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West Ranch V-Ball in top form

Posted: March 25, 2014 10:42 p.m.
Updated: March 25, 2014 10:42 p.m.

West Ranch outside hitter Andrew Dieterle, left, hits the ball into Hart blockers D.B. Gibbs (31) and Luke Maly (7) during Tuesday's Foothill League opening match at West Ranch High School.

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It only took one game for West Ranch boys volleyball to get back into its Foothill League groove.

The West Ranch Wildcats overcame a sloppy first game to end up with a dominant 3-0 win by scores of 25-20, 25-12, 25-12 over the Hart Indians in Tuesday’s 2014 Foothill opener at West Ranch High.

After the Wildcats put together a perfect 10-0 league finish last season, the defending league champions appear to be picking up right where they left off.

West Ranch senior outside hitter Andrew Dieterle led the way with 16 kills, and he especially got on a roll in the second and third games when West Ranch (15-3 overall, 1-0 Foothill League) found its rhythm.

“In the first game we had a lot of nerves and we had to get rid of those nerves,” Dieterle said. “Once we did that we were fine.”

In the opening game, the Wildcats missed nine serves and allowed Hart (2-5, 0-1) to take an early lead.

Hart led the game 16-14 at one point until a 5-0 West Ranch run turned things around.

The Indians also had their share of miscues, committing a total of 13 unforced errors in the game.

“We were never putting the pressure on them. They were always comfortable,” said first-year Hart head coach Ryan Mason.

Sonny Mueller led the Indians with four kills and libero Derek Dietz was a spot-on passer most of the match.

But West Ranch’s quickness and offensive versatility were too much to handle for Hart, which finished second place in league last year.

West Ranch’s Clay Burns added seven kills and three aces and both A.J. Smith and Victor Schmitd had five kills. Wildcats setter Ethan Marshall tallied 23 assists after playing just two of three games.

West Ranch jumped out to a 10-3 lead in the second game and an 8-2 mark in the third game. In both cases, Hart was never able to recover or get its offense going.

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