By Ryan Menzie
Signal Sports Writer
For the first time since 1993, the Saugus Centurions (21-5-2, 9-3) advanced to the CIF semifinals after a three-set victory (25-22, 25-16, 25-13) against the Serrano Diamondbacks (23-5, 10-0) on Wednesday.
The Centurions came into the game being the lone remaining team from the Foothill League after Hart and West Ranch lost in the previous round, and the Centurions prevailed once again. The team is now two games away from winning the CIF championship.
“I feel great now,” said Centurions head coach Zach Ambrose, breathing a huge sigh of relief after the win. “The girls are playing very well and doing everything they need to do. We were a little tentative for the first five points, but I wanted aggressive mistakes. Once we were going after it defensively and offensively, we ended up having a good game. We’ll see who we play, but making it this far for the first time since 1993 is a great feeling so we’ll see if we can keep the momentum going.”
The Centurions were led by Morgan Guardado with five kills and a team-high 16 digs. Milani Lee finished with five kills and a team-high 21 assists.
“It’s an amazing feeling,” said Lee when asked about what it means making it to the semifinals. “We were all celebrating and we were really excited. Naomi Greer did amazing, hitting beautifully, Ruth Kempler, Shelby Scott and Taylor Treahy also all played amazing. For me, I just wanted to play with confidence. I was nervous at first, but once I stepped onto the court with my team all the nerves went down. I got my confidence back and that’s when I started getting into it and making plays for my team. We just need to keep playing hard.”
Treahy and Kempler finished with three kills each. Scott finished with a team-high two blocks and Greer finished the match leading all players with 18 kills.
“It’s an amazing feeling to be where we are now,” said Greer. “From the beginning, we’ve had a lot of ups and downs but it’s great to see how far we have come. Our assistant coach always tells us to be cocky but not too cocky and it always helps us. Coach Ambrose always says to play to our fullest and that’s what we did. If we want it, we can have it. We just need to come out next game as strong as possible.”
The Centurions’ next match is scheduled to be played against Alemany on Saturday at 6 p.m. at Alemany.