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CIF volleyball playoffs: Cents keep finding a way

Saugus wins wild card match to stay alive in playoffs

Posted: November 6, 2012 1:55 a.m.
Updated: November 6, 2012 1:55 a.m.
 

Saugus girls volleyball hasn’t exactly been the most fortunate team this season.

But the Centurions continue to make it work despite an already thin roster becoming even thinner with midseason injuries.

Yet still, Saugus isn’t going anywhere after its 3-0 win over Simi Valley in a CIF-Southern Section Division IA wild-card match on Monday at Saugus High School.

Senior Hannah Nua was on fire with a 23-kill night to lead the Centurions (22-12) to game wins of 25-21, 26-24 and 25-22.

Nua and fellow senior Ashley Guthrie (31 assists, two blocks) were the big performers in the match for a Saugus team that lacks experience after the graduation losses of seven players from a year ago.

“It’s not like last year where everyone had two years of playoff experience,” said Saugus head coach Zach Ambrose, whose team earned an at-large bid into the playoffs after finishing fourth in the Foothill League. “This bunch, we only have two kids with experience of playing in (postseason) matches.”

It will take a lot more than two players for Saugus to get past the next obstacle it faces today with a road match against La Salle (29-2), the division’s No. 2 seed, which will host the Centurions at 7 p.m. in Pasadena.

“It’s going to be one of our toughest games this year,” Ambrose said.

In the meantime, Saugus took care of business on Monday by opening up sizeable leads in all three games against Simi Valley (17-9), which tied for fourth place in the Marmonte League.

Though the Pioneers fought back to make each game close, the Guthrie-to-Nua connection was enough to finish the job all three times.

“(Nua) stepped up at the end of each game and put away a couple balls,” Ambrose said. “The defense came around and made (Simi Valley) earn a couple points.”

Also contributing eight kills was sophomore Amy Buffham, who will need to come up big if Saugus wants to keep its season going.

“When we get those contributions from some of the younger kids, it makes it much easier for us,” Ambrose said.

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