Story by Zoe Schlaak
Photos by Katelyn Hernandez
Video by Alex Parra
Webmaster & Videographer
Girls varsity volleyball conquered the Linfield Christian Lions in the CIF Division III State Regional Semifinals with three sets on Saturday, Nov. 16. South Pas narrowly lost the first two sets, but rattled off three consecutive wins to advance to the State Regional Finals.
Early on, the Tigers and Lions were tangled in a tightly contested first set. Junior Lola Foord and sophomore Abby Garner contributed strong kills in the first half, but the competition did not waver. South Pas fell short to Linfield in the first set with a 25-21 loss.
The Tigers came back strong in the second set, with help from junior libero Lindsey Hirano’s crucial court-sliding digs and sophomore Alyssa Sokolow’s defensive blocks.
The visitors crept back into the game towards the end of the set, but Foord and sophomore Kennedy Taylor tamed the Lions with multiple kills. At a nail biting 24-24 tie, the packed crowd roared in support of the Tigers, but South Pas fell short with a 26-24 loss.
Down two sets to zero and with its season hanging in the balance, the team fired powerful shots at the Lions, leaping to an early 7-2 score. With strong blocks from junior Carrie Fleming, Linfield couldn’t close the gap between the teams and the Tigers confidently finished the third set with a 25-19 win.
Linfield started strong in the beginning of the set, but couldn’t withstand the Tigers’ relentless hitting. South Pas carried a six-point lead throughout the set.
After a set from junior Katharine Florence, sophomore Abby Garner slammed a perfect spike into the Lion libero’s face and opened the score to 20-12. The Tigers closed out the set, 25-21, to force a fifth and final set.
The gym echoed with thunderous screams and high energy as the fifth set began and the South Pas stars delivered. Foord contributed strong spikes, while Hirano made countless crucial digs, even keeping a ball in play with her outstretched knee. The Tigers began to lose their momentum at the end of the set, but hung on to win the final set, 15-13.
“Today we executed really well as a team and everyone had the same goal in sight. We all worked together and pushed through to advance!” Garner said.
The Tigers will play the Palm Desert Aztecs in CIF Division III State Regional Finals on Tuesday, Nov. 19.