Saugus girls’ volleyball (31-2) will return to the CIF semifinals after a 3-0 win over the visiting Trabuco Hills Mustangs (18-16) on Wednesday.
The Centurions won with scores of 25-11, 25-15 and 25-17.
Saugus was led yet again by opposite hitter Taylor Treahy, who racked up 10 kills.
Saugus’ serve receive was a little shaky early in the opening set. The sloppy passing knocked the Centurions into a 5-8 hole. The team surged out of a timeout and went on an 8-1 run to begin pulling away.
“They weren’t nervous. They were amped up,” said Saugus head coach Zach Ambrose. “They’re ready to go every single time. Sometimes I gotta pull them back. They’re so amped and ready sometimes. So, this team, they don’t get nervous. They just want to go after it.”
Sophomore outside hitter Leila Ballard caught fire in the opening set yet again. Ballard knocked down four of her five kills in the set and also finished with two aces.
“[Ballard] started the year a little nervous trying to get used to everything and then there was just a switch that clicked,” said Ambrose. “She feels that she can kill every ball and she goes after it.”
The Centurions kept on rolling and the Mustangs just didn’t know what hit them.
Trabuco got its offense going in the second set. However, the Saugus defense wouldn’t give them much space. Plenty of balls were dug, sent out bounds or sent back thanks to another great blocking day for the Centurion middles.
Both Shelby Scott and Naomi Greer had hands on a plethora of Mustang attacks. Scott would lead the team with seven blocks and also added seven kills.
Saugus would pull away again no problem and win another set by 15.
“We did well,” said Ambrose. “The girls did everything they needed to do with things we were trying to attack and the places we were trying to serve.”
The Centurions showed little signs of stopping going into the third. The team opened the final set with an 8-0 run. The run included plenty of Trabuco self-inflicted wounds but the team would find a way back into the game.
The Mustangs whipped up multiple 4-0 runs and got as close as 14-16.
Treahy delivered when Saugus needed her most. The junior slammed down three straight kills to go up 20-15 then later registered an ace for match point.
Sophomore Morgan Guardado would end the Mustangs’ season with her third kill of the night.
Long Beach State-commit Milani Lee had another outstanding game, spreading the attack around. The senior would set three different hitters who went over five kills in the short game.
Lee finished with 25 assists and also added four kills.
The Centurions will now return to the CIF semifinals for the second year in a row. Saugus will face off with Polytechnic (18-2) of Pasadena for a shot at the CIF Division 4 finals.
The game time is yet to be determined but Saugus will host Poly on Saturday.