills in an offensive scheme that rotates through three different setters. At times, it kept the Grizzlies off balance, but it wasn’t enough to disrupt a team full of experienced seniors for very long.

“We stayed confident in our offense and we’re always confident in our defense,” Korne said. “We were making some nice plays on defense.”

Korne ended the match with 30 assists.

Golden Valley had four service aces in the third game. That, coupled with precise passing and setting led to a 21-5 lead which was insurmountable for Canyon.

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