Indians volleyball starts season on strong note

Hart's varsity volleyball team celebrates a point over La Cañada late in the first set during a nonleague game at Hart on Monday, August 21, 2017. Katharine Lotze/The Signal

Hart High girls volleyball jumped and screamed after every point the team scored in its 3-0 sweep of La Canada on Monday evening.

The student section squealed with them. Long rallies ended in dramatic kills or Spartan mistakes. The first game was a marathon that ended in a 31-29 score.

And it’s only the first match of preleague play.

“It’s been a long time for the first opener to be exciting for us,” said Hart coach Mary Irilian.

La Canada kept Game 1 close and only allowed the Indians to lead by at most four points. It wasn’t until senior Ashley Cosey executed a kill that tied the score 29-29 that Hart was able to get the boost that it needed to finish out the game.

“At that point I just wanted to hit the ball as hard as I could straight down,” Cosey said of her kill. “I executed it, and I just made sure to get that point so we don’t have to go through full rallies and get tired.”

Irilian credited Cosey’s aggressiveness, but also noted that her performance couldn’t be possible without sophomore setter Allison Witherspoon.

Hart’s Ashley Cosey (11) goes for a kill over La Cañada’s Chloe Kerstein (13) during a nonleague game at Hart on Monday, August 21, 2017. Katharine Lotze/The Signal

“Having a young setter with a senior hitter, the difficulty has been them connecting,” Irilian said.
“So tonight was the first time we all witnessed more connection, and again, if you put the ball to Ashley in a good zone where it should be, she’s going to put it down.”

The Indians played confidently the rest of the night, winning Game 2, 25-19, and Game 3, 25-20. The Spartans were able to knot the score in the second game, but couldn’t keep up in the third.

Cosey led the team with 15 kills, followed by Megan Soto with 10 and Delaney Gibbs with six.

“I knew that there were a lot of people watching, and my team, we really want this because it’s a good way to start our preseason with a win,” Soto, a sophomore, said. “So all I wanted to do was get kill after kill.”

Witherspoon had 24 assists and Makenna Fall had 15 digs.

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