“They always play us tough,” Sanchez said. “They have nothing to lose. We’re definitely not looking past them. They’re undefeated, so that says something.” Royal tuneup: Hart’s final weekend before league play began provided an opportunity to face a level of competition similar to what it will see in the Foothill League. Hart advanced to the Gold Division playoffs at the Royal of Simi Valley tournament. The Indians were eliminated in the first round by Oak Park, which extended its season-opening winning streak to 16 matches. In the rankings: Saugus moved into the Southern Section rankings this week at No. 9 in Div. I-A, one spot ahead of Hart. Valencia, which plays Tuesday at Saugus, is eighth in Div. I-AA. Heather Gripp, (818) 713-3607 [email protected] 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! Danielle Maricle is known for hitting softballs. Now the Valencia High senior gets a chance to see if she can be as successful hitting volleyballs. Maricle, whose .349 batting average was second-best on the Vikings’ league-champion softball team last spring, this week assumed an expanded role on the volleyball team. Valencia is experimenting with her at outside hitter. “We want to see what she can do,” Vikings coach Ray Sanchez said. “If she does well, we could keep her in that role.” Maricle has been a reserve, playing at middle blocker and outside hitter. Sanchez’s disappointment with the team’s outside hitting prompted him to give Maricle a try. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREThe top 10 theme park moments of 2019 Regardless of how Maricle fares, her future is on the diamond. “She’s absolutely a softball player who’s just playing some volleyball,” Sanchez said. “It’s really tough for her, because she spends all summer playing softball and then comes back to a bunch of girls who have been playing volleyball all summer. But she’s a natural athlete.” Change of plans: This week’s Foothill League openers, originally scheduled for Tuesday, were pushed back a day because of Rosh Hashana. Teams will play on back-to-back days, Wednesday and today. “We’re excited; we want to get going,” said Sanchez, whose Vikings have won the past two league titles. Not to be taken lightly: Valencia’s first two Foothill matches are against the bottom two teams in last year’s standings, but the Vikings aren’t expecting an easy time. One of their biggest challenges could be from Burbank, which was winless in league play last season but entered this week 6-0.
She’s a hit on the court
Last Updated on: December 25th, 2019 at 11:45 am, by