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On the Beat Volleyball: Future still bright for Foothill League

Posted: May 18, 2014 10:33 p.m.
Updated: May 18, 2014 10:33 p.m.
 

On paper, Tuesday looked like a rough day for Foothill League boys volleyball teams.

Four playoff teams and four losses in the first round. Ouch.

It isn’t all bad though when you consider how close some of the matches were and how well this may bode for the future.

First of all, as we addressed in last week’s On the Beat volleyball story, this likely means the league will move down from CIF-Southern Section Division I to Division II.

After two years playing in Division I, the Foothill League is now a collective 0-7 in playoff matches.

That should make a strong enough case to move down a notch.

But it’s not as if these Division I teams are on a different planet than Foothill teams. Valencia was ahead two games to one with a lead in the fourth game on Tuesday against Thousand Oaks.

It took a major rally for Thousand Oaks to pull off the 3-2 win.

Saugus lost its playoff match 3-1 to San Juan Hills, and that was on what head coach Barry Nua described as a bad day. Saugus was capable of winning it.

And even though West Ranch and Canyon were both swept 3-0 in their playoff matches on Tuesday, both played their opponents tight in all three games.

These last two years have been tough for local boys volleyball teams, but there is light at the end of the tunnel for a lot of teams. The talent is now all over this valley compared to the old days when it was all concentrated at Valencia.

And as a result we’re starting to see the emergence of the rest of the league.

Beach season: For the third straight year, the Valencia Vikings beach volleyball girls team reached the championship match of the newly formed high school beach volleyball league.

Valencia lost 3-0 to Mira Costa in the title match on May 10 at Annenberg Community Beach House in Santa Monica, settling for second place in the AAU Southern Pacific Interscholastic Beach Volleyball League.

The league began in 2012, and Valencia won the championship that year over the same Mira Costa team. The following season, Valencia lost to Mira Costa in the final, which was a result that repeated itself last week.

Valencia finished the season with a 13-1 record after beating Saddleback Valley Christian 2-1 in the quarterfinals and Huntington Beach 2-1 in the semis.

This year’s run to the finals was particularly impressive for the Vikings because they did it without their top pairing of Delaney Knudsen and Sierra Sanchez, who both graduated and are now playing for NCAA Division I sand volleyball programs.

Stepping in at the No. 1 spot this season was Emily Bible and Lindsey Knudsen, Delaney’s younger sister. Also playing in the championship match for Valencia were the duos of Rachel Perez and Kaity Uythoven along with Demi Dawson and Kelsey Knudsen.

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