East County Sports

Valhalla holds off West Hills’ upset bid

EastCountySports.com staff report

EL CAJON – Valhalla captured a five-game thriller over a hard-trying West Hills, 22-25, 26-24, 22-25, 25-11, 16-14, in a Grossmont Hills League match Thursday night.

Junior Maiya Lopez had 15 kills for the Norse, while teammate Hailey Wilson, a sophomore, added 10 kills.

Tiare Spitz-Johnson had three blocks for Valhalla (4-0, 14-6), while sophomore Mady Woods served seven aces for the hosts.

Senior Rachel Kuhn led Valhalla with 22 digs, while Lopez added 19 digs and Woods 15 digs, respectively. Valhalla senior Brittney Beltz, a senior, had 46 assists and 13 digs.

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In the first set, the Norsemen started off with a lead, which they gradually lost as West Hills began to gain momentum. As West Hills began to secure a 6 point lead, the Norsemen called a timeout. This proved beneficial since the Valhalla girls were able to catch up limiting their lead to only one point. Valhalla later lost the point and West Hills finished the first set with a win of 25-22.

Again, Valhalla was able to start off strong, staying a solid 5 points ahead of the Wolf Pack for the first half of the set. West Hills was able to catch up and tie the game at 13-13. Both teams continued to battle for points, tying the game up again at 24-24. Valhalla then took the win, 26-24.

In the third set, both teams battled for the lead. Valhalla was able to achieve a 4 point lead. West Hills caught up and the game was tied at 20-20. West Hills was able to take this win, 23-25, because of a block.

The fourth set was not like the others, in that Valhalla gained a lead after tying at 6-6 and kept it the entire match. When #12 served, the Norsemen were able to gain 9 points; bringing the score up to 15-6. The Wolf Pack fought for every point that match, but the lead was just too great and Valhalla won the set, 25-11.

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In the fifth set, both teams battled gaining a 2 or 3 point lead, but the other team was always able to catch up. The score eventually tied at 14-14. The Norsemen were able to win the next two rallies ending the game, 16-14.

“Overall we played consistent hard volleyball, it was good to come away with a win,” coach Doug Babington said. “I was happy with the way we played. Hopefully we can carry this on to the second half of league.”

Reta Behnam of the Valhalla Saga contributed to this report

Grossmont Valley League

El Capitan def. Monte Vista 25-14, 25-17, 25-21

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