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Prep volleyball: Ellias named Foothill MVP

Valencia senior one of seven Vikings honored by coaches

Posted: November 30, 2010 10:14 p.m.
Updated: December 1, 2010 4:55 a.m.
Valencia middle blocker Emily Ellias has been named the Foothill League Player of the Year, as voted by the coaches. Valencia middle blocker Emily Ellias has been named the Foothill League Player of the Year, as voted by the coaches.
Valencia middle blocker Emily Ellias has been named the Foothill League Player of the Year, as voted by the coaches.

Promise and potential may be nice to talk about, but playing consistently and delivering under pressure were the qualities that won All-Foothill League honors in girls volleyball this year.

Perhaps no player better demonstrated that than Valencia middle blocker Emily Ellias, who was voted this season’s Foothill League Player of the Year.

“She really played her best matches against our toughest competition,” said Valencia head coach Ray Sanchez. “You can’t say that about a lot of players. ... That’s the sign of a real competitor, a real champion.”

The senior helped her team win the Foothill League and advance to the quarterfinals of the CIF-Southern Section Division IA playoffs, where the Vikings lost to eventual champion Marymount.

Ellias led her team with 239 kills and was second on the team with 32 blocks.

“I’m really excited because I put in so much work for it and I felt like I did everything I needed to help my team,” Ellias said.

Valencia had two other seniors represented on the All-League First Team, libero Brooke Dawson and middle blocker Alexa Schmidt.

Schmidt provided an additional weapon at the net for Valencia and its middle-heavy offense.

“It wasn’t like we had sort of one go-to player,” Sanchez said. “We always had multiple players in double-digit kills.”

In the back row, the Vikings had Dawson to take care of the defensive duties.

Both Saugus and West Ranch had two players voted onto the first team as well.

West Ranch had two seniors on the first team, outside hitter Hannah Orlandi and libero Shelby Kunz.

The duo helped anchor the Wildcats’ offense, which was built around tough serving. Orlandi led the team with 65 service aces and Kunz followed closely with 60.

“I think they did a fantastic job,” said West Ranch head coach Nate Sparks. “When I asked some of the other coaches who were the top two players, they came up with those girls really quickly. It was sort of a unanimous.”

Orlandi also led West Ranch in kills (229) and Kunz led in digs (475).

For Saugus, it was Junior hitter Jaclyn Clark and sophomore setter Ashley Guthrie getting nods for the first team. They were the only two non-seniors to make the team.

“I think it bodes well for having similar success next year, if not a little better,” said Saugus head coach Zach Ambrose.

The two worked hand-in-hand executing the high-flying offense of the Centurions.

That came as little surprise to Ambrose, who said Guthrie and Clark have been playing volleyball together for multiple years in both club and high school play.

“Besides being incredibly athletic players, they were both solid contributors throughout the season,” Ambrose said.

Clark finished with 357 kills and Guthrie had 884 assists.

Hart’s senior middle blocker Anissa Robinson rounded out the first team.

The league-champion Vikings also had three sophomores receive league honors, with two on the second-team and on honorable mention.

Canyon libero Khrista Prudencio made the second-team and setter Christina Guerrero had an honorable mention.

Outside hitter Sam Holcombe was Golden Valley’s lone representative as an honorable mention.


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