Individual total kills is one of the "glamorous" stats in volleyball. But, equally important, if not more so, are the number of errors and hitting %. Alina Valenti took care of all three categories Tuesday night - a match-high 11 kills, no hitting errors and a gaudy .688 hitting % in 16 attempts - to lead the West Valley volleyball team to a 25-17, 25-16, 25-7 sweep of visiting Cosumnes River in the CCCAA NorCal regional playoff opener.
The #2-seeded Vikings (20-4) were in control all night, thanks to big outings from Valenti, Taylor Tullo, Katie Kishton and Sydney Rogers. Tullo followed Valenti with ten kills, while Kishton had eight. Kishton also logged four digs, and, along with Rogers and Valenti, three service aces. Rogers, the CCCAA leader in assists-per-set (10.87), handed out 37 assists (12.33 APS), many on devastating quick-sets to Valenti and Monika Martinez Leon.
The third set was one of West Valley's best of the 2021 season. The set started with nine service points from Rogers, and consecutive kills from Valenti, Keilli Voss, Tullo and Kishton staked the Vikings to a 14-3 lead. A Valenti ace and an attack error by the Hawks (17-13) made it 16-3. Back-to-back Kishton aces, kills from Leon and Tullo and a CRC error made it 23-6. A Julia Zamfir kill gave CRC a side-out, but an Aija Redding service error set up match point for the Vikings with Flor Porras serving. As they had all night, Rogers and Valenti combined on a quick-set to end it and send WVC on to the next round.
West Valley will host Coast Conference rival and eighth-seeded College of San Mateo (21-6) Saturday, Nov. 27 at 6:30pm. The teams met Oct. 20 in Saratoga, with the Vikings taking the match 25-18, 25-23, 25-16. Tickets will be available at https://westvalley.prestosports.com/Tickets, and the match can be viewed on the WVC YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCb_SZRdylXUmeT8IK_GLfmQ