By Ryan Menzie
Signal Sports Writer
The Valencia Vikings won on the road against the Castaic Coyotes in three sets (25-15, 25-20, 25-17) for their first win of the season on Thursday. The Castaic Coyotes are still searching for their first win of the season after losing to Trinity Classical Academy 3-2 on Tuesday.
The Coyotes seemed outmatched, but always hung around in each set with sound defense and forcing the Vikings to make errors. Junior outside hitter Peyton Schneider led the Coyotes with four kills to go along with two aces. Coyotes head coach Taylor Schubert is pleased with her team’s efforts and believes they can learn to capitalize off their strong serving.
“We played great defense for us and that’s been one of the things we stressed in practice,” said Schubert. “We need to start knowing our strengths and trying to execute that. We try to work on defense. I’m very pleased with how we played today. We played very well.”
Despite the effort by the Coyotes, the Vikings proved too much. The Vikings were ready with counters of their own, setting up strong attacks at the net. Junior setter Brooke Tynon finished the game with a team-high 11 assists while senior outside hitter Jordan Henderson tied for the team lead with five kills at a .250 kill rate with junior middle Brooklyn Cohen.
“We’ve been working on setting a higher standard at practice,” said Vikings head coach Kristin Dolan. “Calling plays and making sure we’re communicating properly. We need to continue working on those things. (Castaic) hustle their butts off. I think we could implement some of that into our play on our side of the net.”
Both Tynon and Henderson reiterated the communication was much better on Thursday than it was in their season-opening straight-set loss to Saugus on Tuesday, and they hope to keep the momentum and experience moving forward deeper in league play.
“We came in wanting to win after our loss on Tuesday,” said Tynon. “We wanted to win our first league game. We knew we could so we came in with a positive mindset.”
“We just have to keep the energy high and keep getting kills,” said Henderson. “Keep the momentum moving forward into the league.”