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CIF girls volleyball: Saugus breeze

Cents have no problem with St. Joseph of Santa Maria

Posted: November 9, 2011 1:55 a.m.
Updated: November 9, 2011 1:55 a.m.

(From left to right) Saugus players Ashley Guthrie, Kristin McCord, Taylor Edwards and Erika Tamayo celebrate after defeating St. Joseph on Tuesday at Saugus High during the CIF-SS Division IA playoffs.

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Saugus girls volleyball didn’t win its first Foothill League title in 10 years just to duck out in the first round of the playoffs.

On Tuesday night, the Centurions looked like a team prepared for a deep run in the CIF-Southern Section Division IA postseason.

Paced by 13 kills from Sarah Blomgren, Saugus beat St. Joseph of Santa Maria 3-0 in quick, one-sided games in the first round match at Saugus High School.

The Centurions (31-5) played a nearly flawless match from beginning to end, winning by scores of 25-6, 25-6 and 25-12 against a team that finished fourth place in the Pac-7 League.

“It’s something we work on, keeping our level high,” Blomgren said, “because we have no idea what teams we’re going to run into, especially in playoffs. We never know how good they’re going to be.”

As for the first-round matchup, St. Joseph (12-16) was clearly overmatched.

Saugus and its dynamic lineup of hitters went to work early, leading the way to a 9-0 lead in the first game.

The Knights weren’t able to recover from the momentum built off the strong start, as the game got away from them quickly.

Throughout the match, St. Joseph struggled on serve-receive, which gave them limited opportunities to counter Saugus’ offensive attack.

After Blomgren, teammate Hannah Nua landed 12 kills and Jaclyn Clark finished with nine kills to go with 14 digs.

“We blocked them and they hit it over us,” said St. Joseph head coach Tammy Hartman.

Rebecca Drake led the Knights with three kills and Shannan Swaim ended up with 17 digs.

It didn’t seem to matter where the hits came from for Saugus, it all worked.

“That’s been our game from the beginning,” said Saugus head coach Zach Ambrose. “I know what it takes to be consistently successful. We know we can’t just count on one person. We’ve got to be balanced.”

In game two, Saugus used separate scoring runs of 8-0, 6-0 and 5-0 to seal another dominant victory.

Despite subbing in some of the reserves in the final game, the Centurions didn’t let up much on the defensive end, forcing the Knights to work for every point.

Saugus setter Ashley Guthrie played a solid match, amassing 37 assists and 10 digs.

In the second round on Thursday, Saugus will take on Canyon of Anaheim at a site to be determined.

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