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Some timely service

Hart defeats Saugus in boys volleyball

Posted: April 22, 2009 5:50 p.m.
Updated: April 22, 2009 6:00 p.m.
 
Given the back-and-forth nature of high school volleyball, Hart’s performance in the fourth game Tuesday was all the more impressive.

Behind J.J. Mosolf’s serve and some gritty play, the Indians won that game and beat Saugus 3-1 at Hart High School to move into a second-place tie with the Centurions in the Foothill League.

Hart (8-7, 3-2) scored victories in the first and third games, but looked rusty for the first half of the fourth game before the Indians won five straight points on Mosolf’s serve to gain an 18-12 lead they would not relinquish.

“We always have rocky moments,” said Hart head coach Mary Krisan. “We told them we have to execute in the fourth game. It’s about going with the impression that the fourth game is the fifth game.”

Mosolf finished the match with 20 assists, 14 kills, five blocks and three aces, and punctuated the victory with a big kill for the final point.

“I think our team showed a lot of teamwork,” he said. “I was just trying to keep (my serves) in and finish them off.”

Saugus, meanwhile, suffered through several dry spells of careless play that allowed Hart to build leads. The first game was closely contested until the Indians won three straight points – again on Mosolf’s serve – and the Centurions (10-6, 3-2) began giving away points with missed serves.

“We’re a young team, and this is the first time that being young caught up with us,” said Saugus head coach Jared Ambrose.

After dropping the first game 25-20, the Centurions looked sharper in the second game with their passing and blocking, and they mixed thunderous kills at the net with little dinks and dunks for points. Despite a Hart rally, Saugus won the second game 25-23.

The third game, however, belonged to the Indians.

Saugus couldn’t answer the overpowering play of Mosolf and Taylor Gregory at the net, and Hart won 25-19 to take a 2-1 lead heading into the fourth game.

“The fourth game is huge,” Ambrose said. “The team that wins it goes into the fifth game with momentum, or you win in four.”

Hart did just enough to stay within a couple points of Saugus before making its move. The Indians did a good job of passing, digging and setting up their block, and Saugus didn’t help itself by committing several unforced errors down the stretch.

“We’ve been working on blocking,” Krisan said. “Taylor and J.J. have long arms but not strong arms, so we worked on pressing over the net.”

Gregory finished with 15 kills, while Andrew Uberstine and Julian Rodriguez each had eight. Austin Gage had 18 assists.

Hart welcomed the return of Rodriguez, who had been out due to injury for the last couple of weeks.

Ryan Mason had 35 assists and 11 kills to lead Saugus, while Kyle Eaton had 18 kills and Colby Wilson had seven.

Hart will now play host to league-leading Valencia as the second half of league play begins Thursday.

jgulino@the-signal.com

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