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Hart High boys volleyball jumps out to early lead

Hart beats Crescenta Valley 3-1

Posted: March 7, 2013 9:48 p.m.
Updated: March 7, 2013 9:48 p.m.

Hart's Chris Leclair sets for teammate Nick Ramirez in a match against Crescenta Valley on Thursday at Hart High. Leclair had 41 assists in the contest, which Hart won 3-1 to improve to 3-0 on the season.

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Toward the end of last season, Hart High boys volleyball was playing at a high level and showing signs of vast improvement from earlier in the year.

That upward trend appears to be carrying over into the 2013 season, especially since the Hart Indians return just about every starting player.

Looking like they were in midseason form, the Indians came out of the gate strong and held off the Crescenta Valley Falcons for a 3-1 win on Thursday at Hart High School.

Hart won by scores of 25-19, 25-15, 23-25 and 25-22.

“The guys are really excited this year because they know how good they can be,” said second-year Hart head coach Kevin Ker, whose team fell just short of a postseason bid last year after finishing fourth in the Foothill League.

Tanner Tengberg landed a match-high 18 kills and had four aces for Hart (3-0), which controlled the first two games before the Falcons (2-2) fought back to make a match of it.

Hart served well throughout the match, which made it difficult for Crescenta Valley to get the ball to its main hitters.

“It really helps to keep the other team off system,” said Hart senior Adam Marrs, who had seven kills and a team-high five aces. “It makes them predictable offensively.”

As a team, the Indians had 16 aces, which forced the Falcons into several hitting errors early.

Hart scored eight straight points in the opening game to turn a 6-6 tie into a 14-6 lead.

Other than a 1-0 start to the opening game, Crescenta Valley didn’t lead at any point in the first two games as Hart pounded the ball from all over the court.

Third-year varsity setter Chris Leclair ran the offense well and tallied 41 assists.

He fed the ball to Tengberg and Marrs on the outside while Hart senior Nolyn Preston did his job in the middle with 11 kills. Preston also had five blocks.

“I’m happy with the progress that we made and we’re going to get better as the season goes on,” Ker said.

The third game was back-and-forth all the way through and it included eight lead changes. The last one came after Hart led 23-20, only to see the Falcons score five straight points to win it.

“I was just really happy with the heart we showed to fight back when we were down 0-2,” said Crescenta Valley head coach John Nelson.

Noah Klotther led the Falcons with seven kills.

Though the fourth game played out much like the third, Hart was able to close out in the end.

Crescenta Valley never led by more than two points the entire match.

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