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CIF boys volleyball: Valencia’s run cut short

Vikings suffer home playoff loss for second year in a row

Posted: May 15, 2010 10:13 p.m.
Updated: May 16, 2010 4:55 a.m.
The Valencia boys volleyball team saw its season ended by a determined Claremont team 25-22, 14-25, 25-23, 25-22 in the quarterfinals of the CIF-Southern Section Division II playoffs on Saturday night at Valencia High School.

It is the second straight year that the Vikings suffered a playoff loss at home.

"I wanted to win more than anyone else on the court," said Valencia head coach Mark Knudsen. "But we got a lot of young talent coming up, and our next playoff run starts right now."

The Vikings (22-12) were ranked No. 4 in the final CIF-SS Division II coaches poll, while Claremont (28-6) ranked fifth.

While volleyball is undoubtedly a team sport, Claremont senior outside hitter Geoff Powell dominated the game with 25 kills and six digs.

"I was able to use my athleticism and see what they were doing while I was in midair," said the Lewis University-bound Powell. "From there I made my moves, but everything I did was able to happen because of our solid defense."

Despite falling just short in the three games they surrendered, the dominant play the Vikings displayed in flashes reminded those in attendance the caliber program that Valencia has built.

After dropping the first game, Valencia rebounded to win the second thanks largely in part to improved serving.

But the Vikings had trouble cutting down on Claremont's runs in the third and fourth games and saw their postseason run come to an end.

"We no doubt had the most heart of any team that has ever played at Valencia," said senior setter Steven Crane. "We became close as a group and I think our season is a testament to the great support and coaching that we have here."


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