SAMOHI — Over 100 students, parents and area volleyball fans packed the Santa Monica High School side of the campus’ North Gym for the Vikings’ second matchup of the season against Ocean League rival Beverly Hills on Tuesday afternoon.

Santa Monica won in their final home game of the regular season by a final score of 3-2 in five games, with game scores of 21-25, 27-25, 25-21, 21-25, and 15-3. It was senior night for the girls, in a match that proved to be tougher than anticipated.

After dropping game one, the Vikings won two straight and looked to finish the Normans off in four. But the girls from Beverly Hills brought some fight to go along with their two-dozen or so fans and forced a deciding game five. Samohi Head Coach Liane Sato’s girls however, led by senior setter Tess Walther, proved too strong as the Vikings allowed only three points to Beverly Hills in the final game.

“Tess has been showing improvement on and off the court all season long,” said Coach Sato before the game. “She has shown considerable improvement with her set consistency, footwork, agility and quickness. She is a natural leader and is doing a great job running our offense and will do well leading our team into the playoffs.”

Earlier this season, the Vikings traveled to Beverly Hills and swept the Normans in three games with scores of 25-17, 25-23, and 25-22.

Last season, Santa Monica and Beverly Hills split regular season games — the Normans swept the Vikings in Beverly Hills early in the season and Santa Monica came back late in the season to win at home. Samohi ended Ocean League play in second place with a record of 9-1, being narrowly edged out by Beverly Hills.

The Samohi girls’ volleyball team is currently atop the standings of the Ocean League and ranked No. 9 in Division 3-AA on California Interscholastic Federation Southern Section’s weekly poll.

Now, with just one game left in the regular season, the Vikings are likely to enter the postseason with some momentum as the regular season league winners, avenging last season when the Normans took home the crown.

The Vikings will travel today to play another Ocean League rival, Hawthorne, at 3:15 p.m. for the girls’ final game of the regular season.

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