By Ryan Menzie
Signal Sports Writer
The Santa Clarita Christian School Cardinals (34-0, 14-0) continue their dream season with another perfect victory against the Tarbut V’ Torah Lions (10-3, 2-1) on Thursday, beating them in three sets (25-9, 25-19, 25-15) in the state championship playoffs.
After a resounding first-set victory, the Cardinals looked well on their way to another big win, but the Lions roared back in the second set, showing signs of life. The Cardinals looked slightly out of sync, making uncommon errors, but the Cardinals’ resiliency and experience from their long season kept the Lions at bay to secure the wins in the final two sets.
The road to the CIF State Division 5 Championship continues for the Cardinals, who will now play against San Pedro on Saturday at 4 p.m. at Santa Clarita Christian.
“The girls came out and played solid defense,” said Cardinals head coach Darcy Brown. “Our goal was to defend (Nos.) 9 and 33 and I think we were successful. We got to keep playing solid defense. As we keep going it becomes easier and easier and we just got to take what we see on the court and adapt to what we need to do to win and be successful.”
The Cardinals handily won their match with the help of outside hitter Hannah Shaffer, who led the team with 10 kills while also accounting for 14 digs and two aces. Setter Kaysa Brown finished with seven kills and seven digs, and led the team in aces (5), blocks (8) and assists (20).
“We saw the competition from the previous week so we knew it was going to be another hard game for us,” said Kaysa. “It wasn’t going to be an easy blowout and the momentum was a key component for keeping us in the game. We see how our motivation affects the game. If we aren’t motivated, the game becomes slow and boring and we start losing points. When we stay motivated, we play our best game and it’s hard to beat us.”
Libero Chaney Brooks led the team with 17 digs and outside hitter Nevaeh Phillips played an all-around game, finishing with nine kills, nine digs and three aces.
“They were a really good team. They had a lot of girls who could swing at the ball,” said Phillips. “We needed to play good defense and that’s exactly what we did. I feel awesome after a big win like this one and I’m excited for our next game. I think we’re going to do very well.”