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Prep volleyball: V-ball tourney in the books

Valencia, Saugus are top two local finishers

Posted: August 13, 2012 1:55 a.m.
Updated: August 13, 2012 1:55 a.m.

After three exciting days of competition, the Los Angeles Volleyball Academy’s first Foothill Invitational came to a close Sunday at the Santa Clarita Sports Complex and West Ranch High School.

Local teams fared well throughout the weekend as Valencia, Saugus and West Ranch finished in fourth, sixth place and seventh place, respectively, in the more competitive Invitational Division at the Sports Complex.

Club Talon out of Fresno was the overall winner after defeating runner-up Chaparral High of Temecula 2-1 (18-25, 25-20, 15-10) in the final.

“It’s a work-in-progress, but I’m happy with the way my team played,” said Valencia head coach Ray Sanchez. “We played hard and competed well against some really good teams.”

Meanwhile, in the Festival Division, Hart claimed the first-place trophy after knocking Village Christian 2-1 (16-26, 25-18, 15-11) in the championship match.

It concluded a perfect 8-0 weekend for Hart through the Festival play.

“It was kind of nice for us to just work on the simple things, execute well, and it was good. It was fun,” said Hart head coach Mary Keen.

Senior Katheryn Cambra led the Indians with 54 kills for the tournament to go along with four aces and 24 digs.

Sophomore teammate Corrine Holloway finished the weekend with 31 kills, 24 digs and six blocks, and fellow Hart players Amanda Plante and Amy King each recorded 28 kills.

Canyon and Golden Valley also had varsity squads taking part in the Festival Division this weekend, while Saugus and West Ranch fielded their JV teams.

Both schools had varsity teams competing across town in the Invitational division.

On Sunday at the Sports Complex, Valencia and Saugus competed in the Gold Bracket and West Ranch was in the Silver due to their respective results in pool play the previous two days.

The Vikings finished pool play with a record of 3-2 on Friday and beat Taft of Woodland Hills 2-0 (25-21, 25-17) in Saturday’s challenge match.

The victory set up Valencia’s Sunday morning first-round, Gold-Bracket playoff match against Louisville, also from Woodland Hills.

In a close match, the Vikings moved past Louisville by the score of 2-0 (25-22, 25-23) to reach the semifinals against Club Talon.

After losing the first game 25-18, the Vikings fought back to tie the second game at 25. However, Club Talon prevailed by winning the next two points and moved into the Invitational Division Championship.

“It’s been an honor to play in this tournament,” said Valencia senior middle blocker Kellie Kleszcz. “We played really well as a team and just focused on always getting better.”

For the Centurions, they experienced a similar fate.

Saugus entered the day with an overall pool play record of 2-3, and was fresh off a 2-1 (25-17, 21-25, 15-13) challenge-match victory over West Ranch the day before.

In Sunday’s quarterfinals against Chaparral, the Centurions started strong and won the first game 25-20.

From there, Chaparral proved to be too strong as they took the next two games and the match by scores of 25-15 and 15-11.

“We played a really good team today,” said Saugus head coach Zach Ambrose. “We’re continuing to get better, so as long as we have that constant improvement, we’ll be OK.”

Chaparral beat Notre Dame in the semifinals to set up the championship against Club Talon.

West Ranch won both of its matches on the day in the Silver Bracket, beating Crean Lutheran 2-1 (22-25, 25-14, 15-4) and Eagle Rock 2-0 (25-12, 25-19).

“Of course we’d like to have some local teams in the finals, but this outcome can help the longevity of the tournament,” said LAVA tournament director Brad Lyans. “Hopefully the teams from out-of-town can spread the word so this event can build in years to come.”

Signal staff writer Dan Agnew contributed to this story


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