Valenica’s Kelsey Knudsen, left, Bri Coleman (2), and Lauryn Shockley (11) celebrate a point against Hart High on Thursday night. Photo by Jayne Kamin-Oncea/For The Signal.
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Two of the Foothill League’s finest were on display Thursday night at Hart High School in a match between the Hart Indians and the Valencia Vikings. Valencia earned the road victory, 3-2, in a thrilling back-and-forth match.

“It’s always a battle when we come to play Hart. I think we did just enough to win,” said Valencia coach Ray Sanchez.

The game score were: 17-25, 26-24, 25-20, 15-25, and 15-13.

Hart never trailed in game one, cruising to a victory. Valencia responded in a game two that had 13 ties and six lead changes, the last of which gave Valencia a 25-24 lead that Vikings freshman Kaelyn White capped off with one of her seven kills, giving Valencia the 26-24 win.

 Hart’s Delaney Gibbs (34) walks back to the bench as the Valencia bench erupts at Hart High. Photo by Jayne Kamin-Oncea/For The Signal.
Hart’s Delaney Gibbs (34) walks back to the bench as the Valencia bench erupts at Hart High. Photo by Jayne Kamin-Oncea/For The Signal.

In game three, with the score 22-19 in Valencia’s favor, Hart was awarded a point as the up referee determined the Vikings had touched the ball before it went out. A challenge by Sanchez led to a deliberation between the umpire and up referee, resulting in a replay of the point. The Vikings outscored the Indians, 3-1, to win 25-20.

Hart dispelled any notion they would hand the victory to Valencia, throttling the Vikings 25-15 in game four.

The deciding frame began with Hart taking a 3-1 lead, before Valencia took a 4-3 advantage it never surrendered. The Indians fought to make the score 14-13, but the Vikings proved to be too much for their Foothill foe, winning the game and the match.

“It’s hard to lose, but this was much different than the first time we met,” said Hart coach Mary Irilian. “We couldn’t have been happier with the progress the girls made.”

Hart, who drops to 3-3 in Foothill play, was led by Alyssa Cosey’s 11 kills, Madi Fay’s 20 assists, and Makenna Fall’s 25 digs. The Indians travel to Canyon High School next Thursday to face the Cowboys.

Valencia’s victory was aided by Lauryn Shockley’s 14 kills, Kiora Sanchez’s 20 assists, and 15 digs by Kelsey Knudsen. The Vikings are now 5-1 in Foothill play and take on the league-leading West Ranch Wildcats (6-0) at Valencia next Thursday.

West Ranch 3, Golden Valley 0

The West Ranch Wildcats continued their dominance of the Foothill League, sweeping the Golden Valley Grizzlies, 3-0, Thursday Night at West Ranch High School.

The game scores were: 25-18, 25-21, and 25-23.

The Wildcats are now 6-0 in league play and were led by Allison Jacobs’ 12 kills, Katie Jacobs’ and Kaitlin Schultz’s two blocks, and Lauren Smith’s three aces. West Ranch plays the second place Valencia Vikings (5-1) at home next Thursday night.

Saugus 3, Canyon 0

The Saugus Centurions swept the Canyon Cowboys at Saugus High School Thursday night to bring their Foothill League record to 3-3.

The game scores were: 25-13, 25-18, and 25-20.

The Centurions’ victory was aided by Caitlin Liebe’s 19 kills, Grace Ferguson’s 13 kills, and Gabby Schiesser’s 36 assists. Saugus travels to Golden Valley next.

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