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By Joe Naiman
Village News Correspondent 

Viking boys second, girls third at volleyball tourney


Last updated 11/3/2018 at 6:35pm

Seven small elementary schools in northern San Diego County and southern Riverside County participate in tournaments throughout the year with each school hosting a different sport, and the 2018-2019 season opened with the Oct. 11 Pauma Volleyball Tournament at Pauma School in which the Vallecitos Elementary School boys took second place and the Vikings’ girls placed third.

“It went well,” Vallecitos coach Ray Hanbeck said. “I’m happy with the result.”

The boys achieved their second-place performance without substitutes.

“We only had eight boys on our team,” Hanbeck said.

That means eight boys who tried out.

“We take everybody,” Hanbeck said. “We don’t make any cuts.”

The tournaments are intended for seventh-grade and eighth-grade students, but Hanbeck fills out the Vallecitos team with fifth-graders and sixth-graders.

“Since we have a small school we have to pull everybody,” Hanbeck said.

The two Vallecitos boys who did not play are fifth-graders.

“They’ll get their chance later on,” Hanbeck said.

Three fifth-grade boys were on the team. One of those, Jordan Anicete, has an older sister who was on the girls team so Anicete had some volleyball knowledge before the start of practice. The other two fifth-grade boys are new to the sport.

“They’ll get their skills down,” Hanbeck said.

Keeping those two boys on the team allowed them to observe the competition and also to practice with the team. Practice began the final week of August.

“Everybody got lots of practice,” Hanbeck said.

The boys swept their round-robin matches, which were one game apiece and to 20 points. The Vikings defeated Hamilton Elementary School of Anza by a 20-10 score, prevailed over Pauma in a 20-16 match and defeated Warner Elementary School in a 20-12 contest.

Winning all three games and having a superior point differential to Cottonwood Elementary School of Aguanga seeded the Vikings first in the bracket rounds, which were a best-of-three format to 25 points apiece, and gave Vallecitos a bye into the semifinal. The semifinal match against Julian Elementary School ended as a 25-11, 25-9 Vallecitos victory over the Jaguars.

Vallecitos played Cottonwood for the championship. The Cougars won 25-20 and 25-18 games to take first place and relegate Vallecitos to second place.

“I was really happy with how the boys played, especially with how tired they were,” Hanbeck said. “They had a really long day with the amount of play the team had, so you could tell by the end of the day that they were pretty tired. You could tell the kids were starting to get worn down.”

Cottonwood had a larger roster.

“They were able to put in substitutes, and we couldn’t do that,” Hanbeck said.

Eighth-grade students Ivan Franco and Pedro Madrigal, seventh-grade students Rodrigo Anaya and Marcos Morales, sixth-grader Armando Yanez and Anicete were the Vallecitos boys who played in the Pauma Volleyball Tournament.

Vallecitos had 17 girls, although many of them did not play as most of the court time went to eighth-grade students Lizeth Alegria, Jade Anicete and Kelsey Rossi and seventh-grade students Petrona Alvaro, Cheyenne Crowe and Tiffany Hernandez. Both of the girls’ losses were to Pauma, which won the tournament.

The Vikings began round-robin play with a 20-10 victory over Hamilton before Pauma took a 20-9 victory at the Vikings’ expense.

“They’re a good team,” Hanbeck said.

Vallecitos closed out round-robin play with a 20-9 win against Warner. The Vikings were seeded third for bracket play and began with a 25-15, 25-11 victory over Borrego Springs Elementary School.

Pauma and Vallecitos faced each other in the semifinals, which took three games to advance the Bobcats to the championship match. Vallecitos began the semifinal with a 25-19 victory, but Pauma countered with a 25-13 triumph and then won the 15-13 third game.

“They just barely lost,” Hanbeck said of his girls.

The third-place match was one game to 25 points. Vallecitos prevailed over Cottonwood by a 25-18 margin.

“They tried their best,” Hanbeck said of the Vallecitos boys and girls.

“I’m pretty happy with the way the kids represented the school.”

If weather permits the other small schools will travel to Rainbow Dec. 6 for the Vallecitos Soccer Tournament.


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