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Prep Volleyball: Funny Foothill

Saugus knocks West Ranch off, a day after the ’Cats beat Valencia

Posted: October 21, 2010 10:12 p.m.
Updated: October 21, 2010 10:12 p.m.

The Saugus girls volleyball team celebrates after beating West Ranch in three games at West Ranch High on Thursday.

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Both teams came out swinging in Thursday night’s girls volleyball matchup between two teams vying for first place in the Foothill League.

Saugus just swung a little harder on its way to a 3-0 victory over West Ranch at West Ranch High School.

Both teams looked evenly matched in the first two games, seemingly trading points.

The Centurions got the separation they needed and dominated the third game to close it out the season sweep of the Wildcats by scores of 28-26, 25-23 and 25-16.

“I think it was a must-win,” said Saugus head coach Zach Ambrose. “If we lose this, we’re pretty much out of the picture.”

The win moved the Centurions (18-4 5-1) into a tie with Valencia for first place in the Foothill League, while West Ranch (12-9 4-2) dropped into outright third place.

Both teams still have a match against the Vikings on their schedules.

“I feel like we came out and just did the best we could and won, no matter how we did it,” said Saugus opposite Sarah Blomgren. “We needed to win.”

Neither team looked like it was ready to give an inch in first two games.

Saugus used powerful hitting from Blomgren and fellow hitter Jaclyn Clark to keep the offense rolling throughout the game.
West Ranch responded with scoring opportunities set up by tough serving. The Wildcats had seven aces in the first game alone.

“Our serves were better tonight,” said Wildcats head coach Nate Sparks. “The only thing that affected it was that we just didn’t want it as much as they did tonight.”

Clark led all hitters with 17 kills and Blomgren had 16 of her own. But it was Cory Nua who slammed the final kill home to finish the first game.

Nua had five kills and a .500 hitting percentage on the night, along with five aces and two blocks.

“We’ve been playing better since the Hart game,” Ambrose said. “The ball control that was lacking earlier was there today.”

The second game was also close, but the Centurions began to adjust to the serving and scored points in transition. The Wildcats managed just 12 total aces after the solid first game.

In the end, it was a Saugus serve that gave them a two-point victory in the game.

“We couldn’t close it out,” Sparks said. “We were a little timid. We weren’t the aggressive team we were against Valencia.”

West Ranch beat the Vikings in five games on Tuesday.

The third game Thursday was all about Clark and Blomgren swinging away. The passes were on target, the sets were high and there wasn’t much West Ranch could do to stop the attack.

“We were getting frustrated, and we started playing for ourselves and not each other,” said Wildcats middle blocker Angel Rutledge. “And that’s never good.”

With Saugus and Valencia tied in league play, the matchup between the two teams set for 5:15 p.m. Tuesday becomes a potential championship game.

The match takes place at Valencia High School.


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