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Valencia Doesn't Let Canyon Off Hook Again


CANYON COUNTRY — Instead of repeating history, Valencia High created some of its own.

Well aware of its meltdown against Canyon earlier this month, the Vikings defeated the Cowboys in a match for the first time in school history, 15-13, 15-9, 2-15, 15-8, in a Foothill League boys' volleyball match Thursday.

Valencia blew a two-game lead in a loss to the Cowboys on April 3 but took care of business this time.

Despite a shaky third game, Valencia (17-3, 4-1 in league play) parlayed seven kills by Chris Savage in the fourth game into victory and joined Canyon (18-5, 4-1) atop the league standings.

"I'd say we've definitely arrived as a program," said Coach Kevin Kornegay, in his fourth season at Valencia.

Savage finished with 13 kills and Chris Haigh had 20 for the Vikings, who experienced a shade of doubt in the third game.

"I was a little bit nervous because I didn't want to see it happen again," Savage said. "Our energy stayed up, though."

In the fourth game, Valencia stormed to an 11-2 lead.

Victory arrived a few minutes later.

"They're a lot better than they were last time," Canyon Coach Dave Gutierrez said.

"Their hitters are a lot more consistent. They swing high and hard."

Valencia defeated Canyon in the one-game championship of the Ventura tournament last season, but this was different.

"We got a monkey off our back," Savage said. "Last time, we were a little antsy. This time we tried to put that loss aside."

Canyon outside hitter Jesse Alo did not have a kill until midway through the second game, but finished with 11.

Brian Waite, the league's most valuable player in basketball, added eight kills and five blocks for Canyon.

The league championship will be at stake when the teams meet for a third time May 1 at Valencia.

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