Story by: Zoe Chen
Photo by: Shin-Hye (Rachel) Choi
The South Pasadena Tigers played the La Cañada Spartans in a home game on Sept. 20. Following the Blackout theme, Tiger supporters dressed in black to support the team. The Tigers won the first set but lost the second. An extremely close third set went to La Canada, and with a Tiger loss in the fourth set, La Canada won the match 1-3.
A serve from senior opposite hitter Ingrid Zahn gained South Pasadena the first point of the first set, and another serve by senior setter Kendall Taylor brought the score to 5-3. Despite the Tigers’ slight lead, Spartan blocks gained La Canada numerous points, and the score was soon tied at 7-7. After a serve by Zahn went down on La Cañada’s court, bringing the score to 12-8, the Spartans called a time out.
South Pasadena’s lead was maintained throughout the rest of the set, with La Cañada falling further and further behind. A tip by senior middle blocker Maggie Hunter brought the score to 14-9, and a kill by senior outside hitter Jenna Garner gained the Tigers another point. Tiger kills and out-of-bounds Spartan blocks earned the Tigers the rest of the points they needed to win the set. When a Spartan pass went into the net, the Tigers won the set 25-15.
“I think especially in the first set our energy was really good and we were playing really well as a team,” Hunter said. “The first set was the best we’ve ever played against La Cañada, so I would say I’m very proud of us.”
The first five points of set two went to La Cañada, as aggressive Spartan kills led the Tigers to hit the ball out of bounds. A block by the Tigers gained them their first point 1-5, but as South Pasadena’s passes and hits landed out, the Spartans kept an imposing eight-point lead. The Tigers gained a few points from Spartan outs, but a kill from the Spartans brought the score to 7-13.
Players returned to the court after a time out from the Tigers. However, numerous Spartan kills were downed on the Tigers’ court, and Tiger blocks hit out of bounds kept the Tigers behind 10-20. The final kill from La Cañada went down on South Pasadena’s court, and the Tigers lost the second set, 11-25.
The Tigers developed a respectable lead as set 3 began. Two consecutive Tiger blocks gained the Tigers the first two points of the match, and a kill by Garner brought the score to 3-1. A second kill by Zahn and a serve by senior outside hitter Helena Foord brought the score to 8-4. However, La Cañada began to catch up with hits, and the teams tied at 10-10 when a Spartan set landed in-bounds on the Tiger court.
The teams stayed neck and neck for the remainder of the set. A kill by Zahn flew over the net and landed deceptively in-bounds, gaining the Tigers a point. However, the Spartans responded with a similar kill and the teams tied at 17-17. Each time a team gained a point, the other caught up in a succeeding rally. After a long rally full of great saves by Zahn and Foord, among others, the ball was hit out by the Tigers and the scoreboard read 19-18. A kill by Garner gained the Tigers another point. As each team neared 25, time outs were called by both coaches.
The teams’ scores stayed less than a point off, causing the set to go past 25. At 24-24, a La Cañada serve was hit in the net, and the Tigers needed only one point to win. As the ball went down on the Tigers, the teams tied at 25-25. The Spartans gained a point when the Tigers tipped the ball out, bringing the score to 25-26, and when a final Spartan kill was missed by the Tigers, La Cañada won the set 25-27.
A kill by Zahn gained the Tigers the first point of the fourth set. Despite this, the Spartans steadily gained points with blocks and managed to pull ahead 3-8. The Tigers called a time out, but the Spartains remained in the lead. A save by Foord brought the Tigers’ score to 8-11, but the Spartans’ point lead made it difficult for the Tigers to catch up. At 16-19, despite a save by Foord, the Tigers hit the ball out. La Cañada’s blocks continued to gain them points, and at 19-24, after a Spartan spike went down on the Tigers, the Tigers lost the set 19-25 and the match 1-3.
The Tigers will play the Monrovia Wildcats at a home game on Tuesday, Sept. 26 at 5:30 p.m.