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Wildcats volleyball in driver's seat with win over Hart

Posted: April 16, 2013 9:39 p.m.
Updated: April 16, 2013 9:39 p.m.

West Ranch's Tanner Skabelund (24) puts a shot over the net as Hart High's Tanner Tengberg (21) tries to defend at West Ranch High School on Tuesday.


Win one close game, you can call it a favorable break.

Win six in a row against a top Foothill League contender and there’s a pattern.

In two matches between the West Ranch Wildcats and Hart Indians’ boys volleyball teams this season, West Ranch has won all six games by an average of less than four points apiece.

Three of those games were won on Tuesday at West Ranch High, where the Wildcats swept 3-0 by scores of 27-25, 27-25 and 25-20.

The win gives West Ranch (17-6 overall, 6-0 Foothill League) a two-match lead in the Foothill League and clears a path toward the team’s first league title in school history.

“I can’t say it yet,” said West Ranch head coach Nate Sparks of the Foothill title. “But I almost want to.”

Tuesday’s match pitted the top two teams in league up against each other as Hart came in needing a win to move into a first-place tie.

The Indians (13-8, 4-2) had their chances early.

In each of the first two games, Hart held 25-24 leads needing just one point to put it away.

Both games ended the same way though, with West Ranch scoring three points in a row to steal the wins.

“We didn’t find ways to execute well when we had the opportunity to,” said Hart head coach Kevin Ker. “When we had a chance to score, we were sending free balls over.”

David Van Name led Hart with eight kills and Tanner Tengberg followed with seven.

In six Foothill matches, the Wildcats are now 18-0 in games.

“We’re trying to keep the sweep alive, and that’s something I always want to in my mind,” said West Ranch senior Tanner Skabelund, who had a match-high 17 kills and seven aces.

Two of his aces proved to be game-winners, including the clincher in game one that trickled off the top of the net and fell on Hart’s side. That was his second consecutive service ace to close out the game.

He was also a force as a hitter on the left side, while his teammate Andrew Dieterle did his damage mostly on the right side, tallying 15 kills.

Setter Christian Cayabyab played a nearly mistake-free match for West Ranch with 43 assists.

Though West Ranch missed its fair share of serves and hits in the match, it was as consistent and poised as can be when it mattered late in games.


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