Boys’ volleyball continues strong preseason run against San Gabriel Academy

By Ryan Nakamura

Staff Writer

Boys volleyball extended its preseason win record to seven, after a three set victory at home against San Gabriel Academy last Thursday, March 17, 2016. South Pas claimed a 25-7 statement win in the first set and closed out the day with the last two sets at 25-21 and 25-23.

Six points for South Pas were tallied up before San Gabriel Academy could respond back. Senior Greg Luck displayed his height dominance against the Eagles with a lockdown block to set the score at 10-2 and force an SGA timeout. Junior Matt Scholtz would counter the Eagles’ timeout with an ace to increase the Tiger deficit over the visiting team. South Pas showed no signs of slowing down and expanded the lead to 20-5. Four saves by the Eagles defense garnered an applause from the crowd but it wouldn’t make any difference for San Gabriel Academy. The Tigers would close out the set with an ace to set the final score at 25-7.

Heading into the second set, the Tigers began to face a mental lapse on defense. San Gabriel Academy began to show its offensive prowess with kills and spikes slipping through South Pas dig attempts. Junior Gunther Vaden contributed valuable minutes in the set with a kill straight down the other side of the net, but the Tigers still had trouble giving up points on defense. Down 16-13, coach Ben Diaz called a timeout to reform the Tigers’ game plan. Both teams went back and forth on the scoreboard, with Luck sending a powerful kill into the Eagles backcourt, only to be responded by an error on the Tigers defense. After an SGA error, the Tigers slowly took the lead with a 3-0 run before the Eagles could respond. South Pas would maintain its lead and complete the set with a 25-23 victory.

San Gabriel Academy was determined to take the initiative early in the third set. The Eagles quickly amassed a 7-4 lead until a 3-0 run by South Pas tied the game. Luck would set up for a kill and give the Tigers its first lead in the set, followed by a well timed block from Scholtz. Senior Matthew Ng scored two aces to gain an advantage over SGA. Desperate to score, the Eagles began a scoring frenzy to put the scoreboard at 22-20 with the Tigers down. Coach Diz would call another timeout to settle the players and reform their strategy. Luck would lead the Tigers coming back from the time out. An authoritative kill by Luck would energize South Pas and crawl back on the scoreboard at 24-23. Luck would force an Eagles error after a huge spike to seal the Tigers victory at 25-23.

“The other team was not ready for what we had in the first set but in the second they were more prepared,” Ng said. “We had a little trouble putting away the ball in the 2nd and 3rd but once we got on a run we were able to take the lead.”

The team’s next game will be apart of the Dos Pueblos Tournament at UCSB on Saturday, March 19.