Girls’ volleyball defends league title to highlight another notable year

By Riley Segal

Staff Writer

The girls’ volleyball team met the high expectations set from previous seasons, earning the league title for the third consecutive year. The Tigers earned a league record of 9-1, and South Pas’ overall record was 21-4. The squad fought its way to the second round of CIF playoffs, where their season came to a close with a three set loss to Westridge on the road.

The Tigers fell by scores of 17-25, 25-27, and 16-25, to conclude their CIF run. South Pas fought until the end, fueled by juniors Molly Feldmeth and Kate Kutzer aiding the Tiger attack with strong kills. Seniors Taleen Mitchell, who played through an injury, and Katie Sokolow added to the offensive power as well, garnering more points for South Pas. Junior Maddy Hirano led the defensive effort, contributing diving saves and solid digs. Unfortunately, Westridge was able to block many of South Pas’ offensive efforts and return the attack with constant, powerful hits, and ultimately emerged victorious.

“It was really disappointing to lose to [Westridge] in three sets. Although I don’t feel that we showed our true potential, I’m happy with some of the rallies that took place,” Feldmeth said. “We worked hard, but Westridge was the better team. We’re going to use that to fight even harder next year.”

The Tigers dominated throughout their entire season, despite falling to San Marino in league and Westridge conclusively in CIF. The team had many high notes, such as the sweeping of La Salle, a Division I team, in three sets during preseason and earning their spot as the league champions. South Pas was a force to be reckoned with in non-league play, losing only to Mayfield and Santiago.

Feldmeth and Kutzer have consistently been the top scorers throughout the season, while Hirano has been the backbone of the Tiger defense. Mitchell was frequently a key player as well, on both offense and defense. She and Sokolow were both strong players for South Pas who will be hard to replace in the upcoming fall. However, the Tigers are positive that they will continue to find success in next year’s season.

“We’re going to miss our seniors next year, but I know we’re still able to be top contenders,” Hirano said. “Next year I want to go even further in our season, but more importantly to keep our positive team vibe. I’m really going to miss this season, as it’s been my
most memorable.”