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Foothill boys volleyball: Indians use different formula

With a top player struggling, Hart’s depth beats Cowboys

Posted: April 27, 2011 1:55 a.m.
Updated: April 27, 2011 1:55 a.m.
Hart’s Taylor Gregory, left, and Tanner Tengberg (21) block a shot by Canyon on Tuesday at Canyon High. Hart’s Taylor Gregory, left, and Tanner Tengberg (21) block a shot by Canyon on Tuesday at Canyon High.
Hart’s Taylor Gregory, left, and Tanner Tengberg (21) block a shot by Canyon on Tuesday at Canyon High.

Hart boys volleyball has many different formulas for success.

That came in handy when one of its top hitters was having an off day.

Canyon learned the hard way that the Indians are capable of adapting on the fly during a 3-0 Hart win on Tuesday at Canyon High.

Hart had a scare in the second game, but held on for the sweep, 25-16, 25-22 and 25-18.

Senior J.J. Mosolf, normally one of Hart's best scorers, struggled to put the ball away in an uncharacteristic match, but Hart (22-6, 6-1) had enough firepower to keep its three-match Foothill League winning streak alive.

"We normally feed the beast," said Hart co-head coach Sia Irilian. "We feed the guy who's hot."

Sophomore Tanner Tengberg was the one on fire on Tuesday, totaling a match-high nine kills, six of which came in the first game. Mosolf ended up with four.

Once Tengberg got going, the Indians were able to pull away in the opening game, ending it on an emphatic kill off the hand of Taylor Gregory.

Gregory finished with eight kills and six blocks.

But Canyon (5-9, 0-7) eventually neutralized Tengberg and company with a good mix of power and placement serving.

At one point, the Cowboys led 13-7 in the second game behind a 6-1 scoring run.

"We just made adjustments," said Canyon head coach Andrew Spackman. "We quit letting their outside hitters hit it down the line."

At the same time, Canyon attacks were working, whether it was the powerful hits of Trevor Barber or the tip kills to catch Hart's defense off guard.

Barber led Canyon with eight kills as the Cowboys threatened to steal a game away from heavily favored Hart.

"No matter who you're playing, if your own team doesn't have intensity, you're not going to get it done," Irilian said.

Canyon's lead dissolved quickly, though, mostly due to self-inflicted errors.

Hart answered with an 8-2 run to tie things up at 15-15 after illegal back row attacks, net violations and service errors hurt the Cowboys.

Canyon stayed alive until 22-22, when the Indians rattled off the final three points, including Rhett Almond's game-ending kill.

Almond, who is becoming a bigger part of Hart's offense, tallied five total kills.

"I'm calling for it a lot more," Almond said. "I'm feeling more confident than I was earlier, and my setter has more confidence in me."

The third game also started slowly for the Indians, but once Gregory took over in both hitting and blocking, Canyon couldn't keep up.

While Canyon remains winless in league play, Hart kept its spot at second place and one game behind Valencia.



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