Santa Clarita Valley's #1 Local News Source

Search
Close this search box.
Search
Close this search box.
Search
Close this search box.

West Ranch volleyball onto QFs, sweeps North Torrance  

West Ranch celebrates a point during the end of the third set of the boys volleyball playoffs at West Ranch High School on Saturday, April 27. Habeba Mostafa/ The Signal
West Ranch celebrates a point during the end of the third set of the boys volleyball playoffs at West Ranch High School on Saturday, April 27. Habeba Mostafa/ The Signal
Share
Tweet
Email

Another strong all-around team showing powered West Ranch boys’ volleyball to a playoff win.  

The Wildcats blocked, served and passed well in Saturday’s Division 4 second-round matchup with the visiting North Torrance Saxons. 

West Ranch took the match, 25-21, 25-15, 25-20, to push the program back into the CIF quarterfinals for the first time in five years.  

The Cats (22-11) found points from players all over the court with the most sparks coming from middle blocker Lucas Reuter.  

Reuter totaled 10 kills on top of a pair of aces and two blocks. The middle blocker again didn’t pile in the aces but powered his team ahead with multiple 5-0 runs from the end line. 

West Ranch opposite hitter Ethan Paik (8) and libero Christopher Song (11) go up for a block against North Torrance during first set of the boys volleyball playoffs at West Ranch High School on Saturday, April 27. Habeba Mostafa/ The Signal
West Ranch opposite hitter Ethan Paik (8) and libero Christopher Song (11) go up for a block against North Torrance during first set of the boys volleyball playoffs at West Ranch High School on Saturday, April 27. Habeba Mostafa/ The Signal

“I haven’t been serving that long,” Reuter said. “I’ve just been working on it in practice every day and I’ve gotten kind of good at it. I’m just going for top spin and practicing consistency.” 

Reuter has gone on several runs at the end line this postseason, as he aims to get opponents out of their system with each jump serve. 

“He’s just gotten better and better every single time he’s gone on to the court and he was absolutely unstoppable today,” said West Ranch coach Brandon Johnson. “Without him, the result is not quite the same without him doing what he did today. It was really impressive.” 

West Ranch was still led by junior Noah Douphner, who added a game-high 16 kills. The outside hitter didn’t have his most efficient match, but still being able to put that many balls away while other teammates hit double-digit kills is a great sign for West Ranch.  

West Ranch opposite hitter J. Aiden Prestridge (15) hits the ball over the net against North Torrance during the third set of the boys volleyball playoffs at West Ranch High School on Saturday, April 27. Habeba Mostafa/ The Signal
West Ranch opposite hitter J. Aiden Prestridge (15) hits the ball over the net against North Torrance during the third set of the boys volleyball playoffs at West Ranch High School on Saturday, April 27. Habeba Mostafa/ The Signal

Down 2-0, North Torrance (26-9) found a sign of life from an unexpected hero. Junior middle blocker Matthew Gallegos checked into the match early in the third game and was an instant spark plug for the Saxons. The middle caught fire the moment he stepped on the court and helped the Saxons erase an early 8-2 deficit.  

Gallegos registered three kills and three blocks in his short stint but after closing the gap to as little as 16-14, North Torrance couldn’t force a tie and fell in straight sets. 

Sophomore Patrick Chifor led the Saxons with eight kills and a block. 

Reuter’s game-changing play also proved to be timely as the middle ended the second set with a kill and ended the day with a match-point block to punch West Ranch’s ticket into the quarterfinals. 

The Wildcats have now won eight straight matches, a testament to the team’s hard work for Johnson. 

West Ranch celebrates winning the playoffs against North Torrance at West Ranch High School on Saturday, April 27. Habeba Mostafa/ The Signal
West Ranch celebrates winning the playoffs against North Torrance at West Ranch High School on Saturday, April 27. Habeba Mostafa/ The Signal

“They’re just playing hard,” Johnson said. “They’re a great group of boys that just love playing the sport. And when they show drive, passion, and when they really go for it is when they’re at their best. This team is at their best when they are busting their butts, when they are playing hard defense, when they are being aggressive, and that’s what we’ve been doing recently.”  

West Ranch will remain home on Wednesday and host the Paraclete Spirits (26-7-2), whom the Wildcats played in a very tight tournament match earlier in the season.  

The Cats prevailed 2-1 in the match with the opening games both being deuce sets before West Ranch jumped ahead for a 15-7 win in the decisive third set. 

Johnson will finally have some game film on an opponent after coming up a little short in that category throughout the opening rounds of the postseason. 

West Ranch outside hitter Logan Sanchez (4) serves the ball against North Torrance during the second set of the boys volleyball playoffs at West Ranch High School on Saturday, April 27. Habeba Mostafa/ The Signal
West Ranch outside hitter Logan Sanchez (4) serves the ball against North Torrance during the second set of the boys volleyball playoffs at West Ranch High School on Saturday, April 27. Habeba Mostafa/ The Signal

“In the playoffs every single match is a battle,” Johnson said. “When you don’t have a lot of information about other teams, it’s just about going out executing them and not playing their teams and we’ve done that last three times now.” 

West Ranch will be tested again with a trip to the semifinals and state on the line on Wednesday when the Wildcats host the Del Rey League champion Spirits at 6 p.m. 

‘I think we’re pretty ready,” Reuter said. “It’s been fun, and I don’t want it to end.” 

Related To This Story

Latest NEWS