Between Division 2 boys volleyball semifinals, graduation and making the All CIF-Southern Section Division 2 team, Valencia Viking’s senior outside hitter Cameron Graves has a couple things to be proud of this year.
“I’m shocked and amazed,” Graves said. “This is something that I’ve wanted to accomplish since I started playing. It’s a thrill.”
After leading the Vikings on a deep playoff run consisting of a two straight set sweeps (Bishop Diego and Mission Viejo) and one nail biter (Vista Murrieta) the second-year volleyball player never thought that he would be named to such a prestigious honor.
“I didn’t think I would ever be able to get this since it’s my second year playing and all. I thought that I would have to wait a couple more years before I ever got something like this,” Graves said.
Leading the team in kills (319) according to MaxPreps.com, Graves posted a 41.8 efficiency rating by averaging 3.1 kills per set.
“To me he was one of our most valuable players” Valencia head coach Kevin Kornegay said. “He played every rotation and was excellent at terminating balls. He always tried to improve his game and it showed from last year to this year.”
At times, you wouldn’t be able to decipher what the high-flyer is thinking or the emotions that are running through his mind because of his calm and stoic nature on the court.
“I stay collected because I know that no matter, my team will get the job done. I trust them completely and understand that we will get the ball to whoever is in the right position,” Graves said.
Posting double digit-kills in 15 games throughout the season, four of which were in the playoffs, Graves had a season- and team-high with 20 kills against second-round foe Vista Murrieta.
“I just kept last year’s playoffs in the back of my mind,” Graves said. “It was my birthday and we lost last year so I came out with all I had to begin playoffs.”
Admitting that the first-round win against Bishop Diego was the most important win of the year Graves basked in the moment.
“Of course, I celebrated and I even cried a little,” Graves said. “The first one meant so much to me and from there on out I knew we were going to give it all we had.”
Having such incredible “boosties” like Graves does it’s easy to forgo the one under-rated facet of his game, serving.
Graves led the team in aces (23) on the year, serving up five multiple-ace games.
Leading the team in kills (10) against eventual Division 2 champion Orange Lutheran, Graves is proud of what he and his teammates accomplished this year.
“I would like to thank all my teammates for always having my back and coach Kornegay for pushing me to my limits and breaking me down to the bone,” Graves said.
With plans to try out and play one year at Moorpark Community College and then transfer to Fontbonne University in Missouri on an academic scholarship and play for the team, Graves seems to have made the most of his time and opportunities at Valencia, but wishes he could stay on a little longer.
“I wish I had one more year to reach my full potential at Valencia.”