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Role reversal for Hart, Valencia boys volleyball

Once dominant Vikings swept by host Indians

Posted: April 9, 2013 10:44 p.m.
Updated: April 9, 2013 10:44 p.m.

Hart's Adam Marrs (8), left, and Nolyn Preston (13) block a shot by Valencia at Hart on Tuesday.

 

Something is definitely different about the Foothill League this year in boys volleyball.

For the past 12 years, it’s been easy to predict that the Valencia Vikings would dominate the rest of the league.

But in Tuesday’s match at Hart High School, the only dominant team involved was the Hart Indians — and the Vikings were the ones on the receiving end.

Hart controlled the match, winning 3-0 by scores of 25-14, 25-16 and 25-20, ending the team’s 13-year losing streak against Valencia.

“We’ve been trying for a long time,” said Hart senior Chris LeClair, a third-year varsity player. “Climbing through the ranks with (teammate Tanner Tengberg), finally it felt like it was our turn.”

Tengberg, who is in his fourth year on the varsity team, led the Indians (12-7 overall, 3-1 Foothill League) with 13 kills that all came in the first two games.

LeClair dealt out 30 assists and mixed up his sets well as Hart played consistently on offense, served well and didn’t give up any easy points on the defensive end.

Hart also benefitted from Valencia’s 27 unforced errors.

“We don’t need to give them points,” said Valencia head coach Kevin Kornegay. “And that’s one thing we’ve been doing a lot more than I’d like to see.”

Tuesday’s loss dropped Valencia, the 12-time defending league champions, to 8-9 overall and 2-2 in league play. On March 21, the Vikings lost their league opener to Saugus 3-1, which ended a 112-match league winning streak.

“Part of it is we’re trying to figured out what the best combination of players is,” Kornegay said. “We definitely have a lot of holes to fill.”

One bright spot for Valencia was the play of sophomore outside hitter Kyle Ensing, who led all players with 15 kills. Junior setter Logan Riley had 15 assists for the Vikings, but it was otherwise a match filled with missed serves, errant hitting and mental miscues.

Hart took control of the opening game with a 7-0 scoring run to take an 11-4 lead. Strong serving kept Valencia out of system and forced it to send several free balls back to Hart’s side of the net.

“We forced a lot of those unforced errors,” said Hart head coach Kevin Ker. “We served tough and picked up on free balls.”

As the errors piled up for the Vikings in games two and three, Hart simply continued to mix up the offensive sets and keep the pressure on.

Tengberg caught fire in the second game and landed 10 of his kills.

Hart’s David Van Name picked up where Tengberg left off in the third game. He recorded five of his seven kills in the game.

In that same game, Valencia couldn’t get out of its own way as Hart scored eight of its first 10 points on Viking mistakes.

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