December 1, 2023 Breaking News, Latest News, and Videos

Samohi Girls Volleyball Reaches CIF Quarterfinals:

A year ago the Samohi Viking girls volleyball team worked their way through four “sudden death” playoff matches to reach the CIF finals.  Although runners up in the championship game, it was a stellar season and the school’s first shot at the CIF championship since 1981, 27 years earlier.  With eight graduating seniors on last year’s varsity, 2009 loomed as a rebuilding year.  No one told the 2009 Vikings.  They tied rival Beverly Hills 9-1 (each handing a regular season loss to the other) in Ocean League play.  With their strong league record, the Vikings enjoyed home court advantage in each of this season’s first two playoff rounds.  Looking sharp, the squad dispatched Bolsa Grande three games to one in their opening playoff on November 10.  In the second round match on November 12, the Vikings looked even more dominant defeating San Gabriel three games to none.  With the field pared from 32 to eight teams, the Vikings next faced an away quarter finals match last Saturday night against Poly High of Pasadena.  Poly won the first game.  The Vikings rebounded by winning the second game.  Poly then took charge, winning the next two games and sending the Vikings home for the season.

The Vikings strong playoff run was paced by hitter Victoria Williams, a dominant player who looks to be a candidate for future college level play.  Williams virtually dismantled San Gabriel in the second playoff round.  Defensive specialist Gabie Levesque is the team “spark plug,” energetic, intense and skilled.  Additional starters on the varsity squad include setter Jordie Cohen, Dana Ritchie, Greta Schmittdiehl, Sophie Zelon and Joslyn Hayes.  Sarah Krenik, Avalon Lennon, Sam Moore, Lindsey Nakatani, Abbey Southam, Nina Thomas and Tessa Walther complete the varsity roster.

Liane Sato, a former national team member who represented the USA at the ’88 and ’92 Olympics, is Head Coach and Nguyen Trinh is Assistant Coach. The arrival of Sato in recent years has ushered in a new era of excellence for Viking volleyball, both girls and boys.  As a reminder of  Viking volleyball tradition, the 1981 girls state championship banner hangs high in Samohi’s North Gym.  Listed among the players on the 1981 squad is Liane Sato.

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