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West Ranch girls volleyball sweeps Burroughs in first round of CIF-SS playoffs

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VALENCIA – The West Ranch girls volleyball team swept Burroughs in three games, 25-20, 25-15, 25-18, in the first round of the CIF Southern Section Division 4 playoffs Thursday.

West Ranch setter Daniele Clewis tipped a pass just over the net, landing the ball perfectly between two defenders, for the game’s final point.

Clewis’ heads-up play may have been so effective because of how the Wildcats won the first two games against the Bears (14-16).

  • Burroughs’ Kiana Hildebrandt, right, gets the ball over the net...

    Burroughs’ Kiana Hildebrandt, right, gets the ball over the net as West Ranch’s Jadyn Tunnell (8) tries to block it during the second game of the CIF Southern Section Division 4 volleyball playoffs Thursday, October 19, 2023 at West Ranch High School. (Photo by Kevin Karzin Contributing Photographer)

  • West Ranch’s Grace Kelley (17) spikes the ball against Burroughs’...

    West Ranch’s Grace Kelley (17) spikes the ball against Burroughs’ Tawnie Ohrt during the first game of the CIF Southern Section Division 4 volleyball playoffs Thursday, October 19, 2023 at West Ranch High School. (Photo by Kevin Karzin Contributing Photographer)

  • West Ranch’s Jadyn Tunnell (8) taps the ball over the...

    West Ranch’s Jadyn Tunnell (8) taps the ball over the net while Burroughs’ Kiana Hildebrandt (15) defends Thursday, October 19, 2023 during the first round of the CIF Southern Section Division 4 volleyball playoffs at West Ranch High School. (Photo by Kevin Karzin Contributing Photographer)

  • Burroughs’ Sadie Lomet (13) tries to block a spike by...

    Burroughs’ Sadie Lomet (13) tries to block a spike by West Ranch’s Grace Kelley (17) during the first game of the CIF Southern Section Division 4 playoffs Thursday, October 19, 2023 at West Ranch High School. (Photo by Kevin Karzin Contributing Photographer)

  • Burroughs’ Tawnie Ohrt (28) spikes the ball against West Ranch’s...

    Burroughs’ Tawnie Ohrt (28) spikes the ball against West Ranch’s Daniele Clewis (26) during the first game in the first round of the CIF Southern Section Division 4 playoff’s at West Ranch High School Thursday, October 19, 2023. (Photo by Kevin Karzin Contributing Photographer)

  • West Ranch’s Jadyn Tunnell spikes the ball against Burroughs’ Khloe...

    West Ranch’s Jadyn Tunnell spikes the ball against Burroughs’ Khloe Pavia (6) and Kiana Hildebrandt (15) during the second game Thursday, October 19, 2023 of the CIF Southern Section Division 4 volleyball playoffs. (Photo by Kevin Karzin Contributing Photographer)

Senior standout Kennedy Osunsanmi, who is a UCLA commit, ended the first game for West Ranch with a rocket down the sideline for a kill. She ended the second game from the service line, hitting back-to-back aces to seal it.

“One of the things I’ve spoken to our setter Dani about is understanding that she doesn’t need to continually rely on Kennedy,” West Ranch coach Jamey Ker said. “She brings enough attention to her already that actually giving the ball to other people gives those other people more opportunities to be successful because there’s so much open space, open court to hit.”

The results were obvious for West Ranch, whose hitters were routinely set up for success by the impressive passing of Clewis, a sophomore and two-year starter.

“I’ve said the sort of blessing in a disguise that we got was Dani being forced into a starting role as a freshman. It hurt us last year, but it’s helped us a ton this year,” Ker said. “And she’s going into this year with all sorts of confidence and all sorts of experience because she got all of that varsity time. Her volleyball IQ elevating the way it has over the last 12 months has been tremendous and it’s been a huge difference maker.”

The Wildcats (18-2) will be home Saturday for a second-round match against Warren (17-2), which swept West Torrance in the first round Thursday.

Osunsanmi’s impact showed all over the floor, as the future Bruin has turned herself into an all-around threat who never comes off the floor. The senior started rotating through every spot on the floor this season, including playing the entire back row.

“Kennedy’s biggest strengths this year – because Kennedy’s been an outstanding blocker and attacker her entire career – the main jump that she’s made this year is both defensively and from the service line,” Ker said. “Service line probably more so. She goes out and scores us a ton of points just from serving really, really tough. That alone is a reason enough to keep her in the back.”

THURSDAY’S RESULTS

First round matches

DIVISION 3 

Anaheim Canyon def. Saugus 3-0

Hart def. Yucaipa 3-0

DIVISION 4

Thousand Oaks def. Dos Pueblos 25-18, 25-20, 25-22

Agoura def. Walnut 3-1

DIVISION 5

Valencia def. Camarillo 21-25, 25-23, 25-13, 25-13

DIVISION 6

Moorpark def. San Gabriel 25-11, 25-12, 25-12

Paraclete def. Santa Clarita Christian 3-2

Linfield Christian def. Grace 3-0

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