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VOLLEYBALL NOTEBOOK: VALENCIA'S SCOUTING REPORT ON NEXT OPPONENT IS ALL SET.

Byline: Heather Gripp Staff Writer

VALENCIA - Preparing for a potential second-round playoff matchup, the Valencia High girls' volleyball team sent a scout to Tuesday's Quartz Hill-Alhambra match. Turns out all the Vikings needed to do to learn about their next opponent's biggest threat was ask their setter.

Valencia senior Taryn Robertson plays on the same club team as Quartz Hill senior standout Tara Henn. They will be foes tonight when the Vikings play host to the Rebels at 7.

``It'll be fun,'' Robertson said. ``I know players on both teams (Quartz Hill and Alhambra), so either way, it'd be someone I'm familiar with.''

Henn, a 6-foot middle hitter, helped Quartz Hill (14-5) to a second consecutive Golden League title. She had nine kills and four aces in the Rebels' opening-round sweep of Alhambra.

``I don't know much about (Valencia) yet,'' Quartz Hill coach Larry Vocke said. ``I know Tara knows all about them. And I'm sure they'll know about us - they were here with a camera (Tuesday).''

The last time the teams met was two years ago, when Valencia defeated Quartz Hill in the first round of the playoffs.

Valencia (26-3) is coming off a first-round sweep of Jordan of Long Beach.

--Potential rematch: If Valencia wins tonight, the Vikings could be in a familiar situation Saturday, likely facing Lakewood in the quarterfinals. Lakewood beat Valencia in five games in last year's quarterfinals.

Lakewood, which is at home tonight against Arcadia, is the Moore League's second-place representative, but it is seeded fourth in Div. I-AA. Valencia has never advanced past the quarterfinals.

--Full of good news: Things are going right for Saugus at the ideal time. The Centurions finished the regular season by defeating Canyon, moving into a second-place tie with the Cowboys, then winning a coin toss to be the Foothill League's second-place representative in the postseason. The higher seeding not only enabled Saugus to open at home Tuesday while Canyon played at Mountain View champion Norco, it also ensured the Centurions would not have to play a league champion in the first two rounds.

Another positive is the improving health of standout Lauren Bradley, who missed the last seven regular-season matches with a knee injury.

Saugus (13-4) began the Div. I-A playoffs Tuesday with a 25-19, 25-9, 25-22 sweep of Crescenta Valley of La Crescenta. Marcall Piana had 11 kills and 13 digs, and Stephanie Shardlow added 21 assists.

The Centurions, who did not qualify for the postseason last year, play a second-round match tonight at Santa Fe of Santa Fe Springs, the second-place team from the Del Rio League.

--End of the road: Canyon (11-5) was eliminated in the first round with a 25-16, 25-18, 26-24 loss to Norco.

Heather Gripp, (818) 713-3607

heather.gripp(at)dailynews.com
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Publication:Daily News (Los Angeles, CA)
Date:Nov 10, 2005
Words:461
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