By Riley Segal
Photos by Matthew Scholtz
The girls’ volleyball team defeated La Salle in an away matchup in three sets with scores of 25-22, 25-23, and 25-16. The Lancers, though a Division 1AA team, weren’t able to handle the Tigers’ attacks that were fueled with energy from the raucous crowd. The Tiger parents combined with the SPHS football team agitated the Lancers, making them commit errors that gave South Pas more points.
The first set opened with a kill from senior Taleen Mitchell, but La Salle pulled ahead. The score remained close, however, and eventually the Tigers were able to take the lead. Strong defense from junior Madison Hirano and senior Katie Sokolow prevented the Lancers from advancing again. Juniors Molly Feldmeth and Kate Kutzer each had a few kills, though most were from Kutzer in this set. Once the Tigers jumped in front after tying at 18-18, the Lancers were not able to catch up before South Pas won with a score of 25-22.
Kutzer started the second set with a kill, which was followed with a kill from Feldmeth. The Tiger lead was soon diminished as La Salle managed to push in front with its own. South Pas soon surpassed the two point deficit and remained in front for the rest of the set, but by a small margin. The Lancers almost tied the set, but were not able to beat the Tiger defense. Feldmeth, Kutzer, and Mitchell had more powerful hits, and the set ended with a Kutzer kill at 25-23.
The third set started fairly similar to the previous two, but the Tigers were able to establish a lead earlier on than before. A South Pas block went out-of-bounds, giving the Lancers a one point lead before a Mitchell kill brought the score to a draw. Sophomore Madison Saito had powerful hits throughout the set, and Feldmeth, Kutzer, and Mitchell continued to excel with their kills. The set ended at 25-16 after a hit from the Lancers went out-of-bounds, followed by an elated roar of Tiger fans.
“This game was unbelievable. It was definitely one of my favorites to play in. ,” Kutzer said. “The support we got was amazing. It really energized our team and elevated our game to the next level.”
The Tigers hope that their high level of play carries into season, and that the energy they brought against La Salle will carry the team far in league.
“We executed our plays really well, and with the football team’s help, our energy really carried us through the game,” Feldmeth said. “This is going to prepare us immensely for league and CIF, and we just need to improve on our defense as [La Salle] was able to find our holes.”
South Pas’ next game is on the road against the Temple City Rams on Thursday, October 1. The Tigers are confident that they will go far in league, especially with the team’s successful preseason debut (7-1) under its belt.