By Ryan Menzie
Signal Sports Writer
The Santa Clarita Christian School Cardinals are now one win away from the CIF championship. The Cardinals have yet to drop a set (84-0) while the Saugus Centurions lost their most recent matchup. Even with the Centurions’ loss, the season is not over as they now have a chance to compete in the state playoffs.
Here are the results from the semifinals held Saturday:
SCCS beats Big Bear in three sets
The Cardinals (31-0, 14-0) remained perfect on the season with a three-set win (25-10, 25-17, 25-18) against Big Bear (21-5, 10-0) on Saturday. The Cardinals officially become the only team from the SCV to be in the finals.
“It’s super exciting to have come this far,” said head coach Darcy Brown. “We just need to focus and continue to work hard. We need to fine tune things we know we need to fix and we also need to continue to not only be physically ready but also mentally. The third set got a little tight but the girls were able to keep it together and fight until the end. Once the final whistle blew, it was a huge sigh of relief.”
The Cardinals were led by outside hitter Hannah Shaffer, who led the team with 13 kills and tied the team lead with 17 digs. Setter Kaysa Brown was second on the team in kills with nine while also leading the team with 26 assists and producing six digs. Outside hitter Naveaeh Phillips finished with five kills and eight digs.
The Cardinals look to win the CIF championship in a road matchup against Wiseburn Da-Vinci 6 p.m. Saturday at El Segundo.
Saugus loses to Alemany in four sets
The Saugus Centurions (21-6-2, 9-3) lost to the Alemany Warriors (20-9, 3-6) on Saturday in four sets (25-20, 20-25, 16-25, 21-25). The CIF playoffs come to an end for the Centurions, but head coach Zach Ambrose and his team now have their eyes set on the state playoffs.
“It was very tough competition,” said Ambrose. “Obviously, it’s a tough loss. The girls put their effort and emotion into the game, but at least our season isn’t quite done yet as we qualified for the state tournament. Staying at the level we’ve been playing at is the hardest thing, but we just need to keep staying focused. We’re really enjoying that we are still playing this deep in November.”
The Centurions were led by outside hitter Naomi Greer, who finished the match with a team-leading 14 kills. Outside hitter Morgan Guardado finished with seven kills, 16 digs and four aces.
The Centurions are still awaiting their schedule for next week as the CIF playoffs host their championship games Saturday.