Saugus teammates celebrate a successful point during a volleyball game at West Ranch on Thursday, Sept. 14, 2017. Katharine Lotze/The Signal

Prep volleyball roundup: Saugus tackles tall task against West Ranch

When Saugus volleyball entered West Ranch’s gym, they knew taking on the defending co-Foothill League champion Wildcats would be a tall task.

“For our team, I think everybody thought they were going to come in and beat us,” said Saugus’ Grace Ferguson. “I feel like we were kind of the underdogs in this situation.”

But by sticking to a plan and refusing to give up, the Cents took down the Cats 3-1 on Thursday at West Ranch.

Saugus (7-2 overall, 1-0 in Foothill League) scored early and often in Game 1 and never let West Ranch tie them.

West Ranch’s Allison Jacobs (7) goes for a kill as Saugus’ Lauren Doan jumps to block during a volleyball game at West Ranch on Thursday, Sept. 14, 2017. Katharine Lotze/The Signal

The Cents saw a dip in performance after the 25-16 win and lost the second game 25-21. In that frame, UCLA commit Allison Jacobs found her groove for the Wildcats (1-4, 0-1), blasting kills to keep Saugus at bay.

“It was really not stop her but slow her down as much as possible and increase our chances to score in transit,” said Saugus coach Zach Ambrose of how his team handled Jacobs, who finished the night with 22 kills.

The Wildcats came nowhere near a lead at any point in Game 3, which the Centurions wrapped up easily, 25-12.

Jacobs was able to tie Game 3 twice with a kill and Amanda Rossiter had a late block to knot the game up at 24-all.

On the final play, the Cats clustered at the front of the net and were unable to block one final Cents attack.

“It really came down just to executing the game plan, serving really well and being able to be balanced on offense and run different people,” Ambrose said.

This year’s Centurion squad is a breeding ground for competition, which translates to a strong all-around performance on the court.

“We’ve got a lot of seniors and then the juniors that are here play at a high level in travel ball,” said Ambrose. “And so there’s a lot of competition and so every day I practice they go at it because they know if they don’t somebody else will come in and take their spot.”

Caitlin Liebe finished the game with 15 kills, while Ferguson had 14 kills and five blocks for Saugus. Holly Piroli had 12 digs, Lauren Doan had six blocks and Gabby Schiesser had 52 assists. Chloe Nale added 13 kills and seven blocks.

West Ranch’s Sophie Bobal had 12 kills and Alex Miura had five aces.

Hart 3, Golden Valley 1

Game scores were 25-15, 25-18, 19-25 and 25-19.

Zoe DiNardo had 13 kills and Ashley Cosey added nine for the Indians. Shelby Grubbs had eight kills and nine blocks and Kylie Mattson had 34 assists.

Hart next plays Valencia at home on Tuesday and will be hosting a “Kills for Cancer” fundraiser to benefit Alyssa Cosey, who is battling leukemia.

Hart is now 2-4 overall and 1-0 in league. Golden Valley is 2-4 and 0-1.

Valencia 3, Canyon 1

The Vikings got the win 17-25, 25-23, 20-25, and 13-25.

For the Cowboys, Sasha Thomas had 12 kills and Kyra Turner had six kills and two blocks. Laska Stanford had 25 assists.

The Vikes’ Lauren Russ had 16 kills and 16 digs. Lauryn Shockley added 13 kills and 18 digs.

Valencia moves to 4-1 and 1-0, while Canyon is 4-2 and 0-1.

Trinity 3, Palmdale Aerospace Academy 2

The Knights (3-1 overall, 1-0 in Heritage League) won with scores of 25-19, 25-16, 21-25, 15-25 and 15-11.

Hannah Caddow had 20 kills and seven digs and Kathryn Brooks added 27 assists and six digs.

Trinity will play in a tournament on Saturday at Valley Christian before returning to league play on Tuesday against Lancaster Baptist at 4 p.m. at home.

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