By Bryanna Winner
For The Signal
During the last Foothill League game of the season, Hart volleyball came out strong and swept West Ranch in three games, 27-25, 25-22, and 25-17.
It was a well-balanced match with each team going point-for-point on multiple occasions. In the end, the Indians took control and finished strong at home.
The last time the two teams met on Sept. 26, it was the other way around as the Wildcats (19-4 overall, 9-1 in Foothill League) swept the Indians (12-5, 9-1) in three. The Indians made adjustments to their game this time around to break the Wildcats’ undefeated league streak.
“We changed our lineup in the first game to maximize Ruby (Duncan) hitting against a different blocker, so that helped us offensively,” Hart head coach Mary Irilian said. “We also worked on the mental side of the game, having them learn to compose themselves in pressure situations.”
West Ranch coach Jamey Ker noticed the changes immediately and tried to get the team to adjust to Hart’s style.
“They made some really good modifications, so kudos to them for making those modifications and playing a very good match. They were running a faster set to some of their attackers which messed us up a little bit. They started a different rotation which helped them quite a bit. We tried to modify ours as well but it came down to the quality of touch on the volleyball. ”
Wildcats senior Allison Jacobs believed that it came down to the adjustments the Indians made and who had more passion to come out with a win.
“They had the home court advantage, Ruby Duncan played better than she did before, which was different. We had to adjust our blocking big time, which I think we did, and it came down to who had the bigger passion and Hart pulled it out this time.”
Duncan, a senior, thought it was her team’s mentality and aggressiveness that got them the win.
“The mentality was just to go relentless and aggressive at all costs and if we found it within ourselves the motivation. If it was to tie for first and go league champions for three years in a row or it was to break their undefeated streak, it was just to go in aggressive.”
Duncan had four blocks and 15 kills and senior Megan Soto followed behind with 12 kills, three aces, and 12 digs. Sophomore Kylie Tengberg had 10 kills, senior Lina Elsee had 23 digs and senior Grace Eck had 22 assists.
Jacobs led both teams with 24 kills, junior Erin Eskoff had 23 assists, sophomore Kaitlyn Jizmejian had 10 digs and senior Olivia Hoffman had two aces.
The CIF-Southern Section will release the playoff pairings on Saturday at noon.