By Ryan Menzie
Signal Sports Writer
The Santa Clarita Christian School Cardinals had a perfect record on the season coming into the game, sitting at 18-0. A perfect season is always impressive, but throughout the win streak the Cardinals have yet to lose a single set. The Tuesday matchup between the Cardinals and the Trinity Classical Academy Knights looked to rewrite the Cardinals’ perfect season, but the Cardinals prevailed.
The Cardinals (19-0) beat the Knights (9-3) in three straight sets (25-8, 25-13, 25-23), keeping their season perfect and now winning 51 sets in a row. Despite the loss, Knights head coach Rebecca Peluffo is not discouraged and said it was fun to see the girls battle together.
“We definitely just got to keep playing with a tough mentality,” said Peluffo. “(The Cardinals) are always a tough competitor for us. Coming into the week we worked on just working not to let the balls drop. We knew that they had strong hitters and we were trying to make adjustments. We just have to move on now, learn from our past mistakes and we will play better.”
The Knights were led by junior outside hitter Emma Carver, who had three kills and 10 digs, junior setter and opposite Lily Caddow with 14 digs, six assists and one ace, and sophomore middle blocker Jordan Hahn with three kills and one ace. Despite the numbers, the Knights remained outmatched.
The Cardinals, who are currently ranked No. 1 in CIF Southern Section Division 8, continue roaring through the season as they keep their eyes set on the CIF playoffs. Under head coach Darcy Brown, the Cardinals are coming off back-to-back seasons winning at least 18 games and have already surpassed those numbers after Tuesday’s win.
“It was a great win for us. We were excited to play another game,” said Brown. “We just knew we needed to play our game. We just got to continue to work hard. We can’t take any team for granted. We can’t let down and we got to keep working hard. We know there’s big games ahead. We’re 19-0 so that’s super exciting and we want to keep working hard and play the best we can each time we get onto the court.”
The Cardinals were led by junior outside hitter Hannah Shaffer, who led all players with 13 kills, eight digs and three aces, and junior setter Kaysa Brown, who led all players with 27 assists, in addition to eight digs, seven kills and four aces. Senior outside hitter Nevaeh Phillips contributed nine kills and four digs.
Shaffer attributes their success to the loud energy they had from the beginning of the game, carrying their momentum through each set and ultimately winning the game.
“We kept our energy up,” said Shaffer. “Worked hard throughout the entire game and stayed on our toes. Stayed encouraging with one another. Despite mistakes, we really bonded as a team. That’s the biggest thing that will carry us over into our next game. We just got to come into practice and work hard and stay loud during practice.”