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Foothill volleyball: Indians move away from Cents

Hart now in sole possession of second in the Foothill League

Posted: April 18, 2013 10:02 p.m.
Updated: April 18, 2013 10:02 p.m.
 

After suffering a heart-breaking loss to West Ranch in the previous match, the Hart Indians boys volleyball beat the Saugus Centurions 3-0 Thursday at Hart High School.

Hart (12-7 overall, 5-2 Foothill League) won by the scores of 25-18, 25-19 and 26-24 as it completed the season sweep against Saugus and took sole possession of second place in league.

“We had a tough loss on Tuesday, so we wanted to come out with a lot of energy,” said Hart senior outside hitter Tanner Tengberg. “It was big for us to come out and win this.”

Against West Ranch, Hart fell 3-0 and relinquished leads of 25-24 in each of the first two games.

But the Indians looked determined right the ship against the Centurions.

“The thing that helped us today was that our defense was the best it has been all year,” said Hart head coach Kevin Ker. “We were able to get in our transition game and push the lead.”

Sonny Mueller led the team with 10 digs, as Hart constantly turned its defense into scoring opportunities.

Tengberg recorded a match-high 12 kills, while Nolyn Preston added nine.

Adam Marrs had eight kills, along with three service aces for the Indians.

“Everyone played fantastic tonight because each person did the job they needed to do,” Ker said. “We don’t have just one guy that carries us. We’re usually pretty spread out.”

Hart’s team defense limited the damage from Saugus’ big hitters, Max Nua and Tony Balzer, throughout the match.

Nua led Saugus (16-7-1, 4-3) with 10 kills, while Balzer finished with nine.

“We’re sending two guys out to block (Nua) most of the time,” Ker said regarding the returning all-Foothill league selection in 2012. “We also tried to dig around him. But he’s a great player and he’s going to be something special.”
As Hart controlled the score and the momentum in the third game, Saugus would not go down without a fight.

Behind Balzer’s four kills during the stretch, the Centurions battled back from a 19-14 deficit to force a tie at 22.

“My message to the team was to settle down,” said Saugus head coach Barry Nua. “We were just trying to stay focused and not give up.”

However, Hart’s weapons proved too much for Saugus to overcome as Tengberg iced the game with a powerful cross-court kill from the left side.

“Hart has greatly improved since the last time we played them, so give them all the credit,” Nua said.

Both teams will be at home on Tuesday as Hart faces Golden Valley, and Saugus plays West Ranch.

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