If the Valencia girls' volleyball team wants to win a 10th consecutive Foothill League championship, and its past two matches are any indication of what is to come, then unseating the Vikings could be quite a challenge for the rest of the league.
The host Vikings capped an impressive two-day stretch with a 24-26, 25-20, 30-28, 22-25, 15-7 nonleague victory Wednesday against Lakewood.
Following a season-opening loss Thursday at Dos Pueblos, Valencia (2-1) regrouped to defeat Notre Dame Academy for the first time in six attempts Tuesday.
"This really helps with our confidence," Crystal Makous said. "We feel if we can play and win with the tough teams out there, we can dominate league."
Makous is one of only two seniors on Valencia's roster, but she doesn't believe that will have any effect on carrying on a strong legacy.
She did her job Wednesday, recording nine kills and four aces. She also got plenty of help from her teammates.
Delaney Knudsen had 16 kills, 14 digs and 23 assists, Sierra Sanchez had 14 kills and 14 digs, and Carly Carapella had 29 assists and 23 digs.
Sydney LeDuff had nine kills, Stephanie Botton had 22 digs and Hayley Knapp added four blocks for the Vikings.
Each of the first four games were tied or within one point from the 20-19 mark. But Valencia was able to make more clutch plays when it counted.
"Inexperience and silly mistakes. When you face a team that is going to punch you in the face, you have to punch back,"
Lakewood (3-3) won a tight opening game after trailing 6-0 and had a 6-3 lead in the second but couldn't close.
Lakewood again seemed in control with a 16-11 lead in the third but the Vikings (2-1) came back to tie it at 21-21.
The score would remain tied each point through until Chrissy Tuua made a hitting error on a tip and Valencia finally gained momentum.
"I think we knew we were in it for the long run when we took the lead in games," Makous said.
Valencia led 16-11 in the fourth but Lakewod returned the favor with a solid rally behind Megan Kruidhof and Sarah Miller to force a deciding game.
Lakewood was spent by that point and fell behind 5-0 and 13-6 before Valencia ended the match.
Kruidhof and Miller finished with 19 and 11 kills, respectively. Chelsea Sauni had 58 assists and Heather Eggers contributed 34 digs for last year's Southern Section Div. I-AA semifinalist, but it wasn't enough.
"We are playing three freshmen, but we can't use that excuse all season," Wadley said.
- Jacob H. Pollon
In other girls' volleyball matches:
Granada Hills 3, Narbonne 0: Sam Cramer had seven kills to lead the host Highlanders to the 25-15, 25-18, 26-24 nonleague victory.
Emma Levanen recorded 24 assists and Julia Erickson added 13 digs for Granada Hills (2-0).
North Hollywood 211, ElCamino Real 216: Catherine Schlesinger shot a 2-over 33 to lead the Huskies in their Valley 1 League opener at ElCariso Golf Course.
Sara Simon and Samantha Pages had 41s for North Hollywood. Dejah Shepherd had a 39 for ECR (0-2, 0-2), which also got 40 from Jing Yang.
Notre Dame 219, Hart 247: Tina Nagai shot a 1-over 37 to lead the visiting Knights at Valencia Country Club.
Katelyn Reynolds shot 42, Sammy Winchester carded a 45 and Jessica Stone added a 47 for Notre Dame (5-0).
Kendall Dusenberry shot a 1-under 35 to earn medalist honors for Hart (0-3), which also got a 44 from Jamie Corr.
Oaks Christian 215, Chaminade 240: Brigitte Dunne earned medalist honors with a 38 to lead host Lions at Camarillo Springs Golf Course.
Christiana Ritchie added a 42 for Oaks Christian (4-0). Amy Park had a 42 and Isabelle Salcedo recorded a 43 for Chaminade.
Alemany 253, Buckley 261: Ali Eicher shot 42 to earn medalist honors in the nonleague setback for the Griffins at ElCariso Golf Course.
Sam Sassi shot 46 and Sam Geere added a 49 to lead Alemany (5-3).
Campbell Hall 13, Santa Barbara 5: Alyza Benotto, Conner Calabro and Zoe Katz combined for eight singles victories for the visiting Vikings (3-0).
Alexis Pereira and Valerie Thong swept in doubles and the freshman tandem of Ifeoma Kuchler and Joy Kim won twice for Campbell Hall, which extended its winning streak to 37 entering today's match against Harvard-Westlake.
Buckey 17, New Community Jewish 1: Hadleigh Glist, Naomie Rosenberg, Spicy Garrick and Dana Azadegan combined to win six singles sets to lead the visiting Griffins (3-1, 1-0 Liberty) at Warner Tennis Center.
Rita Farb and Kiara Gitlin didn't drop a game in their doubles sweep, matching the efforts of teammates Natasha Super and Lindsay Wilson.
Palos Verdes 10, Harvard-Westlake 8: The doubles team of Kristina Park and Sophie Gunter swept their sets for the Wolverines (1-1), who received two wins from Savannah de Montesquiou in the nonleague setback.