Taking the match in straight games, Valencia boys volleyball defeated Bishop Diego of Santa Barbara in the first round of the Division 2 CIF Southern Section playoffs, 25-13, 25-16, 25-19.
In the first set, the Vikings (23-11) showed their dominance by jumping out to a 12-3 lead behind David Chun, Tyler Clyde and Dorian Ellis as they combined for 10 kills in the game.
“The energy,” said Vikings captain Aaron Erskin about what he liked to begin the match. “We did a lot of good things. Hit well, passed well and we just stayed consistent throughout the whole game.”
Trying out different lineup combinations, the Vikings were able to jump out to 14-5 lead in the second game before allowing the Bishop Diego’s outside hitter, John Harris, get the Cardinals (13-8) within two points of the Vikings at 16-14.
“We didn’t really know that much about Bishop coming into the game,” said Valencia head coach Kevin Kornegay. “… But we are big on adjusting, kind of like we did tonight.”
Tightening up their defense, the Vikings allowed only two more points to the Cardinals en route to the second game win, 25-16.
Heading into the third game, the Vikings seemed like they were going to cruise into the second round, but costly errors by the Vikings allowed the Cardinals to capitalize and tie the game at 15.
Just like in the second, the Vikings stepped it up and found a way to close out the match, 25-19, behind Cameron Graves’ six kills in the third game. Graves finished with a team-high 13 kills on the night.
With the win against Bishop Diego, the Vikings move onto the second round where they will face off against either Esperanza or Vista Murrieta on Thursday.
Hart 3, Hillcrest 1
Hart moves on to the second round of the CIF-SS Division 2 tournament, beating Hillcrest in four sets: 19-25, 27-25, 25-22, 29-27.
Wyatt Bates led the Indians (16-13-1) with 15 kills with Dylan Lange chipping in 10, Alex Schmidt with nine and Kevin Clauss with eight.