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West Ranch volleyball will at least share title

Prep volleyball roundup: Wildcats clinch share of first Foothill League title; Valencia, Hart pick u

Posted: April 23, 2013 10:35 p.m.
Updated: April 23, 2013 10:35 p.m.
 

The Saugus Centurions looked determined to put the West Ranch Wildcats title celebration on hold for at least one more game.

But the Wildcats knew exactly where to turn next, as senior Andrew Patag did what he does best — served West Ranch to at least a share of its first Foothill League title in program history.

The Wildcats scored five straight points with Patag serving to defeat Saugus 3-0 with scores of 25-19, 25-20, 25-23 on Tuesday night at Saugus High School.

West Ranch (21-8 overall, 8-0 Foothill League) trailed 23-20 in game three before Patag took over and sealed the game on an ace.

“He did a mentally good job going in there,” said West Ranch head coach Nate Sparks. “That’s basically the playing time he gets is to serve. He did his job. He did a very good job mentally there.”

Andrew Dieterle led West Ranch with 14 kills, Brenton Scott had seven blocks and Ben Davis had 16 digs against Saugus (16-8-1, 4-4).

The Centurions sit in a third-place tie with Valencia for the final automatic playoff spot into the CIF-Southern Section Division I postseason.

Saugus finishes the season on the road Thursday against Canyon and at home next Tuesday against last-place Golden Valley.

If the Centurions and Vikings remain tied Saugus would hold the tiebreaker by virtue of its two victories over Valencia this season.

But the story of Tuesday was West Ranch’s historic night.

The Wildcats entered the season as Foothill League title favorites and have handled the preleague pressure well.

“They have been handling it extremely well,” Sparks said. “One of the reasons I know they can handle the pressure is we’ve been in extremely tough tournaments, playing extremely tough teams. And I know with that comes pressure, comes good competition, which prepares us for league.”

The Wildcats will get their shot at clinching an outright Foothill League title on Thursday when they face Golden Valley on the road.

Hart 3, Golden Valley 0
Hart used a combination of efficient hitting and exceptional serving to get Golden Valley out of rhythm and defeat the Grizzlies by scores of 25-19, 25-13, 25-17 on Tuesday night.

“We started off a little shaky, but we kind of got back in a little bit of a grove,” said Hart head coach Kevin Ker. “We served great tonight.”

No one was better than Hart’s Adam Marrs in that department, as Marrs accounted for 16 points on his serves, with three aces.

The Indians improved to 6-2 in Foothill League play with the win, two games behind West Ranch.

While a co-title is unlikely, with West Ranch needing just one more win to lock up the outright title, Hart still believes it has plenty to play for.

And in the postseason, serving like Hart did on Tuesday could go a long way.

“That’s going to help us in terms of gaining crucial poitns,” Ker said. “If we can serve well against good teams and get them out of system, we’ll be able to score a lot of points.”

Valencia 3, Canyon 0
The Valencia Vikings defeated the Canyon Cowboys on Tuesday by scores of 25-23, 25-19, 25-23.

Kyle Ensing led Valencia with 15 kills, while Logan Riley had eight and Eric Olsen led with 25 assists.

The win improves Valencia to 4-4 in league and into a third-place tie with Saugus for the final automatic playoff spot into the CIF-Southern Section Division I postseason.

Saugus owns the tiebreaker by virtue of its two wins over the Vikings.

Keeping pace with the Centurions could prove difficult over the final two games of the season, though, as the Vikings host second-place Hart on Thursday before traveling to close out the season at first-place West Ranch.

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