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A young Hart team opens at Foothill Invitational

Posted: August 1, 2013 9:15 p.m.
Updated: August 1, 2013 9:15 p.m.

Hart's Liz Baker, left, returns a shot against Sunnyside, while Sam Sveiven backs her up during a Foothill Invitational match at the Santa Clarita Sports Complex on Thursday afternoon. Hart won the match 2-0.

There’s no secret that the Hart Indians girls volleyball team is in a rebuilding mode entering the 2013 season.

The only question is, can Hart rebuild quickly enough to stay near the top of the always competitive Foothill League after last season’s second-place finish.

After losing six seniors, including five starters, Hart was shuffling in a multitude of girls at Thursday’s second annual Foothill Invitational volleyball tournament at the Santa Clarita Sports Complex. The Indians made quick work of the Sunnyside Wildcats in two games, 25-17, 25-20, in their third and last match of day one.

Earlier in the day, Hart defeated Eagle Rock 25-17, 25-20 and lost in three to Club Talon (Clovis West), 25-23, 12-25, 15-8.

The tournament is the first opportunity for Hart head coach Mary Keen to see her team together in a competitive situation.

“We’re a young team with two seniors and right now I don’t even have a varsity roster,” said Hart head coach Mary Keen. “I’m bringing a lot of girls in that could be on JV or varsity. I’m taking a casual approach with this tournament to give the girls a chance to show what they can offer.”

There was nothing casual about the Indians’ approach on the court Thursday, though.

Hart jumped out to double-digit leads in both games against Sunnyside, cruising past an overmatched Wildcats team that brought just seven girls to the match.

The Indians led by as many as 11 at 21-10 and 23-12 in the first game, and ended on a 14-7 run to take the lead heading into game No. 2.

Megan Reck picked up four quick aces and served the Indians to five points to start the second game with a 5-0 lead that Hart would never relinquish.

The strong serving continued throughout the game, with Corrine Holloway adding an ace and Erin Indermill adding four.

Indermill, entering her third year as the varsity setter, enters the season as the most experienced on the team.

“This year is a rebuilding year. We did lose most of our starters,” said Indermill, before discussing the positives of the new-look roster. “We’re all the same age and we get along really well. I think the biggest difference is we are younger.”

Because of that youth, Thursday’s match was most important because of the opportunity it gave for some of the underclassmen to make an impression on Keen.

Three of those girls are Claire Cansler, Sandra Duarte and Brooke Boron, who are competing to fill the two middle blocker spots that opened up with the graduation of Amanda Plante and Maryah Richberg.

“That’s a big piece to fill,” Keen said. “They have height and speed. Against West Ranch and Valencia, having such strong offenses, they’re the first line of defense.”

The Indians will be back on the court today as Pool B play continues against Saugus at noon and against Chaminade at 1 p.m., with both matches at the Sports Complex.

From there, Hart will be placed in a crossover match against a team from Pool A. That match will determine the setup Saturday’s playoff brackets.



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