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Foothill League boys volleyball: Cents make up for errors

Saugus overcomes ugly match to move into second-place tie

Posted: April 18, 2012 1:55 a.m.
Updated: April 18, 2012 1:55 a.m.
 

It wasn’t exactly perfect.

At times, it got downright ugly.

But when push came to shove and second place in the Foothill League was on the line, Saugus boys volleyball prevailed in a 3-2 win over West Ranch on Tuesday at Saugus High School.

All five games came down to the wire, with Saugus taking the games 22-25, 25-23, 25-23, 24-26 and 16-14 in a key matchup of two of the league’s top three teams.

“Every match we tell ourselves, ‘This match is for the playoffs,’” said Saugus head coach Barry Nua.

Both teams had to overcome a slew of hitting and serving mistakes, but the Centurions (19-7 overall, 4-2 Foothill League) made enough plays in the deciding fifth game to take the victory and move into a second-place tie with the Wildcats.

West Ranch (16-8, 4-2) holds the tiebreaker between the two in games due to a 3-1 victory over Saugus on March 29.

At that point, the Centurions were without senior outside hitter Matt Coleman.

This time around, Coleman was a big factor, landing a match-high 22 kills and adding three blocks.

None was bigger than his game-winning solo block of West Ranch’s Dalton Peck.

That finished off a dramatic, back-and-forth game five that included 10 tie scores and seven lead changes.

“In game five, we missed four serves,” said West Ranch head coach Nate Sparks. “We missed a serve on a match point. You just can’t do that against a good team.”

In total, the Wildcats committed 20 service errors. Saugus had 25.

“They’re making me pull my hair out with this serving thing,” Nua said.

With serving such an issue for the teams, the front row players became the deciding factor in many instances.

West Ranch fed the ball to 6-foot-9 hitter Tanner Skabelund, who led the team with 15 kills, while Peck finished with 11.

To counter that, the Centurions had senior Colby Wilson in the middle, who, in addition to his 14 kills and three aces, was a big factor in setting up the block.

Max Nua was also a factor for Saugus on the opposite side, knocking down 11 kills and tallying nine digs.

“We had me, Max and Matt and we were all just killing it up front,” Wilson said.

Neither team led by more than five points the entire way through.

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