By Riley Segal
Photo by Thomas Forman
The girls’ volleyball team defeated San Gabriel in three sets with scores of 26-24, 25-16, and 25-15 at home on Thursday, September 15. This game against the Matadors concludes the Tigers’ preseason, which South Pas finished with a 2-4 record. After a shaky first set, the Tigers gathered themselves and dominated for the remainder of the match.
The first point of the set was awarded to South Pas after San Gabriel served the ball out, but the Matadors soon got their own point in the same manner. Both teams remained even for a majority of the set as San Gabriel was able to take advantage of Tiger errors and sneak aces past the South Pas defense. The Tigers, however, refused to let their mistakes get the better of them, and responded with many powerful kills from senior Molly Feldmeth, as well as a few from senior Amelia De Young and sophomore Kimi Brown. South Pas continued to fight, and managed to come out on top, winning the set narrowly 26-24. A majority of the Matadors points came from Tiger errors and tips that caught South Pas off guard.
A block from Brown quickly gave the Tigers the lead in the second set. Junior Maddie Saito’s kill ushered in a twelve point streak, fueled by aces and kills from Feldmeth and a block from junior Harper Fox to put the score at 16-5. San Gabriel struggled to recover from the onslaught of offensive attacks from South Pas. Senior Maddy Hirano also kept the Matadors from scoring with several digs and a few diving saves. Hirano also set up many of Feldmeth’s kills. The large lead allowed Tiger coach Shari Iwatani to put in players that normally do not get much playing time. Junior Veronica Pallares earned an ace, while junior Viviana Maradiaga made diving saves to put South Pas in scoring position. Two consecutive kills from Saito and Feldmeth ended the set at 25-16.
The Tigers controlled the third set as well, quickly jumping in front due to Feldmeth kills, a Saito tip, and a Brown ace. Similarly to the second set, San Gabriel was unable to catch up to South Pas’ steadily increasing lead. Aces from Hirano and Maradiaga further distanced the Tigers, and junior Sophia Benzoni contributed kills as well. The Matadors managed to gain a final point off of an awry South Pas hit, but kills from Benzoni, Feldmeth, and Saito soon followed to conclude the match at 25-15.
“We worked together and had a lot of energy this game, and we also played like we had nothing to lose,” Hirano said. “We’re expecting a win from our first league game. We have worked so hard and I think that will really show in our first league match.”
League begins for the Tigers on Thursday, September 22 in an away matchup against Blair. South Pas looks to gain an early Rio Hondo victory to put its league record at 1-0 and overall record at 3-4.