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2012 All-SCV Girls Volleyball: Delaney Knudsen, The credit's all hers

Delaney Knudsen led Valencia to league title

Posted: December 31, 2012 2:00 a.m.
Updated: December 31, 2012 2:00 a.m.

Delaney Knudsen was an offensive and defensive threat for the league champion Vikings in 2012. Her skills led her to become the first SCV athlete to receive a beach volleyball scholarship.

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All you needed to know about Valencia senior Delaney Knudsen could be learned by talking to her coach.

Valencia girls volleyball head coach Ray Sanchez repeated throughout the season how much he trusted Knudsen.

Sanchez said with a match point and everything on the line, he didn’t care if everyone in the building knew the ball was going to Knudsen. She’d get it anyway.

And one after the other, she delivered.

That’s what makes Knudsen The Signal’s 2012 Girls Volleyball Player of the Year.

Her career arc set her up for a big senior season, and most coaches around the Foothill League saw it coming. That was the same group of coaches that voted her league Player of the Year as well.

Knudsen was pulled up to varsity in the middle of her sophomore year, when she immediately showed glimpses of excellence.

Last year, she emerged as the team’s clear No. 1 offensive threat and earned All-SCV first-team honors.

Then, 361 kills, 292 digs and 16 aces later, she separated herself as the best player in the area this year. She was also one of two Foothill players named All-CIF on the Southern Section Division IA team.

The Pepperdine University-bound outside hitter did everything on the court. She led the team in both kills and digs and she also added 219 assists after occasionally playing setter.

It’s that kind of versatility that earned her a scholarship to play beach volleyball at Pepperdine, making her the SCV’s first player to receive scholarship money in the newly NCAA-sanctioned sport.

Knudsen was surrounded by a strong lineup for the Foothill champion Vikings, including fellow senior Sierra Sanchez, Hayley Knapp and Kellie Kleszcz along with her younger sister Lindsey, a sophomore setter.

In many ways, it was the collective unit that contributed to Valencia’s success, but a player like Delaney Knudsen also worked to make them better.

She’s far too humble to see it that way though.


2012 Volleyball Season in Review

On Oct. 30, Valencia had to fight back to win a tight 3-2 match over West Ranch in the Foothill finale to win the league title outright.

In the match, Knudsen tallied a team-high 19 kills, including the match-winning point, yet she was the first to divert the credit elsewhere.

She felt that her teammate Knapp had outplayed her and deserved the most praise.

That’s alright if Knudsen doesn’t want to ask for any recognition. We’ll give it to her anyway.

• Hart defeated presumptive Foothill League contender West Ranch 3-2 on Sept. 27 in the league opener behind 15 kills from Amy King and 11 from Kathryn Cambra. The win would end up helping Hart beat out West Ranch for a second-place finish in league.

• West Ranch knocked off Valencia 3-1 on Oct. 11, handing Valencia its first and only league loss of the season. Alexis Clewis had 25 kills in the match and Sarah McGough added 13 kills.

• Valencia had to rally back from a one-game deficit, winning two straight games on the way to a dramatic 3-2 victory over West Ranch on Oct. 30 in the Foothill finale. The win gave the Vikings an outright league championship, their 10th in the last 11 years.

Final records
Foothill teams
Valencia: 25-11 (9-1)
Hart: 19-10 (7-3)
West Ranch: 9-10 (7-3)
Saugus: 22-13 (5-5)
Canyon: 9-13-1 (2-8)
Golden Valley: 5-13 (0-5)

Private schools
Albert Einstein: 6-10 (6-7)
SCCS: 12-12 (4-2)
Trinity: 3-14 (0-6)


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