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Foothill League boys volleyball: Rebuilt and riding high

New-look Hart wins Foothill opener

Posted: March 23, 2012 1:55 a.m.
Updated: March 23, 2012 1:55 a.m.

Hart middle blocker Nolyn Preston, center, hits through the block of Canyon defenders Brett Schwarz (16) and Grant Barber (12) on Thursday at Hart High School.

So much for that whole rebuilding phase Hart boys volleyball was supposed to go through.

After the losses of two of the Foothill League’s best players from a year ago and its head coach, Hart looked as polished as ever in its league opener on Thursday against Canyon.

The Indians pulled away late in three straight games to win 3-0 at Hart High School by scores of 25-20, 25-17 and 25-16.
Hart did so without graduated players J.J. Mosolf and Taylor Gregory.

In their place was outside hitter Tanner Tengberg, who landed a match-high 14 kills to lead Hart’s efficient offensive in a relatively straight-forward match.

Simply put, Hart (7-4, 1-0 Foothill League) limited mistakes and Canyon (7-3, 0-1) made a few too many.

“Our offense played well,” Tengberg said. “We were attacking well and consistently.”

All three games started out close, but the Indians created separation once Canyon’s serving and hitting misfires began to pile up.

In all, the Cowboys missed 16 serves, eight in the first game alone.

“All (Hart) did was keep the ball in and we didn’t,” said Canyon head coach Andrew Spackman.

Canyon did find a bit of early success in setting Kevin Rackcliffe on the outside, resulting in a 13-13 tie.

Rackcliffe ended up with seven kills while Danny Daniyelyan led the Cowboys with 10 kills.

Eventually, the Indians adjusted their block to limit the Canyon hitter and take the game.

After that, it was all Hart.

Junior setter Chris LeClair tallied 34 assists which were well distributed between the middle and the outside.

“Chris is finally getting the concept of a good spread offense and it helps when the passing is there too,” said first-year Hart head coach Kevin Ker.

Hart middle blocker Rhett Almond finished with eight kills and fellow middle David Van Name added six kills.

Canyon didn’t put up as much of a fight in the second game after Hart rattled off six points in a row to take an early 12-6 lead.

After that, the Cowboys didn’t come within three points.

The third game was back-and-forth for a while, seeing four tie scores before Hart once again took the upper hand with its opportunistic play.

“We’re trying to focus on vision and seeing what’s in front of us, reacting to what they’re doing,” Tengberg said.

As for what Hart is doing, it started off the Foothill season on the right foot.



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