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Foothill volleyball: Cents hold onto hope

Centurions can still grab a piece of a Foothill title

Posted: November 2, 2010 9:50 p.m.
Updated: November 3, 2010 4:55 a.m.

Saugus middle blocker Sarah Blomgren (12) deflects a shot by Canyon’s Katelyn Reiner, left, on Tuesday at Canyon.

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Saugus still has a chance to win at least a share of the Foothill League girls volleyball title.

For starters, it had to beat Canyon Tuesday night at Canyon High School.

The Centurions took care of business with a 3-0 win.

Now, Saugus needs to win its regular season finale against Golden Valley, while Valencia must lose its match against West Ranch Thursday to force a tie.

"The motive is to be there on Thursday with a chance to tie," said Saugus head coach Zach Ambrose. "We're also playing for momentum in the playoffs."

The Centurions won the games 25-11, 25-16 and 25-11, but the Cowboys were able to string together a few rallies in the match.

After a fairly dominant first game, Saugus (26-5, 7-2) let Canyon challenge throughout the early part of game 2.

Offensively, the Cowboys (3-16, 2-7) were helped by outside hitter Heather Nony, who tallied 10 kills, most of which came in the second game.

Several communication errors and defensive mistakes by Saugus allowed Canyon to climb within two points at 16-14.

"At the beginning of the season, that was the goal," said Canyon head coach Brian Ingino. "Improve each and every game. And I think we've done that."

Coming out of a time out, the Cents turned up the tempo and ran away with the game with the help of eight straight points to make it 24-14.

"The whole focus is playing well headed into playoffs," Ambrose said. "We aren't in control of winning the league title anymore, but we need to play well in every match."

From there, it was all Saugus.

Strong serving forced Canyon mistakes and tallied up the aces for Saugus, which used a 9-1 scoring run to open up a 15-5 lead.

Saugus outside hitter Cory Nua led all players with seven aces on the night. It added to her 20 aces recorded in the Crescenta Valley Tournament this past weekend.

"Serving is something we definitely work on a lot in practice," Nua said. "Before every water break we always do some kind of serving drill."

Saugus' Jaclyn Clark's 16 kills led all hitters and setter Ashley Guthrie assisted 28 points on the night.

Canyon's Khrista Prudencio had 18 digs.

The Centurions may have taken a step toward a possible league championship, but Ingino said Canyon continues to take steps toward being more competitive in the league.

"We're a young team and we're making a lot of errors," he said. "But we're learning from those errors, and that's good."



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