Dinh turns in big performance for Marlboro

Dinh turns in big performance for Marlboro

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Dinh turns in big performance for Marlboro

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MARLBORO

At 5-foot-2 and 95 pounds, Teresa Dinh was one of the smallest players on the volleyball court Wednesday.

However, the Marlboro sophomore setter came up big when the Mustangs needed her to against Colts Neck.

Dinh provided several clutch serves down the stretch in the second game. The unbeaten Mustangs won 25-16 to clinch the Shore Conference Class A North match.

Dinh’s two straight aces put the winners up 23-16. Marlboro scored off a Dinh serve for a 24-16 lead. Dinh capped the match with an ace, pushing the Mustangs to 8-0 overall, including 7-0 in Class A North.

“I hadn’t been getting my serve over,” Dinh said after serving five aces, “but I guess I did well today. I worked on my serve in practice. I worked on getting it over the net.”

Dinh then broke into a giggle, stating, “I call my serve ‘the over the net serve.’ I was kind of nervous as my serve had not been going over the net, but I liked it today.”

Coach Margie McNamara said she worked with Dinh on her serve Tuesday in practice.

“Either Teresa doesn’t get the ball over or she gets an ace,” said McNamara, whose team won the first game 25-17. “It so happened she chose the right time for ace serves. (The Cougars) were creeping up on us.”

“Our weakness is our service receive game,” Colts Neck coach Glenn Jansen said. “As good as we are on defense, we forget what to do on service receive.”

Dinh, who had 15 assists, is best known for her setting prowess.

“We worked on her serve more than her setting,” McNamara said. “When she hits bad serves, she gets down on herself. Practice paid off in the second game.”

Dinh is in her first year on the Marlboro varsity. She spent last year at Freehold, where she was the junior varsity setter. She was enrolled in the Medical Science Learning Center program.

“I did not like the program,” she said. “It wasn’t for me. I’m just taking normal high school classes now. Playing here is real fun. Everyone is real nice.”

Marlboro received a big effort from senior outside hitter Haley Unger. Bound for the United States Naval Academy, Unger blasted home 10 kills in 12 attempts, added two blocks, scrapped four digs and served three aces. She was 6-for-6 on kills in the first game.

“It’s fun to watch her hit the ball,” Dinh said. “She likes it high as she is tall (5-11).”

“You don’t get a hit unless there is awesome passing from (junior Brianna) Scotti and sets from Dinh,” Unger said.

Unger and senior opposite-setter Sydney Tuman are the Mustangs’ captains.

“Everyone relies on each other,” Tuman said after having putting three kills, two digs and one ace. “Even when there is a lot of pressure on us, nobody gets nervous.”

“I definitely attribute our success to team chemistry,” Unger said. “Our chemistry speaks to how well we work together. We work hard in practice. This is a young team. The season could have been rocky. We use a 5-1 alignment, which puts a lot of pressure on our setter. We go out on the court thinking our season depends on every game.”

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