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Foothill League boys volleyball: Indians return favor

Hart avenges earlier loss to Golden Valley

Posted: April 27, 2012 1:55 a.m.
Updated: April 27, 2012 1:55 a.m.
 

Whether it was a gradual improvement or it happened all at once, Hart boys volleyball is playing its best at the right time.

Hart shut out Golden Valley 3-0 on Thursday at Hart High School by scores of 25-16, 25-14 and 25-20, avenging a 3-2 loss to the Grizzlies on April 10.

After losing four of its first five Foothill League contests, the Indians (10-10 overall, 4-5 Foothill League) have rallied back to within a game of third place and an automatic playoff berth.

“After the shaky start to the season going 1-4, I think everybody just decided we need to start playing better,” said Hart senior Rhett Almond, who co-led the team with 10 kills.

Tanner Tengberg also had 10 kills in the game and setter Chris LeClair distributed the ball well, tallying 32 assists.

In its last matchup against the Grizzlies (14-12, 2-7), Hart allowed outside hitter Alec Schlossman to land a Golden Valley-record 37 kills.

This time around, the Indians at least kept him under control by trailing him with constant double and triple blocks.

Schlossman was limited to 19 kills.

“They came out with tons of fire and tons of energy and we just couldn’t match it,” Schlossman said.

The first two games played out in nearly identical fashion.

Using its versatile attack, the Indians took early leads in both games and pulled away about midway through, using a 5-0 run in game one and a 5-1 run in game two to create a comfortable distance.

Golden Valley led only once through the first two games, a 2-1 advantage early in the second.

“We’re getting better at passing,” said Hart head coach Kevin Ker. “I always say passing and serving wins games, and we’re doing that a lot better.”

Golden Valley’s best chance to turn the match around came in the third game when it started to handle Hart’s serving better.

Tristan Murachanian was the defensive leader for the Grizzlies, finishing with 10 digs.

The Grizzlies led most of the way through the final game, including a late 20-18 lead, but the Indians scored the last seven points of the game to finish it off.

Hart will take part in the Redondo Varsity Tournament this weekend before hosting West Ranch in the league finale on Tuesday. Regardless of the outcome, Hart will need to finish with a record above .500 to qualify for a possible at-large bid into the CIF-Southern Section Division II playoffs.

Golden Valley can’t finish better than fifth place in league, but may also apply for an at-large spot.

661-287-5535

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