Foothill volleyball roundup: West Ranch sets early tone for season

West Ranch celebrates a point over Valencia during their Foothill League volleyball match on Tuesday. Katharine Lotze/Signal

West Ranch High girls volleyball defeated the Valencia Vikings in thrilling fashion Tuesday night at West Ranch High, winning game four by two points and the match 3-1.

Game scores were 25-19, 25-9. 17-25, 26-24.

“This is one of the best moments of my life,” said West Ranch senior Kaitlin Schultz. “Ever since freshman year, we’ve lost against Valencia, so we wanted to come out and prove we can beat them.”

PHOTOS: West Ranch hosts Valencia girls volleyball

West Ranch, which is 2-0 in Foothill League play, began game one by falling behind 9-2 before coach Brandon Pank called a timeout. The Wildcats responded with a 10-2 run on the way to a 25-19 win.

“I wanted the girls to get on board with the ideas necessary to win,” Pank said of the timeout conversation. “They bought in immediately, and the pressure went away and they played beautifully.”

The Wildcats won the second game 25-9, and Valencia won the third game 25-17.

The fourth game began with Valencia jumping out to a 19-10 lead. But West Ranch bounced back with a 16-5 run that boosted it to the 3-1 match win.

“Some of the pressure got to me, but I got out of my head and we played well, so I’m proud,” said West Ranch’s Lauren Smith.

Valencia (1-1 in the Foothill League) was led by Kelsey Knudsen’s five serving aces, Kiora Sanchez’s nine kills, and Kayla Konrad’s four blocks. The Vikings, who have won 13 Foothill titles in the last 14 years, will play the Saugus Centurions on Thursday night at Saugus High School.

“Give credit to West Ranch, they came out and executed at a high level,” said Valencia coach Ray Sanchez. “They came back really strong in the fourth game and put a lot of pressure on us, and unfortunately we weren’t able to answer that.”

West Ranch resumes Foothill League play when it faces Hart on Thursday night at Hart High School.

Hart 3, Canyon 0

The Indians (7-2 overall, 1-1 in league) won by scores of 25-23, 25-23, 25-11, at home Tuesday.

Indians senior Madi Fay led the way with nine kills and 22 assists. Hart’s Ashley Cosey followed with six kills.

The Indians will host West Ranch on Thursday.

Canyon is 0-2 in league.

Saugus 3, Golden Valley 0

The Centurions (10-7, 2-0) swept by scores of 25-19, 25-15 and 25-17 at home on Tuesday.

Saugus’ Madison Hollers had seven aces, while her teammate Caitlin Liebe had 14 kills and 10 digs.

The Grizzlies are 3-5 overall and 0-2 in league.

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