By Ryan Menzie
Signal Sports Writer
The girls’ volleyball playoffs officially kicked off this week with three teams from the Foothill League competing for a chance to win the CIF title — each team in a different division — as well as Trinity Classical Academy.
Here are the results from the first round of CIF playoffs:
Saugus beats Archer School for Girls
In Division 4, the Saugus Centurions (19-5-2, 9-3) beat the Archer School for Girls Panthers (10-15, 6-2) in three sets (25-16, 25-19, 25-16) on Thursday. The Centurions’ serving was what helped mount their commanding win as they head toward the second round the playoffs, according to head coach Zach Ambrose.
“We are looking to continue on doing what we have done before,” said Ambrose. “We made sure our serving was strong, which carried us through the sets. This helped expose the team to the playoff experience. It’s win or your season is over so there were some jitters. Once they were settled in it gave them the experience needed for the second round.”
Naomi Greer led the team with 11 kills and three blocks. Morgan Guardado finished second on the team with seven kills. Shelby Scott led the team with eight blocks. Gabriella Cascione led the team with 11 digs.
Canyon comes up short in play-in game
Also in Division 4, Canyon High lost a play-in match to Westridge in three sets.
The Canyon Cowboys (10-13, 5-7) lost in three sets to the Westridge Tigers (8-13, 5-7) on Tuesday.
The Cowboys played in the play-in as the fourth spot in the Foothill League, but were unable to advance. The Cowboys’ season officially comes to an end.
Hart beats Notre Dame in three sets
The Hart Indians (15-6, 9-3) beat the Notre Dame Knights (18-10, 5-2) in three sets Thursday.
The Indians had a share for second place in the Foothill League, but opened up their first-round playoff match on the road and still won in straight sets.
The next match for the Indians is scheduled to be played against Huntington Beach on Saturday at 4 p.m. at Huntington Beach.
West Ranch beats Rosary Academy in four sets
The West Ranch Wildcats (19-4, 12-0) beat the Rosary Academy Royals (13-10, 0-8) in four sets (13-25, 25-21, 25-19, 26-24) in the first round of the Division 3 playoffs. After dropping the first set, head coach Jamey Ker saw the adaptability of his team as they were able to bounce back from dropping a pretty poorly played set.
“We did an outstanding job of bouncing back,” said Ker. “One of the best bounce-backs I’ve seen. Between sets we talked about modifications that needed to be made, which made the next three sets relatively comfortable. It showed how well-rounded of a team we are thanks to everybody doing their part. Obviously, we have some superstars, but for the most part everyone does their job on the team.”
The Wildcats were led by Victoria Davis, who finished the match with 21 kills (.643 kill percentage) to go along with her two blocks. Kiley Gustin finished second on the team with 14 kills and five digs. Mckenna Edwards finished with eight kills, 10 digs and a team-high 38 assists. Kaitlyn Jizmejian led the team with 15 digs.
The Wildcats’ next match is scheduled to be played against El Toro on Saturday at 6 p.m. at El Toro.
Trinity Classical Academy beats Coast Union in five sets
The Trinity Classical Academy Knights (17-7, 11-3) beat the Coast Union Broncos (13-5, 11-3) in five sets (25-22, 25-12, 18-25, 22-25, 18-16) on Thursday.
In thrilling fashion, the Knights won their first two sets before dropping the next two to enter a sudden-death round. In the final round, the Knights and Broncos would go back and forth before the Knights would eventually pull away, winning the second set 18-16. The Knights earned themselves another round in the playoffs.
The Knights’ next match is scheduled to be played against Costa Mesa on Saturday at 6 p.m. at Trinity.
Santa Clarita Christian School
The Santa Clarita Christian School Cardinals (28-0, 14-0) enter the playoffs undefeated and having dropped zero sets all season. The Cardinals open up their playoffs against Western on Saturday at 6 p.m. at Santa Clarita Christian.