Boys’ volleyball earns first place tie in RHL against La Cañada

By Ryan Nakamura

Staff Writer

The boys’ varsity volleyball team tied for first place in Rio Hondo League after a four set victory at La Cañada High School last Thursday, April 21. South Pas secured the first two sets with scores of 25-22 and 25-18 but faltered in the third set by a score of 27-25. The Tigers returned in the fourth set to narrowly win with a final score of 28-26.

La Cañada had been the only team the Tigers lost to in league after the Spartans won a 3-1 game the previous matchup. South Pas was determined not to make the same mistakes twice.

The Tiger’s first point of the game came from senior Matthew Ng who spiked the ball over the Spartan defenders. Senior Greg Luck would follow up with an ace to fuel the Tiger’s offense. Senior Max Luck would make his debut on the court after recovery from his leg injury to help tie the game at 6-6 with a block alongside junior Gunther Vaden. From here, both teams managed to produce points against each other, keeping the score fairly close. La Cañada would pull away with a 3-0 run to settle the score at 15-12 the following possessions. South Pas would make a comeback with the help of a G. Luck ace to tie the score up at 18-18. Three consecutive errors from La Cañada would help the Tigers even the score at 22-21. Junior Matt Scholtz and Vaden would block a Spartan hitter to close the set with a score of 25-22.

“Being my first game back and winning it is honestly a dream come true for me,” M. Luck said. “I haven’t been playing for a while and being back out on the court is a great feeling for me.”

Coming back into the second set, South Pas immediately took the initiative on the court. G. Luck chalked up two back to back kills for a 4-1 lead on the scoreboard. The Tigers’ lead was extended to 8-3, forcing a Spartan timeout. This would have no effect on South Pas as the Tigers would maintain their intensity to set the score to 17-9. G. Luck would provide quality minutes on the court to help close out the second set by a score of 25-18.

La Cañada looked to attain their first win of the match in the third set. The Spartans managed to stay neck-and-neck on the scoreboard at 8-8. South Pas countered with a clutch dig by Ng, eventually leading to a G. Luck kill for a score of 14-11. From here the set began to look like a replay of the first set. Points went back and forth on the board until the score was tied at 24-24. South Pas would not be able to capitalize on the situation as tough calls from the officials set the score to 27-25, giving the Spartans their first win of the matchup.

The fourth set was kicked off with a South Pas 7-3 lead opening the game. La Cañada countered back with a 5-0 run of their own to even the score at 12-12, making it anyone’s game. Points between the two teams went back and forth, eventually reaching 20-20. The Spartans managed to gain the upper hand with two crucial kills on the Tiger’s backcourt, giving La Cañada the advantage with a score of 23-21. A clutch performance from the South Pasadena offense tied the game up again at 24-24. South Pas would cap off the game with a stellar performance from both Luck brothers to settle the score at 28-26.

“We knew it was going to be a close match and the third set they were fighting to stay in the game,” M. Luck added. “ We knew we could get it done and in the fourth set we knew we weren’t about to lose again.”

South Pas looks to win its sixth game in league against San Marino High School in the Tiger’s final home game of the season on Tuesday, April 26.