The boy’s varsity volleyball team won its fourth game in Rio Hondo League against Gabrielino High School at home on Tuesday, April 19 in four sets. The Tigers grabbed an advantage over the Eagles with a 25-19 first set victory, but faltered in the second set by a score of 25-23. South Pas managed to close out the final two sets with scores of 25-18 and 25-15, defeating the Gabrielino Eagles 3-1.
South Pas displayed a dominating performance in the opening plays of the game. An impressive save by senior libero Alex Nakagawa allowed the Tigers to jump to an 8-0 start before the Eagles could chalk up a point. Gabrielino would eventually tally up its next several points of the game through three South Pas errors. Senior offensive weapon Greg Luck countered with an authoritative kill to maintain the Tigers’ intensity on the court. Junior Gunther Vaden extended the team’s lead to 16-10 after a skillful ace against the Eagles backcourt defense. From here, South Pas closed out the set with the help of three kills by Luck to finish set at 25-19.
The second set began with the Tigers taking another quick lead, with junior Lucas Fox scoring a kill of his own for the scoreboard at 5-1. The Eagles began to make headway of their own by taking advantage of the South Pas errors to tie the game at 7-7. Gabrielino managed to pull ahead of the home team with a score of 16-13, forcing coach Ben Diaz to call a timeout and reform the team’s strategy. This would have little effect as the Eagles would put up an ace coming back into the set. Junior Matt Scholtz ended the Tigers’ scoring drought with a kill to put the score at 17-14, with South Pas down. This play would allow South Pas to mount a comeback and close the gap at 21-20. Luck would help South Pas tie the game at 23-23, but it wouldn’t have any effect as two Gabrielino kills would close the set at 25-23.
South Pas returned in the third set with a 7-5 lead over the Eagles. Sophomore Cole Schroeder scored a trick kill which confused the Eagles blocker the following possession. This kill would fuel the Tiger offense and allow South Pas to rack up a quick lead over Gabrielino. Two aces by Vaden would set the score at 14-6 and seal the Eagles fate. South Pas showed no signs of slowing down and won the set by a score of 25-18.
Heading into the fourth set, South Pas made quick work in establishing another decisive lead over Gabrielino. Junior Joseph Bu scored an ace to set the score at 8-3, followed by a stellar performance from Luck on offense. With the score at 17-11, the Eagles called a timeout to try and regroup but to no avail. South Pas held the lead the rest of the match and closed out the set with a score of 25-15.
“[In the second set] we eased up and weren’t focused on the game since we were giving up easy balls,” Senior Matthew Ng said. “In the 3rd and 4th set, we played as a team and were determined to win.”
The Tigers look to tie for first place against La Canada High School away on Thursday, April 19. La Cañada undefeated in league while South Pas currently holds a 4-1 record.