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Foothill volleyball: The real deal

Prep volleyball: Hart demonstrated experience, moves to 2-0 in league play

Posted: October 4, 2012 1:55 a.m.
Updated: October 4, 2012 1:55 a.m.

Hart senior Maryah Richberg reacts after scoring a point on Wednesday against Saugus at Saugus High.

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Hart girls volleyball head coach Mary Keen said she prefers her team to fly under the radar, no matter how good.

She can only keep this team a secret for so long.

With exception of a lapse in the third game, Hart controlled Saugus in a 3-1 win on Wednesday at Saugus High School by scores of 25-20, 25-14, 10-25 and 25-19.

The Indians (10-3 overall, 2-0 Foothill League) have opened league play with wins over a hyped West Ranch team last week and Saugus, the defending Foothill champions.

“I’m trying not to get too excited,” Keen said.

Paced by a team-high 11 kills from Kathryn Cambra and 10 kills from Amy King, Hart quickly established itself against a Saugus team depleted by graduation losses.

“We’ve always been known as the underdogs like, ‘Oh, it’s just Hart,’” said Indians senior Maryah Richberg. “We want to be the team to beat West Ranch and beat Valencia and all those good teams.”

The Centurions took another hit when starting outside hitter Makena Wasserman had to sit out the match after she twisted her ankle while warming up.

That left Saugus (8-8, 0-2) with a much less balanced offense and a less experienced defense.

Most of the burden was on the shoulders of senior Hannah Nua, who managed to knock down 21 kills as the team’s clear No. 1 option as a hitter.

“We don’t have a ton of offense outside of Hannah anyway, and so we really missed Makena,” said Saugus head coach Zach Ambrose.

In contrast, the senior-heavy Indians had offensive contributions from all over the court with Cambra and King on the outside and players like Richberg and Amanda Plante in the middle.

Richberg finished with six kills and a career-high 11 blocks as she anchored a strong effort up front.

The Centurions rallied late in the first game to tie it 20-20, but Hart settled in and scored five points in a row to close it out.

The trend continued in game two as Saugus passing and hitting errors piled up and the Indians appeared to be coasting.

Following a lineup adjustment that moved Rachel Eaton from outside hitter back to her original position in the middle, Saugus came out firing in the third game and dominated.

Hart showed its experience in the final game and held off a Centurion comeback attempt.

Saugus senior setter Ashley Guthrie had 27 assists, 12 digs and four kills, which was third most on the team.

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