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Valley Christian sweeps Division VI volleyball opener

Top-seeded New Life Christian is next in quarterfinals; Granite Bay also opens with sweep
By: Garrett Johnston
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Valley Christian Academy started the Sac-Joaquin Section Division VI volleyball playoffs with a 25-6, 25-13, 25-4 sweep of visiting Stockton Christian on Tuesday night.

The Lady Lions (15-5) got off to a hot start on the strength of powerful serving by Emily Flood who, along with team captain Erin Patterson recently were named to the All-Sacramento Metro Athletic League team.

Sophomore Lily Hagerty had a match-high 14 kills and enjoyed her time on the court.

“I had one of my better games,” she said. “So much thanks to the setters and the diggers because without them I can’t get any kills.”

Stockton Christian coach Nikki Renison gave the Lady Lions high praise for their effort.

“They’re an excellent team,” Renison said. “They barely let anything hit the floor. They were all over.”

Hagerty looks forward to striving to achieve the team’s big-picture goal.

“We’re working on a lot of things so we can accomplish what we’ve set out to do, which is go to Davis,” she said.

That would be a Division VI championship match Nov. 15 at UC Davis, but top-seeded Marysville-New Life Christian (12-3) stands in the way Thursday night in a quarterfinal.

Valley Christian assistant coach Chris Patterson understands beating New Life on the road, in a gym where the Lady Lions have lost regular-season matches 3-0 each of the last two years, will be a difficult task. Valley Christian defeated New Life at home 3-2 10 days after their first meeting in September.

“We have to keep hitting away at them,” Patterson said. “They play a very defensive game. We’ve gotta choose our spots.”

HaeLeigh Sinerius had 13 digs for Valley Christian, and seniors Hayley Simon and Sarah Finnell had seven kills each in their final home match.

“It’s really emotional, but at the same time, I’m having a blast with these girls,” Simon said.

Head coach Maria Hill believes her team can come through Thursday night.

“I know we can do it,” Hill said. “If they really want it, they know they gotta perform and deliver this time.”

Granite Bay sweeps — The Grizzlies (36-5), seeded No. 3 in Division I, swept No. 14 Modesto-Enochs 25-8, 25-18, 25-14 on Tuesday night and will be host to No. 6 Stockton-Lincoln on Thursday. The Trojans swept No. 11 Oak Ridge 25-12, 25-17, 25-14.