By Ryan Menzie
Signal Sports Writer
The Santa Clarita Christian School Cardinals (30-0, 14-0) advanced to the CIF semifinals after a three-set win (25-11, 25-15, 25-21) against the Rancho Alamitos Vaqueros (15-9, 8-2) on Wednesday. The Cardinals still remain perfect on the season and have yet to drop a single set in all 30 games played.
The Cardinals handily won the first two sets due to their awareness to go after the ball and strong hitting, but the Vaqueros fought back in the third set, scoring 21 points. The point total was the most the Cardinals have given up in a set all season, but the Cardinals’ all-around team proved too much to handle as the Cardinals ended up on top, winning their 81st set in a row.
“Rancho Alamitos is a good team,” said Cardinals head coach Darcy Brown. “They wanted it but we didn’t want to give it to them so we fought back and played hard. I love the competitiveness I saw out there. The girls didn’t like having a tight game but I loved watching them fight for every point for the win. If we want to continue to win, we have to keep playing as a team. Volleyball is not an individual sport, but we have a great team.”
The Cardinals were led by Kaysa Brown with six kills while also leading the team with six aces and 25 assists. Hannah Shaffer led the team in kills (12) and digs (14).
“It was a good fight out there,” said Shaffer. “That was a really good team and I was really proud of how we stayed mentally strong throughout the game. I knew they were going to be a good team and was really excited to play against them. I wanted us to play a good game and that’s what we did.”
Nevaeh Phillips finished with two kills and seven digs. Olivia Caldwell finished with eight kills and four digs. Chaney Brooks finished with 11 digs and two aces.
“We played against a really good team but we kept the energy up all game,” said Brooks. “We just wanted to have high energy all game long because we knew the team we were going to play was going to be very good. We just need to stay focused on practice to prepare us for the upcoming games.”
The Cardinals’ next match is scheduled to be played against Big Bear on Saturday at 4 p.m. at Big Bear.