By Marion Wood
Photos by Jenny Luo
The South Pasadena High School girls’ volleyball team clinched the league title on Thursday, October 30, in three quick sets against Blair High School. The game, which was also senior night, is the Tigers’ last home game of the season.
The Tigers garnered a significant lead early in the match, and controlled the ball for the majority of the first set, which ended with a score of 25-6. In the second set, the Tigers dominated once again, keeping the Vikings only one point, putting up a score of 25-1.
Given the lead, the South Pas coach had room to experiment with new players and rotations. Sophomore Maddie Hirano, the Tiger libero, replaced sophomore Molly Feldmeth as setter in the third game, and senior Irene Siao, a defensive specialist, was outstanding as a right side hitter throughout the match. Many of the girls also practiced their topspin serves; highlight service streaks came from sophomores Kate Kutzer and Ellie Kutzer.
Despite the adjustments, the third set continued much like the first two. The Vikings received their first point at 15-1, and gradually gained five more to bring the score to 25-6, ending the match.
Since it was the last home game of the season, the graduating seniors were also honored with gifts, posters, and balloons, as is tradition on senior night. The four seniors are Shanovi Bass, Rowan Leddy, Siao, and captain Sophia Hathaway. Their presence on both sides of the ball will be sorely missed in upcoming years.
“The team is really going to miss the seniors next year, as players and as friends,” sophomore Ellie Kutzer said.
The team is now looking ahead with high hopes toward CIF- their next game is on November 11th.
“We’re trying not to think too much about CIF. We’ve basically had the same mentality throughout the whole season and that’s really worked for us. We’re just working to sustain that,” Hathaway said. “That being said, we really would like to go all the way.”
To help improve their CIF rankings, the Tigers are competing in the Crescenta Valley tournament this Friday and Saturday. Then, next week, the team has their final league game on the road against Temple City on November 4 at 3:30 pm. They will be looking to complete their undefeated run in league with a ninth win, and improve their overall record to 14-5.