By Ryan Menzie
Signal Sports Writer
The Saugus Centurions girls volleyball team overwhelmed the Golden Valley Grizzlies with a relentless attack at the net Thursday, winning in three straight sets (25-17, 25-4, 25-17).
Centurions head coach Zachary Ambrose sees Saugus (16-5-2, 7-3) starting to turn the corner and become one of the best teams in the league.
“We want to finish the season strong,” said Ambrose. “Wherever we finish in the league, we want to move up or stay up as a ranked CIF team. We haven’t been to the playoffs in a while, so we’re excited to do the entire package of the season.”
The Centurions also recently put up a three-set win against Hart, which solidifies the West Ranch Wildcats’ chances of winning the Foothill League title once again, as long as the Wildcats win one of their final two games against Hart or Golden Valley.
The Centurions had 32 kills as a team against Golden Valley (2-14, 0-8) and were led by Naomi Greer with nine kills and one block. Taylor Treahy, Ruth Kempler and Morgan Guardado each finished with five kills apiece. Setter Milani Lee led all players in assists with 25 while also contributing five kills and seven digs.
“I think Golden Valley played great and had great blocks up,” said Greer. “We have to look at every game like we don’t know what the outcome is going to be. We just have to act as a team and we can’t get ahead of ourselves to think that anything is just going to happen for us if we want to succeed in the CIF.”
The Centurions won their second set 25-4, which was due to Avery Okahara, who finished the match with 13 aces, keeping the Grizzlies stuck in rotation.
“I think I just focused on my form and made sure I got my spots down and hit where I wanted to,” said Okahara when asked about how she got so many aces in a row. “We do a lot of serving drills during practice. For now, consistency will keep us a great team as we head into the CIF playoffs. We just can’t be in our heads moving forward.”
Despite the tough loss, Golden Valley coach Sean Parchejo sees improvements in his team, but wasn’t able to get out of the tough serving in the second set.
“Saugus did an amazing job taking advantage of our weak spots,” said Parchejo. “We wanted to be creative with our hitting because we know Saugus would have easily dug our shots. I wish we did that the whole game, but we will take advantage of what we are already good at to end the season strong.”
Aniya Bailey and Kylie Mcintosh led the Grizzlies with four kills each. Miranda Dahl and Erica Diqong led the team with two aces each.
The Centurions’ next match is scheduled to be played against Castaic on Tuesday while the Grizzlies are scheduled to play against Valencia on Monday.