Start with a come-from-behind, program-defining, five-set NorCal finals win at rival Cabrillo in 2018. Add a state #5 finish that same year and a 2019 Coast-South Conference championship. Throw in for good measure a 2019 Coast Conference beach championship. Mix it all together and one has the two-year resume for six West Valley volleyball sophomores - Audrey Fernandez, Jenna Gomes, Kayla Keller, Emily Paxton, Hannah Reynoso and Rene Wash.
Arguably the most successfull group of indoor sophomores in Viking history, they compiled an overall two-year record of 37-19, 18-6 in the highly-competetive Coast. In 2019, they finished 20-9, winning nine out their final ten Coast matches to finish 10-2 and secure the #8 NorCal playoff seed. A hard-fought sweep of College of San Mateo in the opening round set up a memorable NorCal finals trip to Feather River, where the Vikings fell to the eventual state champion Golden Eagles.
A pair of matches, the aforementioned playoff win at Cabrillo and an epic 2019 win over Gavilan that paved the way for the Coast title will forever be a part of the 2020 sophomores' legacy. In one of the great upsets in CCCAA playoff history, the 2018 Vikings rallied from a 2-1 deficit to take set four 25-21 and then forced the top-seeded Seahawks to cancel their state tournament travel plans with a heart-pounding 17-15 fifth-set victory. West Valley advanced to the 2018 state championship tourney in Solano with the win. In 2019, after a bitter 3-1 loss at Gavilan on Oct. 11, West Valley reeled off six straight Coast-South wins heading into a rematch with the Rams in Saratoga on Nov. 6. In front of a packed house, the Vikings fell behind 2-0 before a 25-21, 25-23, 16-14 reverse sweep gave WVC the win.
The 2019-2020 West Valley volleyball sophomores (#, position, high school/hometown):
3 Emily Paxton (outside hitter, Santa Teresa/San Jose, CA), 4 Kayla Keller (libero, Del Mar/San Jose, CA) 6 Hannah Reynoso (libero, Mills/Millbrae, CA), 9 Rene Wash (outside hitter, Leigh/San Jose, CA), 15 Audrey Fernandez (setter, Independence/San Jose, CA) 16 Jenna Gomes (outside hitter, Presentation/San Jose, CA)