Vikes’ Knudsen, Cats’ Skabelund share v-ball POY honor
By Signal Staff
Monday, November 21st, 2016

Volleyball runs in the families of Valencia senior Kelsey Knudsen and West Ranch senior Tasha Skabelund.

Both girls have older siblings who’ve won player of the year honors — whether it be for the Foothill League or the All-Santa Clarita Valley team. And the similarities between the two don’t stop there.

Both also play on the same club volleyball team during the summer, and, with league records of 9-1 respectively, both of their high school teams shared the Foothill League championship this season.

So appropriately enough, Knudsen and Skabelund will share the CIF-Southern Section Foothill League Player of the Year award.

West Ranch's Tasha Skabelund (17) reaches for a dig during a home volleyball game against Hart on Tuesday. Katharine Lotze/Signal
West Ranch’s Tasha Skabelund (17) reaches for a dig during a home volleyball game against Hart during the season. Katharine Lotze/Signal

“I’m so grateful for this. This is really exciting,” Knudsen said.

“That’s amazing. I feel so honored,” Skabelund said.

Valencia (17-13) and West Ranch (21-9-1) both had stellar years. Valencia captured its 14th Foothill League title in 15 years after starting the season 0-3 and losing reigning All-SCV Player of the Year Lauren Russ to injury. West Ranch meanwhile captured a share of its first Foothill League title ever.

Skabelund had 161 digs and 31 aces during the year. She also had 160 kills, 11 of which came in West Ranch’s 3-1 win over Saugus High on Oct. 25, a victory that clinched a share of the Foothill League crown.

West Ranch lost 3-0 to Agoura High in the first round of the CIF-Southern Section Division 3 playoffs on Nov. 1. Valencia beat Harvard-Westlake 3-0 in the first round in Division 1 on Nov. 1, but lost 3-0 to Edison High to end its season two days later.

Skabelund said she wanted to win a league title heading into the year. She also said it’s been interesting competing against her friend Knudsen.

“We’ve never won league, and (Valencia has) been pretty dominant so it’s been interesting to try to compete against them,” Skabelund said. “It’s an accomplishment for sure.”

Knudsen recorded 46 aces and 67 assists to go along with a team-high 387 digs during the high school season.

She said Skabelund forces her to play better during club season because they don’t see each other often.

“I think she challenges me because we are friends, but we don’t see each other every day,” Knudsen said. “It’s just cool to challenge myself against someone I don’t always get to see.”

Volleyball runs in both families. Skabelund’s older brother Tanner Skabelund won All-SCV Player of the Year honors in 2013. After a two-year break from volleyball for a church mission trip to Santiago, Chile, he is now a redshirt freshman on the Brigham Young University men’s volleyball team.

Tasha Skabelund plans to play for California State University Bakersfield next year.

The game also runs through Knudsen’s veins. She said her parents met because of the game. Her dad Mark Knudsen serves as an assistant coach on girls volleyball team. He also is the head coach of Valencia’s girls beach volleyball team while his wife serves as an assistant coach.

Valencia's Kelsey Knudsen. Dan Watson/Signal
Valencia’s Kelsey Knudsen. Dan Watson/Signal

Her older sisters Delaney and Lindsey won Foothill League Player of the Year honors in 2012 and 2014, respectively. Delaney Knudsen is now a senior beach volleyball player at Pepperdine. Lindsey Knudsen is a sophomore at Saint Mary’s College of California where Kelsey Knudsen plans to join her next year.

“I’m so excited,” Kelsey Knudsen said of playing with her sister. “It will be cool.”

Also named to the Foothill League’s first team were Valencia’s Bri Coleman and Kaelyn White, West Ranch’s Katie Jacobs and Kaitlin Schultz, Hart High’s Madi Fay and Makenna Fall, and Saugus High’s Caitlin Liebe.

Earning second team honors were Valencia’s Kiora Sanchez and Lauryn Shockley, West Ranch’s Allison Jacobs and Lauren Smith, Hart High’s Delaney Gibbs, Saugus High’s Holley Piroli and Canyon High’s Sasha Thomas Oakley.

Canyon sophomore Laska Stanford, Golden Valley freshman Jordan Nunez, Hart High sophomore Zoe DiNardo, Saugus junior Grace Ferguson, Valencia senior Kayla Konrad, and West Ranch sophomore Victoria Delorosario earned honorable mentions.

About the author

Signal Staff

Signal Staff

Vikes’ Knudsen, Cats’ Skabelund share v-ball POY honor

Volleyball runs in the families of Valencia senior Kelsey Knudsen and West Ranch senior Tasha Skabelund.

Both girls have older siblings who’ve won player of the year honors — whether it be for the Foothill League or the All-Santa Clarita Valley team. And the similarities between the two don’t stop there.

Both also play on the same club volleyball team during the summer, and, with league records of 9-1 respectively, both of their high school teams shared the Foothill League championship this season.

So appropriately enough, Knudsen and Skabelund will share the CIF-Southern Section Foothill League Player of the Year award.

West Ranch's Tasha Skabelund (17) reaches for a dig during a home volleyball game against Hart on Tuesday. Katharine Lotze/Signal
West Ranch’s Tasha Skabelund (17) reaches for a dig during a home volleyball game against Hart during the season. Katharine Lotze/Signal

“I’m so grateful for this. This is really exciting,” Knudsen said.

“That’s amazing. I feel so honored,” Skabelund said.

Valencia (17-13) and West Ranch (21-9-1) both had stellar years. Valencia captured its 14th Foothill League title in 15 years after starting the season 0-3 and losing reigning All-SCV Player of the Year Lauren Russ to injury. West Ranch meanwhile captured a share of its first Foothill League title ever.

Skabelund had 161 digs and 31 aces during the year. She also had 160 kills, 11 of which came in West Ranch’s 3-1 win over Saugus High on Oct. 25, a victory that clinched a share of the Foothill League crown.

West Ranch lost 3-0 to Agoura High in the first round of the CIF-Southern Section Division 3 playoffs on Nov. 1. Valencia beat Harvard-Westlake 3-0 in the first round in Division 1 on Nov. 1, but lost 3-0 to Edison High to end its season two days later.

Skabelund said she wanted to win a league title heading into the year. She also said it’s been interesting competing against her friend Knudsen.

“We’ve never won league, and (Valencia has) been pretty dominant so it’s been interesting to try to compete against them,” Skabelund said. “It’s an accomplishment for sure.”

Knudsen recorded 46 aces and 67 assists to go along with a team-high 387 digs during the high school season.

She said Skabelund forces her to play better during club season because they don’t see each other often.

“I think she challenges me because we are friends, but we don’t see each other every day,” Knudsen said. “It’s just cool to challenge myself against someone I don’t always get to see.”

Volleyball runs in both families. Skabelund’s older brother Tanner Skabelund won All-SCV Player of the Year honors in 2013. After a two-year break from volleyball for a church mission trip to Santiago, Chile, he is now a redshirt freshman on the Brigham Young University men’s volleyball team.

Tasha Skabelund plans to play for California State University Bakersfield next year.

The game also runs through Knudsen’s veins. She said her parents met because of the game. Her dad Mark Knudsen serves as an assistant coach on girls volleyball team. He also is the head coach of Valencia’s girls beach volleyball team while his wife serves as an assistant coach.

Valencia's Kelsey Knudsen. Dan Watson/Signal
Valencia’s Kelsey Knudsen. Dan Watson/Signal

Her older sisters Delaney and Lindsey won Foothill League Player of the Year honors in 2012 and 2014, respectively. Delaney Knudsen is now a senior beach volleyball player at Pepperdine. Lindsey Knudsen is a sophomore at Saint Mary’s College of California where Kelsey Knudsen plans to join her next year.

“I’m so excited,” Kelsey Knudsen said of playing with her sister. “It will be cool.”

Also named to the Foothill League’s first team were Valencia’s Bri Coleman and Kaelyn White, West Ranch’s Katie Jacobs and Kaitlin Schultz, Hart High’s Madi Fay and Makenna Fall, and Saugus High’s Caitlin Liebe.

Earning second team honors were Valencia’s Kiora Sanchez and Lauryn Shockley, West Ranch’s Allison Jacobs and Lauren Smith, Hart High’s Delaney Gibbs, Saugus High’s Holley Piroli and Canyon High’s Sasha Thomas Oakley.

Canyon sophomore Laska Stanford, Golden Valley freshman Jordan Nunez, Hart High sophomore Zoe DiNardo, Saugus junior Grace Ferguson, Valencia senior Kayla Konrad, and West Ranch sophomore Victoria Delorosario earned honorable mentions.

Upcoming Events

Jan
12
Fri
all-day Domes – Art Exhibit @ Old Town Newhall Library
Domes – Art Exhibit @ Old Town Newhall Library
Jan 12 – May 11 all-day
Domes - Art Exhibit @ Old Town Newhall Library | Santa Clarita | California | United States
Local resident Naomi Young, is the artist featured in the latest exhibit at the Old Town Newhall Library. The exhibit features original paintings and multimedia by Young, an artist born and raised in Jerusalem, Israel,[...]
Feb
1
Thu
all-day “The Golden Oaks of Santa Clarit... @ Valencia Library
“The Golden Oaks of Santa Clarit... @ Valencia Library
Feb 1 – Jun 1 all-day
“The Golden Oaks of Santa Clarita,” Art Exhibit @ Valencia Library  | Santa Clarita | California | United States
“THE GOLDEN OAKS OF SANTA CLARITA” ART EXHIBIT BY BRAD SERGI ON DISPLAY AT THE VALENCIA LIBRARY Library hours: Mon-Thu 10 a.m. – 9 p.m., Fri 10 a.m. – 6 p.m., Sat 10 a.m. – 5[...]
Feb
14
Wed
all-day Tickets Available Now for 41st A... @ Dodger Stadium
Tickets Available Now for 41st A... @ Dodger Stadium
Feb 14 – May 12 all-day
Tickets Available Now for 41st Annual SCV Dodger Day @ Dodger Stadium | Los Angeles | California | United States
SANTA CLARITA DODGER DAY TICKETS ON SALE NOW! Tickets Start at $25 and Benefit Local Schools and Non-Profits It’s time to step up to the plate! The Santa Clarita City Council invites residents to purchase[...]
Apr
19
Thu
all-day Santa Clarita Cowboy Festival Co... @ Event Locations Vary
Santa Clarita Cowboy Festival Co... @ Event Locations Vary
Apr 19 – Apr 22 all-day
BUY YOUR TICKETS NOW FOR COWBOY FESTIVAL CONCERTS – Locations, Times & Prices Vary 25th Annual Santa Clarita Cowboy Festival offers ticketed performances and special events Get ready for some toe-tapping, two-stepping, guitar-picking musical performances![...]
Apr
20
Fri
all-day Santa Clarita Cowboy Festival Co... @ Event Locations Vary
Santa Clarita Cowboy Festival Co... @ Event Locations Vary
Apr 20 – Apr 23 all-day
BUY YOUR TICKETS NOW FOR COWBOY FESTIVAL CONCERTS – Locations, Times & Prices Vary 25th Annual Santa Clarita Cowboy Festival offers ticketed performances and special events Get ready for some toe-tapping, two-stepping, guitar-picking musical performances![...]
7:00 pm Hart High School Presents ‘Bye, ... @ Hart High school Auditorium
Hart High School Presents ‘Bye, ... @ Hart High school Auditorium
Apr 20 @ 7:00 pm
Hart High School Presents 'Bye, Bye Birdie' @ Hart High school Auditorium | Santa Clarita | California | United States
Spring Musical Coming April 2018! Hart High Theatre is proud to present Bye Bye Birdie! April 19, 20, 27 & 28 @ 7pm April 28 & 29 @ 1pm When the draft selects rock star[...]
Apr
21
Sat
all-day Santa Clarita Cowboy Festival Co... @ Event Locations Vary
Santa Clarita Cowboy Festival Co... @ Event Locations Vary
Apr 21 – Apr 24 all-day
BUY YOUR TICKETS NOW FOR COWBOY FESTIVAL CONCERTS – Locations, Times & Prices Vary 25th Annual Santa Clarita Cowboy Festival offers ticketed performances and special events Get ready for some toe-tapping, two-stepping, guitar-picking musical performances![...]
10:00 am Astronomy Day @ Valencia Library
Astronomy Day @ Valencia Library
Apr 21 @ 10:00 am – 10:00 pm
The Local Group Astronomy Club and The Santa Clarita Public Library present our free annual Astronomy Day Celebration. We will be at the Valencia branch of the Santa Clarita Public Library from 10am to 3pm.[...]
10:00 am Resource Parents Needed to Foste... @ College of the Canyons, Dr. Dianne G. Van Hook University Center, Room 222
Resource Parents Needed to Foste... @ College of the Canyons, Dr. Dianne G. Van Hook University Center, Room 222
Apr 21 @ 10:00 am – 12:00 pm
Resource Parents Needed to Foster or Foster-Adopt a Child @ College of the Canyons, Dr. Dianne G. Van Hook University Center, Room 222 | Santa Clarita | California | United States
Adoption is a meaningful way for individuals and couples to fulfill their dream of parenting.  There are approximately 64,000 children in foster care in California.  Los Angeles County’s foster care population exceeds 21,000 children with[...]
10:00 am The City of Lancaster’s 27th Ann... @ Sgt. Steve Owen Memorial Park
The City of Lancaster’s 27th Ann... @ Sgt. Steve Owen Memorial Park
Apr 21 @ 10:00 am – 6:00 pm
The City of Lancaster’s 27th Annual California Poppy Festival, Sat & Sun @ Sgt. Steve Owen Memorial Park | Lancaster | California | United States
On April 21 and 22, the City of Lancaster will host the 27th annual California Poppy Festival™ at Sgt. Steve Owen Memorial Park (43063 10th Street West). Drawing more than 40,000 attendees and spanning 35[...]