Kaylin Henderson and Mapu Sekona

Mapu Sekona and Kaylin Henderson

The last week of April and the first two weeks of May will forever be etched into the memories of Viking beach volleyball stalwarts Kaylin Henderson and Mapu Sekona. The sophomore sensations, who also starred for coach Armen Zakarian's Elite Eight indoor squad in the fall, did something no other West Valley beach pair had ever done...three times. On the last Friday in April, Henderson and Sekona traveled to Gavilan College to compete in the highly-comptetive Coast Conference Pairs Championship. The pair rolled through the field, not dropping a set, and claimed the title with a 21-15, 21-10 sweep of Fresno City's Katie Emmerling and Mia Corippo. They traveled to Rocklin May 3 and again went undefeated, taking the CCCAA NorCal championship with a 21-15, 16-21, 15-8 win over Sierra's Haley Biles and Meghan Merlino and earning a berth as the north's top seed in the CCCAA State Pairs Championship in Chula Vista May 10-11. The beach pairs championship is arguably the most physically-demanding individual championship in community college athletics. 32 pairs from across the state compete over two days with minimal time between matches. The pair breezed through their three matches in pool play on Friday to grab a spot in the Sweet 16 Saturday. Victories in the the round of 16, the quarterfinals and the semifinals thrust Henderson and Sekona into Saturday's championship match against the south's #1 seed, Ashlee Goycoochea and Alexcis Morris of Grossmont. After a two-hour lightning delay, the two pairs waged an epic three-set battle with Goycoochea and Morris coming out on top 21-19, 18-21, 16-14. Henderson and Sekona were the first northern California pair to make it to the state finals and their Coast and NorCal titles were a first for a Viking pair. Henderson has accepted a beach and indoor scholarship to the University of Saint Katherine in San Marcos this fall, while Sekona will play, on scholarship, beach and indoor volleyball at Cal St. Bakersfield.