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Foothill volleyball: Vikes work for sweep

Valencia gets pushed, but comes out on top over Grizzlies

Posted: October 18, 2012 1:55 a.m.
Updated: October 18, 2012 1:55 a.m.

Valencia's Hayley Knapp hits the ball past Golden Valley's Brianna Wright on Wednesday at Golden Valley High.

With a slightly different lineup, Valencia managed to fend off a pesky Golden Valley team on Wednesday to complete the season sweep.

Valencia swept all three games 25-23, 25-23, 25-18 to beat the Grizzlies at Golden Valley High School.

Senior outside hitter Sierra Sanchez led the Vikings (14-5 overall, 6-1 Foothill League) with 15 kills as Valencia gave a pair of junior varsity callups some play time.

“It was a good win coming off short rest from yesterday and we played a different lineup than we normally do,” said Valencia head coach Ray Sanchez. “Actually, we played a different lineup than we ever have.”

With senior outside hitter and Pepperdine University beach volleyball commit Delaney Knudsen sitting out with minor ankle soreness, Valencia put JV callups Emily Bible and Hayley Alvarez into the match.

Regardless of who was in, the points didn’t come easily against the experienced, defensive-minded Golden Valley (7-13, 0-7).

“We’re challenging teams more this year than we did last year,” said Golden Valley head coach Jeff Cody.

The main difference this year, Cody said, is the reduction of mistakes on his team’s part.

Though the Grizzlies lack the height to match up with most league opponents, they are capable of keeping extended volleys alive.

“The thing that hurts us is our size,” Cody said. “We’re outsized by everyone. We’ll rally and we’ll compete, but it’s that extra size and it’s that extra jump that ends up getting us.”

Katie Nicholson led the Grizzlies with 13 kills, Hanna Acree had 13 digs and Madi McKiernan ended up with 20 assists.

“They didn’t make a lot of mistakes,” Sanchez said of Golden Valley. “They served well and I think we were just a little bit bigger at the end and so that gave them a little bit of trouble.”

For Valencia, Lindsey Knudsen amassed 23 assists and 18 digs while Hayley Knapp chipped in nine kills.

Wednesday’s match was played a day earlier than the rest of the league because Valencia is hitting the road for Phoenix for the Nike Tournament of Champions, where it will begin play on Friday.

Golden Valley plays next at Hart on Tuesday.



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