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CIF boys volleyball: Vikes’ court return brief

Valencia goes out in first round of Regional playoffs

Posted: May 23, 2012 1:55 a.m.
Updated: May 23, 2012 1:55 a.m.
 

Valencia boys volleyball already had to mourn the end of its 2012 season last week.

Or so the team thought.

An unexpected invitation to the CIF Southern California Division I Regional Volleyball Championship put the Vikings in another playoff matchup against another tough team.

Unfortunately, the result was the same as Palisades High of Pacific Palisades beat Valencia 3-1 on Tuesday night at Pali High by scores of 25-18, 25-21, 23-25, 25-16.

“It’s like déjà vu,” said Valencia head coach Kevin Kornegay.

Last Tuesday, Valencia (20-15) lost 3-0 to Oak Park in the CIF-Southern Section Division II semifinals, which seemingly ended the Vikings’ playoff run.

Oak Park went on to win the Division II championship on Saturday and Palisades claimed the CIF-Los Angeles City Section Division I championship the same day.

The Dolphins (25-2) showed why on Tuesday, pouncing on the Vikings early and never allowing them back into the match.

“I just think it was us more not being prepared mentally after being eliminated from the CIF run,” Kornegay said, “and by the time they

started playing well, we’re down 2-1.”

Senior outside hitter Eric Ensing led Valencia with 18 kills and teammate Daniel Salovich had five kills.

Jake Ferry finished with 24 assists for the Vikings.

Valencia didn’t help itself out with hitting and serving errors along with uncharacteristic net violations.

“We had our chances,” Kornegay said. “Obviously, we were good enough to compete because we took a game off of them.”

The Vikings and Dolphins had split two previous times this season in two different tournaments, both at neutral sites.

Tuesday’s match was a different challenge, Kornegay said, because Palisades didn’t have its entire roster present for the earlier matchups.

Even with the first-round loss in the regional bracket, Valencia can still call this the most successful playoff performance since 2008 simply by its run to the Division II semis.

It was the deepest the Vikings had advanced in the postseason since 2008, when it won the Division II title along with a state and national championship.

“We were happy about the draw,” Kornegay said. “I just don’t think we showed up and were mentally there.”

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