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Saugus comes close, but not close enough

Posted: November 10, 2009 10:23 p.m.
Updated: November 11, 2009 4:30 a.m.

Saugus experienced an up-and-down match in the first round of the CIF-Southern Section I-A playoffs Tuesday night, and in the end the Centurions came up short.

But the experience the team’s young players gained was more important than anything.

Saugus lost 3-2 to Pac-7 League champion Arroyo Grande on the road, with game scores of 13-25, 25-20, 13-25, 25-22 and 11-15.

Early on, Saugus head coach Zach Ambrose felt his team was affected by the moment and the boisterous Arroyo Grande crowd.

“They were respectful but incredibly loud,” he said. “They got in our kids’ head early on, but eventually we were able to settle down and play.”

The Centurions (22-10-1) fell behind early in the first game but built momentum toward the end. They carried that momentum into the second game and led the entire way.

Arroyo Grande built another big lead and won the third game, but Saugus battled back and held a slim margin the whole way in the fourth.

The Eagles jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the fifth game and held on to win.

Freshman setter Ashley Guthrie led Saugus with 46 assists and six blocks, while sophomore outside hitter Jaclyn Clark had 20 kills and 17 digs.

Sophomore Sarah Blomgren had 11 kills and five blocks, and senior captain Taylor Schubert finished with 13 kills and 21 digs.

“I love our athleticism,” Ambrose said. “We’ve got some great young kids. For most of the year, they’ve played older than their experience.

Taylor was awesome on defense. She could handle the pressure of being one of the top players and make sure everyone was doing what they were supposed to be doing.”

The Centurions will lose Schubert, libero Courtney Ashburn, middle Kaitlyn Mikesell and defensive specialist Tori Van Puyvelde to graduation.



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