Norsemen win CIF volleyball championship

Photo Courtesy of Valhalla Athletics. 2019 San Diego CIF Division III champion Valhalla Norsemen.

The Valhalla High boys varsity volleyball team won the San Diego CIF Division III championship by defeating league foe Grossmont High in three sets on Friday at Canyon Crest Academy High School.

Senior Colby Beltz had 10 kills for top-seeded Valhalla, as the Norsemen beat the Foothillers for the third time this season, this time by 25-20, 26-24 and 25-18.

“It is satisfying to win,” Beltz said. “We worked so hard to reach this point and it takes a team that is together and cohesive and works as a team.”

Senior Tom Parra added eight kills, including the clincher in the third.

Connor Sanchez led third-seeded Grossmont (17-12) with nine kills.

The third-seeded Norsemen hosted a CIF State Division III playoff game on Tuesday night at the Thunderdome against sixth-seeded Vaughn High School, of San Fernando. Vaughn is the L.A. City Section Division III champions.

The winner of the first-round match will advance to play the winner of a match between second-seeded Carson and seventh-seeded Kearny, the section Division IV champ, for a berth in the Regional Final

Valhalla (16-11) toppled San Diego Academy in the Division III semifinals as Parra, who will attend North Park University in Chicago, had 25 kills and Beltz had 14 kills in a 25-20, 25-19, 25-18 sweep.

After a five-game win in their first meeting, the Norsemen swept the Hillers to end the season and claim their first league championship since 2015.

Valhalla finished 7-1 in the Grossmont Hills League, while Helix finished second with a 6-2 record. Santana was third (4-4), while Grossmont ended up fourth (3-5) in the five-team circuit.

Helix and Christian were the only other East County teams to record a playoff match victory, both grabbing first-round contests.

Santana won a play-in match to enter the postseason field.

Senior-laden Valhalla, under head coach Chris Boaz, wasn’t even listed among the county’s top 20 teams prior to the start of the season, although the Hillers and Sultans were listed among the top teams.

The remainder of the Norsemen roster includes Kyle Grygiel, Noah Whelan, Micah Campos, Matthew Campos, Lucien Kister, Kolby Cowles,  Matt Lowery, Fadi Shaba, and Kyler Moore.