By Riley Segal
Photos by Tucker Judkins
Online Managing Editor
The girls’ volleyball team narrowly bested Temple City at home in five sets with scores of 32-30, 25-21, 24-26, 6-25, and 15-9 on Tuesday, September 27. This win brings the Tigers’ league record to 2-0 and overall record to 4-4. While South Pas clinched the first two sets, the Rams took the second two, crushing the Tigers in the fourth set. However, South Pas was able to snatch the victory in the fifth and final set.
The first set opened with a Temple City error, though the Rams soon followed with a kill. Temple City began to slowly inch ahead off of kills and awry South Pas balls. However, kills from senior Molly Feldmeth, juniors Maddie Saito and Harper Fox, and sophomore Kimi Brown helped tie the two teams at 7-7. Temple City again jumped in front until the Tigers were down 17-23, until Saito had a kill that allowed the momentum of the game to shift. Feldmeth contributed kills, an ace, and a tip to rally South Pas, and a Saito kill tied the Tigers and the Rams at 23-23. The remainder of the first set was even between both teams, staying within one point of each other and surpassing 25 points. A Temple City kill put the score at 29-30, but a Ram ball that went out of bounds tied the score. A Feldmeth kill followed, and another Temple City hit out gave the Tigers the first set at 32-30.
The second set began with a South Pas error, as a player had stepped over the line. Two Ram kills put Temple City in front, but a Tiger kill followed by two consecutive aces from junior Lily Turner-Kipke kept the points even. South Pas eventually pulled ahead, fueled by strong offense and Temple City errors. Senior Maddy Hirano was also able to provide solid defense against many of the Rams’ powerful hits. A kill from Fox followed by a tip from junior Sophia Benzoni ended the second set at 25-21.
The Rams garnered the first point of the third set off of a South Pas error that accidentally touched the net. However, Saito responded with a kill. Again, both teams remained fairly even. In this set, the Tigers were the ones to pull ahead with a small lead, aided by several kills from Feldmeth and Saito, as well as saves from Hirano. Temple City was eventually able to catch up, and, similarly to the first set, the two squads stayed close in score. After several rallies, off of a string of errors and kills from both schools, the Rams managed to snatch the win after a block and an out-of-bounds South Pas hit to finish with a score of 24-26.
Temple City came into the fourth set determined to make it to the fifth. Feldmeth opened the set with an ace, the only point her team would earn for fifteen more points.The Rams took the Tigers by surprise, and completely crushed South Pas with an onslaught of constant kills. The Tigers also gave up many points due to unforced errors. Feldmeth had a kill and Saito had an ace to finally break the Rams’ streak of points. Many of South Pas’ hits were blocked by Temple City as well. An unrecovered dig on the Tigers’ side of the court ended the fourth set at 6-25.
South Pas came back into the fifth set with renewed vigor, and immediately took a lead off a an out-of-bounds Temple City block and an ace from Feldmeth. While the Rams attempted to stay close, kills from Benzoni, Feldmeth, and Saito pushed the Tigers forward. Hirano was able to dig a majority of the powerful hits directed her way as well. A strategic set over the net by Saito concluded the match at 15-9.
“After the fourth set we realized what was at stake, which are a league title and a CIF spot, so we really came together as a team to get the job done,” Feldmeth said. “I think we were intimidated and not playing as a team in the games we lost, but in the tight games we won we made some unforced errors due to a lack of communication, which could have been fixed.”
The Tigers next square off against rival San Marino in an away league matchup on Thursday, September 29. South Pas looks to defeat the Titans to put its league record at 3-0 and overall record at 5-4.
Molly Feldmeth: 22 kills, 3 aces, 2 blocks, 10 digs
Maddie Saito: 16 kills, 1 ace, 1 block, 10 digs
Harper Fox: 8 kills
Megan Wong: 2 aces, 15 digs
Lily Turner-Kipke: 2 aces
Maddy Hirano: 27 digs