West Ranch shatters Saugus’ win streak in sweep 

West Ranch celebrates a point against Saugus in the first game at West Ranch High on Tuesday, 090523. Dan Watson/The Signal

West Ranch opposite hitter Kennedy Osunsanmi smelled blood in the water heading into the third set of the Wildcats’ home league match with Saugus. 

Osunsanmi, a senior, carried the load on the attack and pushed her team to the straight-set victory over the Centurions. 

The Cats swept Saugus, 25-11, 25-17, 26-24, snapping the Centurions 16-game undefeated streak.  

Osunsanmi took over the match in the final set, slamming down 10 of her 19 kills. The UCLA commit also added two blocks and four aces to extend West Ranch’s win streak to seven matches. 

Kennedy Osunsanmi (22) of West Ranch puts a shot over the net against Saugus defenders Leah Taylor (21) and Taylor Lane (14) at West Ranch Hig on Tudsay, 090523. Dan Watson/The Signal

“I think one of the things that (Osunsanmi) did better than she typically does was she served incredibly well and accounted for quite a few of the points,” said Wildcats coach Jamey Ker. “That was a huge part of it for us, no question. We always expect her to come out and do some great things from a blocking and attacking standpoint, but when she can do things from the back row as well, it’s really hard to stop that.”  

Saugus (16-1, 2-1) had a handful of miscommunications and mishaps that led to early deficits in the first two sets. The Centurions’ leading attacker, Leila Ballard, had a quiet night on the net, leading to junior Leah Taylor leading Saugus with 10 kills, two blocks and a pair of aces. 

West Ranch defenders Kennedy Osunsanmi (22) and Tahlia Dennis (15) go up to block a shot by Leah Taylor (21) of Saugus at West Ranch High on Tuesday, 090523. Dan Watson/The Signal

Centurion libero Gabriela Cascione did her best to stay under every hit from her club teammate Osunsanmi and finished the day with 27 digs. 

Saugus found some life in the third set and came out swinging. Junior outside hitter Leah Taylor got into rhythm and added five kills in the set.  

Taylor’s swing pushed the Centurions up and forced the Cats (9-1, 3-0) to play from behind nearly the entire set. A service ace from Kylie Stangl pushed the Centurions’ lead to 12-7 before the Wildcat opposite took over the match. 

Osunsanmi added points everywhere she could and helped mow down the Saugus lead. 

Sophomore setter Dani Clewis had spread the ball well all day but couldn’t ignore the hot hand.  

“I’m so proud of my team for being so energetic,” Clewis said. “The energy was so good throughout the whole game. That’s the best I’ve ever seen us play.” 

Daniele Clewis (26) of West Ranch taps a shot over the net against Taylor Lane (14) of Saugus at West Ranch High on Tuesday, 090523. Dan Watson/The Signal

Clewis finished with 25 assists and two blocks. 

Saugus nearly forced a fourth set with its back against the wall after senior Taylor Lane registered her eighth kill of the night to go up, 24-23. West Ranch held on and swung match point into their favor with Osunsanmi’s final kill of the match. The Centurions had the chance to extend the night but more miscommunication ended the night in a sweep. 

It was Saugus’ first straight-set loss in two years. 

“We were really determined to win,” Clewis said. “Our energy again was really high and our libero was doing so amazing.” 

West Ranch libero Alexandra Seres gave Saugus fits, seemingly gliding under every Centurion attack throughout the contest. Seres finished with 16 digs. 

“That was Lexi’s best match all season,” Ker said. “That’s the Lexi I’ve been waiting to see and I’ve known it for quite some time now. She’s been training with me since she was about 12 years old. So now this is who I’m hoping she’s going to become.” 

Cats outside hitter Joleen Reynolds came up clutch in the second game. Reynolds added four of her six kills in the second set, showing West Ranch has more firepower than just its booming opposite hitter.  

Joeleen Reynolds (10) of West Ranch puts a shot over the net against Morgan Guardado (3) of Saugus at West Ranch High on Tuesday, 090523. Dan Watson/The Signal

“I think Dani did an excellent job of spreading the ball around to everybody and giving people opportunities,” Ker said. “For us to be even having a conversation about how good Joleen was means that Dani has to be giving her the ball, and she certainly was and she took care of the business.” 

Ker was proud of his squad’s effort in a total-team win. 

“You really can’t ask for much more from us than tonight,” Ker said. “We really were firing on all cylinders. Not only were the fundamentals executed exactly how they needed to be executed, but we also executed our game plan perfectly. They didn’t really have an answer for what we were doing.” 

Ker hopes to see his team extend its lengthy win streak as well as feel a new confidence after a vital win. 

“I think everybody should leave this match tonight feeling a whole lot of ego and their ego should feel a lot stronger,” Ker said. “I don’t want them to get cocky because I want them to understand that the reason that tonight went the way that it did is because of the efforts we put in and the execution we had.” 

The Wildcats will remain home this week and host Valencia (2-8, 1-2) in more upcoming Foothill League action. Saugus will regroup and return home for another tough league match with Hart (4-2, 2-0). Both matches are slated for Thursday at 5:30 p.m. 

Morgan Guardado (3) and Ayden Jacobson (7) of Saugus celebrate a point against West Ranch at West Ranch High on Tuesday, 090523. Dan Watson/The Signal
Madison Andrews (5) of Saugus returns a shot by West Ranch at West Ranch High on Tuesday, 090523. Dan Watson/The Signal

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