Written by Matt Wakumoto
Assoc. Sports Editor
Photos by Hana Tyszka
Boys’ varsity volleyball opened league play with a dominant three set sweep against the reigning champions, the La Cañada Spartans, on Thursday, March 23. The team dispatched the Spartans effortlessly, and in the process established solid footing in Rio Hondo. South Pasadena silenced La Cañada’s initially rowdy gym with deafening reception and control by the net.
After falling behind by five points in the first set, South Pas displayed its resilience as the boys clawed its way back into the game with gritty rallies and stellar blocking. As has become routine for the Tigers, seniors Matt Scholtz and Gunther Vaden pummeled their unprepared opponents with vicious spikes and all encompassing leadership. Junior Cole Schroeder was an integral part of South Pas’ offense, with many beautiful sets that kept South Pas’ experienced players spiking aggressively. The boys’ comeback in the first set gave South Pas the stability and confidence it needed to fully utilize its arsenal of talent. The Tigers returned in the second set with a resounding 25-12 victory. With its offense running smoothly and its players feeling comfortable, the team drowned all Spartan hopes of contention.
The Tigers’ third set served as a fitting summation to the short game. The team fought the surging Spartans while again displaying its evident superiority. The team overcame blocking La Cañada players, with strong rallies and timely spikes. Senior Max Amido finished the game with a booming ace, which subsequently secured a significant South Pasadena win.
“We started off slow but got into our groove quick to win the game in three sets,” Amido said. “Our performance today shows great promise that we have the capability to do big things in league and anything that comes after that.”
The victory served as more than just another win; with the three set sweep, South Pas sent a statement to the league, notifying opponents that the Tigers are hurdling towards a potential league title.
The team will prepare to continue its campaign at home against Gabrielino on Tuesday, March 28.