Foothill League boys volleyball roundup: New Cats coach gets win in season-opener

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Brandon Johnson really couldn’t have asked for a better first game as head coach of West Ranch boys volleyball.

The Wildcats swept defending CIF-Southern Section Division 2 champions Notre Dame of Sherman Oaks 25-18, 25-22, 25-21 at Notre Dame on Tuesday.

“They’re a hard-working group,” Johnson said. “They’re an energetic group. They really want to win, they want to get better. So every day coming into practice is a lot of fun, more than anything else. We were kind of itching to get on the court.”

Griffin Peters led the team with 10 kills, while Andrew Benser had eight kills and five aces. Tyson Drake, the team’s only returning starter, finished the match with 20 assists.

West Ranch (1-0), which went undefeated in Foothill League play last season, relied on strong serving to take down the Knights.

“We really attacked them from the service line,” Johnson said. “We got them out of the game. We want to be a strong serving team and that was a key for us tonight.”

The Cats next host Thousand Oaks on Friday at 6 p.m. and begins league play against Hart on March 20.

“I’m just excited for what this season can be and as we build more time together,” Johnson said. “We’re going to do some damage this year for sure.”

Valencia 3, Calabasas 1

The Vikings (1-0) dropped the first game 26-28, but bounced back to win the following three 25-23, 25-13, 27-25.

Jackson Young had nine kills and Arron Erskin had 51 assists. Middles Connor Ruffner and Dorian Ellis combined for 10 blocks.

On Thursday, Valencia will travel to Oak Park for a 6 p.m. match.

Hart 3, Burbank 2

The Indians (1-0) won 25-23, 20-25, 22-25, 25-26, 15-13. Dylan Lange registered 13 kills and Wyatt Bates had eight kills. Gavin Leising had six solo blocks.

“Starting off the season, we shook off the cobwebs and overcame some first-game jitters,” said coach Jeannie Brauninger via text message. “It was great to be tenacious and pull out a win.”

Hart hosts Alemany on Friday at 5 p.m.

Glendale 3, Canyon 1

Dustin Deisbeck led the Cowboys (0-1) with 17 kills, followed by Esquivel Ramirez, who had 13 kills.

Canyon will play Highland at home on Friday at 5:30 p.m.

A final score was not available for the match between Saugus and Chaminade.

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