The Valencia boys volleyball team made the trek to Orange Lutheran of Orange on Wednesday for a CIF-Southern Section Division 2 semifinal matchup.
Falling to the Lancers in three sets with scores of 27-25, 25-19, 25-20, the Vikings gave it their all as the last team standing from the Foothill League and their first trip to the semifinals since 2015.
“We battled through the entire match and we just came up short,” said Valencia head coach Kevin Kornegay via text message.
Controlling the ball and capitalizing on Vikings’ mistakes, Orange Lutheran (28-8) was able to come from behind in the first set to tie the score at 20-20 and close out it out, winning 27-25.
In the second and third games, Vikes senior Jackson Young was able to get some playing time as he has missed most of the year recovering from tendonitis in his foot.
Young ended the game with three kills and one block in his first playoff game this season.
“He helped us by giving us another hitting and blocking weapon,” Kornegay said.
Leaving everything on the court, the Vikings (25-12) just couldn’t find a way to get past the Lancers and into the championship game.
On the way to the semifinal game, the Vikings defeated Bishop Diego, Vista Murrieta and Mission Viejo. Sweeping Bishop Diego and Mission Viejo, the Vikes only dropped two sets to Vista Murrieta before taking them in five.
Seniors Cameron Graves led the team with 10 kills, David Chun and Connor Ruffner both chipped in seven kills apiece, captain Aaron Erskin ended the game with 26 assists and seven digs and Jon Yamasaki added six digs and one assist in their last opportunity to put on a Valencia Vikings uniform.
“Our seniors made a nice run. They set the bar for the underclassmen,” Kornegay said.
“Not too bad for a bunch of guys not living by the beach.”