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Five local teams appear in preseason CIF-SS spring sports polls

Posted: February 20, 2012 6:53 p.m.
Updated: February 20, 2012 6:53 p.m.

As the winter sports season winds down, the CIF-Southern Section has begun to release its preseason polls for the spring sports.

On Monday, the Southern Section released the polls for baseball, softball and boys volleyball, and a total of five local squads appear in the rankings.

The Valencia baseball team is No. 8 in the Division I poll. The Vikings have won the past three Foothill League titles, and this season they return senior slugger Trey Williams and junior outfielder A.J. Balta, the past two All-Santa Clarita Valley Players of the Year.

Valencia is also ranked No. 74 in the nation by high school sports website in its Xcellent 25 Preseason Rankings.

In softball, Valencia is ranked No. 6 in Division I. Last season, the Vikings had their 10-year streak of Foothill League titles snapped by Saugus, but they return senior pitcher and Pacific commit Carly Mortensen and senior catcher and Penn State commit Karlie Habitz, among others.

The West Ranch softball team appears in the “others” section of the Division I poll after reaching the second round of the postseason last spring. The Wildcats return a wealth of underclass talent, including a pair of Oregon recruits in sisters Janelle Lindvall, a senior, and Lauren Lindvall, a sophomore.

In the boys volleyball rankings, Valencia is No. 4 in Division II. Riding a state-record 101-game league winning streak into the season, Valencia returns senior Long Beach State commit Eric Ensing and senior libero Griffin Ender.

Hart is No. 8 in the Division II boys volleyball rankings. Despite the graduation of Taylor Gregory and J.J. Mosolf — both of whom are now playing NCAA Division I volleyball — the Indians welcome back a pair of talented juniors in setter Chris Leclair and outside hitter Tanner Tengberg.

Baseball, softball and boys volleyball season are all scheduled to begin later this month.

The boys tennis preseason poll is scheduled to be released on March 12.


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