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Centurions secure spot

Saugus dispatches Hart in four games to earn automatic berth

Posted: May 7, 2009 11:01 p.m.
Updated: May 8, 2009 4:55 a.m.
 
Last year at this time, Saugus boys volleyball was closing out a season that saw the Centurions finish in the Foothill League cellar.

Enter new head coach Jared Ambrose and a return to the Saugus philosophy that made the Cents one of the more successful teams in the SCV area in the late 1990s.

Saugus clinched a playoff spot Thursday with a 3-1 (20-25, 25-22, 28-26, 25-19) over Hart at home, completing a regular season of rebirth for the Centurions.

“I have a lot of pride in Saugus and a lot of passion for volleyball,” Ambrose said. “I graduated from here 10 years ago so this place is very important to me, and it’s really awesome to see these guys accomplish what they did today.”

The Indians (10-10, 5-5) opened the game strong, building a 15-9 lead en route to a five-point win to take the lead, but Saugus answered right back with a 14-8 run to open the second frame.

“Saugus was just more intense than us overall,” said Hart head coach Mary Krisan. “We came out with a good level of intensity, but we didn’t maintain it. As our intensity faded they stepped up their consistency, and that’s not a good combination for us.”

The third game proved to be the pivotal part of the match. The Cents and Indians went back and forth,
tying 14 times during the frame before Saugus rallied for back-to-back points, taking the game when an Andrew Uberstine shot sailed beyond the Saugus back line and out of bounds.

“For me this is pretty awesome,” said Saugus senior Kyle Eaton. “Our team showed a lot of heart, coming out here after we had a season like last year is a good accomplishment. As a senior, I was going to make sure our team left it all out on the court.”

The loss in the third game gave Saugus momentum. The Cents jumped out to an 11-6 lead, forcing Krisan to call a timeout. The break in action did not slow the Centurions, however.

Saugus rolled to a third win, capped by a spike from Colby Wilson.

“It’s a tough loss for us because we missed out on the chance to make the playoffs for sure,” Krisan said. “Still, this is a very young group of guys so we have time to improve. Finishing where we finished is an accomplishment when you consider that we graduated 11 of 12 guys from last years team.”

Hart was led by 10 kills from J.J. Mosolf and nine from Uberstine. Mosolf also paced the Indians with eight blocks, while Taylor Gregory chipped in seven.

Saugus was guided by a team-high 45 assists from Ryan Mason and a balanced kill attack with 15 from Eaton, 14 from Sean Picard and 13 Wilson.

“Picard’s strong arm really helps us out,” Ambrose said. “He hits hard and lets us move the ball around. Our setters made great choices today. This is a great win for our future, and we know Hart has a young team too, so this is going to be a rivalry for years to come.”

While the loss may end Hart’s season, the Indians still intend to apply for an at-large bid.

Saugus will learn its first round opponent Sunday.

“All I can say to whoever we draw is, ‘Bring it on,’” Eaton said. “We’re ready for whatever is next.”

kdamore@the-signal.com

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