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CIF releases Boys Volleyball playoff brackets

West Ranch, Hart, Saugus in; Valencia out

Posted: May 4, 2013 7:12 p.m.
Updated: May 4, 2013 7:12 p.m.

West Ranch's Brenton Scott, right, and the Foothill League champion Wildcats will take on Orange Lutheran.

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 It sure looks like something’s missing.

When the CIF-Southern Section released the 2013 CIF-SS Division I boys volleyball bracket’s on Saturday, there was one very obvious omission, and three Foothill League teams set for first-round matchups.

The West Ranch Wildcats, the Foothill League’s top team, will host Trinity League No. 3 Orange Lutheran on Tuesday.

The Foothill League was moved back into Division I after both the Valencia Vikings and West Ranch reached the semifinals last season. The league was previously in Division I before moving to Division II in 2003.

“It’s definitely a tough draw, but in Division I any draw is a tough draw,” said West Ranch head coach Nate Sparks. “To make it to the quarterfinals, semifinals you have to beat a ranked team anyway.”

The Foothill League runner-up Hart Indians travel to Sunset League No. 2 Newport Harbor and the Foothill League No. 3 Saugus Centurions play at Marmonte League champion Westlake.

But, for the first time since 1998, the Valencia Vikings will not be participating in the postseason.

That season, the Vikings finished last in the league standings, before making the postseason every season since and winning league titles from 2001 to 2012.

This season, their fourth place finish and 5-5 Foothill League record left them staying home.

“It was an uphill battle going into the season with the fact we lost all our returning starters. It was a rebuilding year. We just came in a little short,” said Valencia head coach Kevin Kornegay.

The Wildcats made a surprising run to the Division II semifinals last season, a run head coach Nate Sparks has credited with helping the team win a league title this season.

A similar run, though, might prove difficult with the increased competition level that comes with the division I bracket.

“We’ve played tough competition when it matters most,” Sparks said. “You lose your out. They’ve been in tight situations all season long. From last season to this year, they’ve got the confidence and knowing they can do well in the playoffs whether it’s Division I or II because they have been there before.”

Saugus will have its hands full with 20-5 Westlake, a primary result of the move up in competition.

“It’s definitely different than playing in Division II,” said Saugus head coach Barry Nua. “It’s much better quality of play at the lower level and throughout the bracket. We were hoping for a little better draw, but it didn’t happen that way.

“All we can do, since we can’t control what they do, all we can do is try to play sound discipline volleyball and minimize our mistakes and try to capitalize on theirs. It’s a basic, simple formula.”

Unless otherwise agreed upon by both schools, all volleyball games are scheduled for 7 p.m. starts.



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