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Prep volleyball: Two locals are All-CIF

Valencia’s Ellias, Santa Clarita Christian’s Masopust make teams

Posted: December 12, 2010 9:30 p.m.
Updated: December 13, 2010 4:55 a.m.

In volleyball, sometimes outside hitters get all the glory.

In 2010, it was two non-glory positions that earned local players spots on the All CIF-Southern Section volleyball teams in their respective divisions last week.

Valencia middle blocker Emily Ellias made the team in Division 1A and Santa Clarita Christian setter Joanna Masopust earned a spot on the Division 4A team.

Ellias, who was also voted the 2010 Foothill League Player of the Year by the league’s coaches, played for a Valencia team that made it to the quarterfinal round of the Division 1A playoffs.

The Vikings also won a ninth straight league title, and Ellias’ role as one of the few seniors on the team was paramount in her team’s success.

“We had four sophomores and that’s a crazy number,” Ellias said. “But you don’t know what to expect going into it, so I’m just going to give 100 percent of what I can and show the other girls that’s what you have to do.”

SCCS also made it into the postseason, with its run ending in the second round of the Division 4A playoffs.

Masopust was the centerpiece to the team’s offense all season long. As a setter, she wasn’t the one racking up all the kills, but she was responsible for distributing the ball to the Cardinal hitters and making sure the ball was properly placed.

“From what people have told me, setters are like the quarterback of a football team, except they don’t get as much attention,” Masopust said.

The senior, who also plays on SCCS’ soccer team, admitted she was surprised to end up “quarterbacking” a volleyball team after the learning curve she initially experienced in the sport.

“I feel extra blessed just because volleyball had never really been my sport,” she said. “I’ve been playing soccer since I was five years old and I just decided to try volleyball in eighth grade.”

Both players had to rally their teams at times throughout the season to fight through difficult league schedules.

Valencia played in three league matches which required a fifth tiebreaker game. Valencia won two of the three and ended up 9-1 in the Foothill League.

Ellias’ team-leading 239 kills in addition to 32 blocks along the way gained attention around the division.

“It’s awesome because I know people in our league get to see me play all the time, but to have an honor outside of league is big,” Ellias said.

The Cardinals had more of an up-and-down season than Valencia, but Masopust remembers it mostly for how well the players came together even against seemingly superior opponents.

“Volleyball is definitely a big team sport and I couldn’t have done it without all my teammates helping me out,” Masopust said.


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