Boys’ volleyball falls 3-2 to Cathedral, suffers first home loss in two years

By Ryan Nakamura

Staff Writer

Photos by Thomas Forman

South Pasadena volleyball dealt with a frustrating setback after falling at home to Cathedral High School in five sets last Tuesday, March 8. The Tigers managed to claim the first set with a score of 25-23, but could not complete the second and third set in which they lost both by 25-16. South Pas managed to come back from its sloppy performance in the second and third sets with a 28-26 win in the fourth. In the fifth and final set, however, the Tigers faltered late in the matchup to hand Cathedral the 15-13 win.

Senior Greg Luck immediately set the tempo of the game for South Pas in the first set. Strong spikes by Luck kept the score between the opposing team relatively close against the Cathedral Phantoms who mainly scored by forcing Tiger errors. Junior Gunther Vaden and Luck locked down a Cathedral player with solid blocking to intensify South Pas and gain the lead over the visiting team. The Phantoms managed a couple trick kills later on, but their numerous errors gave the Tigers a crucial lead late in the period, with junior Matt Scholtz closing the first set with a kill in the Cathedral backcourt and winning 25-23.


The game flow of the second set was similar to the first, with Luck attempting multiple spikes against the Phantoms. The outcome was different as determined defense from Cathedral countered Tiger attacks. The Phantoms thus forced the Tigers to play defensively and completed an 8-0 run through consistent defensive pressure. Although South Pas desperately tried to make a comeback, the deficit was too much to handle for the Tigers who fell 25-16.


South Pas still did not have an answer to the Phantoms stout digging. Sloppy control of the ball such as hits out of bounds and trouble in digging costed the Tigers heavily. The third set concluded with a score of 25-16 in favor of Cathedral.

The Tigers came back in force during the fourth set to catch up the Phantoms who were leading the sets 2-1. Luck serviced the ball for a spike and South Pasadena’s first point of the important set. A block by Scholtz the next possession energized the previously troubled South Pas offense to stay close with Cathedral. A clutch dig by seniors Scott Kawakami and Alex Nakagawa allowed the Tigers to claim their first lead of the set. A block by senior Matthew Ng and Vaden allowed South Pas to stay one point in the lead with Luck power slamming a kill for the Tigers to take the fourth quarter by a score of 28-26.


The Phantom’s would draw first blood against South Pas. Additional Tiger errors once again allowed Cathedral to capitalize and build a lead. However, Luck and Vaden dragged the Tigers back with an unchallenged 3-0 streak to put South Pas behind by two points at 11-13. From here, both sides attempted to land the decisive blow, but it would be Cathedral who would win the day with a final score of 15-13.

This marks the first home loss for the team since the 2013-2014 season, when the Tigers fell to Cathedral with a set score of 3-2 in align with today’s outcome.

The Tigers hope to bounce back from the loss to preseason with a victory against Santa Fe High School, away, on March 11.