West Ranch volleyball on fire, wins ninth straight over unbeaten Hart 

Kennedy Osunsanmi (22) of West Ranch puts a shot over the net against Hart defenders in the first set Hart High on Thursday, 091423. Dan Watson/The Signal
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West Ranch Wildcats girls’ volleyball won its ninth straight match on Thursday, taking down the also previously unbeaten Hart Indians in four sets.

The Wildcats spoiled Hart’s special night, as former setter Erin Indermill had her jersey retired, becoming the second female athlete in school history to do so. 

West Ranch won the match, 25-23, 25-22, 20-25, 25-19. 

UCLA commit Kennedy Osunsanmi led the Wildcats again with 20 kills while also adding 12 digs, three aces and as many blocks. 

For Cats head coach Jamey Ker, his team’s excellent blocking night roots from the meticulous game planning that has allowed West Ranch to thrive this season. 

“Our blocking has been a big focus this year in general,” Ker said in a phone interview. “The beauty of playing league at the (high school) level is you get the opportunity to scout players and have a strong game plan. This team has been one of the best I’ve ever had with executing a game plan. We’ve been working on putting up a solid block and a pass behind that block.” 

West Ranch added firepower from the end line and served well. The Wildcats tallied 15 aces on the night and kept the pressure high on Hart’s serve receive. 

“I just have a bunch of really good servers on my team. I can’t take too much credit for that,” Ker said. “These girls have done so much work on their serving and it’s showing.” 

Ker was also pleased with sophomore Grace Kelley’s debut in the Foothill League. Kelley, a transfer from Trinity, was on a sit-out period until Tuesday and didn’t disappoint in her first game of action. The middle blocker got dozens of quality touches defensively on the net and finished the match with four kills and a block. Kelley was one of three Wildcats to add four kills. 

Cats setter Dani Clewis finished the night with 30 assists. 

Daniele Clewis (26) of West Ranch returns a shot by Hart in the first set at Hart High on Thursday, 091423. Dan Watson/The Signal

Hart leaned on its own superstar, outside hitter Madison Maxwell. The Long Beach commit knows Ker all too well as her club coach. Ker knows you can’t stop a player like Maxwell, but aimed to slow her down as much as possible. The Wildcats’ passing was solid all-around. Libero Alexandra Seres led the Cats’ defense with 18 digs. 

Maxwell led the Indians with 27 kills while setter Morgan Dumlao added 37 assists.

Joeleen Reynolds (10) of West Ranch and Morgan Dumlao (22) of Hart meet at the net at Hart High on Thursday, 091423. Dan Watson/The Signal

The Wildcats pulled away in two tight sets but weren’t able to secure what would’ve been their fifth straight sweep, as the Indians fired on all cylinders in the third. 

West Ranch settled back in and finished the night in the fourth set. 

Ker’s team rosters six underclassmen and two juniors. The Wildcats’ poise has been one of the biggest but most pleasant surprises of the season. 

“To be honest, I’ve been very surprised by the poise,” Ker said. “I’d like to say I knew exactly what this team was gonna be, but I’d be lying. I knew we had a chance to win, and the talent, but watching the younger and veteran players step up in ways I couldn’t have predicted is awesome.” 

West Ranch is now the last undefeated team in the Foothill League, but Ker knows now isn’t the time to take the foot off of the gas.  

“The girls are feeling a whole lot of confidence and it’s well-earned,” Ker said. “I’ve been here before. I’ve been at West Ranch for seven years and we’ve gotten to the midway point at undefeated but things don’t always finish the way you want. You’ve gotta play everyone again, and they can play you better. This is no time to relax at all. It’s time to keep making adjustments and take this momentum and run with it.” 

Hart will look to rebound on Tuesday when the team travels to Canyon. The Wildcats will search for their 10th straight win on Tuesday at Golden Valley. Both games are slated to start at 5:15 p.m. 

West Ranch teammates celebrate their lead in the first set against Hart at Hart High on Thursday, 091423. Dan Watson/The Signal
Maiah Hi (6) of Hart puts a shot over the net against Daniele Clewis (26) of West Ranch at Hart High on Thursday, 091423. Dan Watson/The Signal
Tahlia Dennis (15) of West Ranch puts up a shot against Hart defender Martina Neveleff (73) at Hart High on Thursday, 091423. Dan Watson/The Signal
Hart regroups in the first set against West Ranch at Hart High on Thursday, 091423. Dan Watson/The Signal

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