Prior to the start of Hart volleyball’s 2018 season, Kylie Mattson had three goals: get the Indians to an undefeated Foothill League season, win the league title and break Hart’s assist record by becoming a more consistent setter.
She accomplished all of those things and then some as she is the 2018 All-SCV volleyball player of the year.
“With all our hard work through the season, I was able to make all my goals a reality,” Mattson said.
The senior broke the 5-year-old record for assists with 687 and was one of three Hart players to break a record this season along with Zoe DiNardo, who set a new single-season kill record and Shelby Grubbs who broke her own single-season block record.
“As a setter, it’s my job to watch the defense and coordinate plays with my offense,” she said. “And with the support of my team and coaches, we were successful throughout the season.”
The Indians swept Saugus on Oct. 11 to complete their undefeated Foothill League season and take the league crown. Hart also conceded their only game loss of the season to the Centurions.
Mattson, who was also named Foothill League Player of the Year, found plenty of motivation from her teammates in addition to the talent from across the league to get to that point.
“We had many great players and teams in our league that made us work hard for our title. That helped us become even more motivated to work harder to become undefeated,” she said.
Riding the momentum of its Foothill League crown, the team went on a lengthy playoff run that ended in the CIF-Southern Section Division 3 quarterfinals with a 3-1 loss to Cypress.
Even though the Indians didn’t win a ring, Mattson still saw the run as a valuable experience.
“I think the biggest thing I learned during our playoffs was that hard work and consistency is the key to winning in games and in life,” she said.
Zoe DiNardo, senior, Hart
In a match against Saugus on Oct. 11, DiNardo set the Hart record for single-season kills with 283. She was also key defensively, especially when it came to blocks, and will be playing in college at Concordia University.
Shelby Grubbs, senior, Hart
Grubbs was one of three record-setting Hart players this season, breaking her own record for blocks in the second round of the CIF-Southern Section Division 3 playoffs against Citrus Valley. She logged 140 blocks for the single-season record. She’ll be headed to California State University, Los Angeles, to continue her volleyball career.
Allison Jacobs, junior, West Ranch
Ever since cracking the starting lineup as a freshman, Jacobs had dazzled. This season was no exception as executed countless of her signature kills to the deep corner, leading the team in that category with 297. The UCLA commit performed well defensively, too, with a team-high 199 digs.
Jordan Nunez, junior, Golden Valley
Nunez was a leader for the Grizzlies both in stats and intangibles. In addition to being a confident leader on the court, Nunez registered 52 kills in 20 sets with a .256 hitting percentage. She was second on the team in terms of digs with 50 and in assists with 55. “She is one of the smartest players, if not the smartest player that I’ve ever coached,” said GV coach Jack Johnson of Nunez during the season.
Kayla Tait, senior, Saugus
Tait, who announced her commitment to Doane University on Dec. 30, was one of the most well-rounded players in the Foothill League. She showed power and strength in multiple statistical categories, despite standing at only 5-foot-5. Tait led the Centurions in kills with 480 and in digs with 501. She ranked second on the team with 52 aces.
Sasha Thomas-Oakley, senior, Canyon
The outside hitter could both get the Cowboys going with her aggressive style of play and put games away with her forceful kills. “She brings that power and I think without her, we wouldn’t be as stable or glued together,” said teammate Kyra Titner of Thomas-Oakley.
Noelle Blumel, senior, Hart
The Indians libero was a huge factor defensively, but also came up big on offense when it came to serving. In Hart’s league championship game against Saugus, Blumel aced three straight serves to help complete the sweep of the Cents.
Sophie Bobal, senior, West Ranch
The Pace University (New York) commit ranked second on the team in kills with 168 and third in blocks with 43. She was also second in digs with 184.
Rhiannon Boddy, senior, Saugus
Boddy paced the Centurions in aces with 63 and was second in digs with 447. She also chipped in the occasional assist, finishing the season with 36.
Ruby Duncan, junior, Hart
Duncan was constantly in double-digits in matches when it came to kills this season after conquering some mental obstacles. “Every single time I set her the ball, whether it’s middle or opposite, I know she can put away the ball and she does almost every time,” Mattson said earlier this season.
Amira Fann, senior, Saugus
Fann logged over half of the Centurions’ blocks this season with 125 in 85 sets played. She also had 26 digs and 79 kills.
Kaelyn White, junior, Valencia
White made the change from setter to outside hitter and had a very smooth transition. She was a constant force in a Valencia team that saw a lot of lineup changes throughout the season.
Canyon: Laska Stanford, senior
Golden Valley: Reinyel Leonidas, junior
Hart: Megan Soto, junior
Saugus: Jessica Nash, senior
SCCS: Megan Dombrowski, senior
Trinity: Hannah Caddow, senior
Valencia: Kendall Thompson, sophomore
West Ranch: Tyler Dobrowsky, senior