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Foothill volleyball: Cents fine with hurt starter out

Without Ashley Pagan, Saugus continues to roll

Posted: October 21, 2011 1:55 a.m.
Updated: October 21, 2011 1:55 a.m.
 

Playing a Foothill League match on the road is one thing, doing it without a key player is another.

On Thursday, neither one fazed Saugus girls volleyball, which stayed perfect in league play with a 3-0 victory over Hart at Hart High School.

With leading blocker, Ashley Pagan, sidelined with an ankle injury sustained during Tuesday’s match against Valencia, the Centurions (24-2, 7-0) had to rely on all-around disciplined volleyball.

“In the end, its just the kill and knowing where to go with the ball,” said Saugus head coach Zach Ambrose of his team’s 25-23, 25-15, 25-17 win.

For Saugus, that meant going to Hannah Nua, who had a match-high 12 kills, and Jaclyn Clark, who had 11.

Neither hitter was able to get going until later in the match, though, as Hart (8-11, 3-4) was the aggressor early on.

At one point, the Indians used a 10-1 run to build a 15-10 lead in the first game thanks to a variety of offensive looks that left Saugus blockers out of position.

“We’ve been up in just about every game with every team: Valencia, West Ranch, Saugus,” said Hart head coach Mary Keen. “We’ve been up every time ... It’s obvious we can compete, we just can’t close it out this year.”

Hart’s five-point lead slowly evaporated as Saugus began to find holes in the defense.

In the end, it was Ashley Guthrie who tipped the ball over the net and landed the game-winning kill for Saugus.

Guthrie did most of her damage as a setter, tallying 28 assists as well as 11 digs.

Outside of the usual hitters for the Centurions, middle blockers Taylor Edwards and Rachel Eaton both played the role of filling in for Pagan, who may miss the rest of the season.

Edwards stepped in nicely, finishing with five kills on just nine attempts in the contest.

“We knew we had to get our middles involved,” Clark said, “and we wanted to make sure they knew we were getting our middles involved.”

As time wore on, Saugus’ offense found more and more weaknesses in Hart’s defense and began to take advantage.

The Indians fell behind 10-3 in the second game, mostly due to their own unforced errors, and they weren’t able to recover.

In game three, Hart again kept it close all the way to a 13-13 tie, but Saugus kept swinging, kept grinding and kept digging out the mixture of Hart hitters.

Leading the way for the Indians was Kathryn Cambra’s seven kills, followed by freshman Erin Indermill’s six.
Katie Baker added 16 digs and two aces.

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