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Spartans volleyball puts Tigers away early

Volleyball: La Cañada girls increase Rio Hondo League title chances with four-game win over South Pasadena.

October 16, 2012|By Andrew Shortall, andrew.shortall@latimes.com
  • La Cañada High outside hitter Micaela Anderson, left, goes for a kill against South Pasadena's Jessica Arroyo, center, and Claire Kieffer-Wright. Anderson had a match-high 22 kills in the four-game win over South Pasadena Tuesday.
La Cañada High outside hitter Micaela Anderson,… (Cheryl A. Guerrero/Staff…)

LA CAÑADA FLINTRIDGE — After the roller-coaster, five-game thriller that took place the last time the La Cañada and South Pasadena high girls' volleyball teams met, both sides expected a tightly-contested battle knowing full well a Rio Hondo League championship could hang in the balance.

It was a strong start for the Spartans, who had seniors Micaela Anderson and Katie Pierce back in the lineup this time around, that put the Tigers in a two-game hole and proved too daunting to overcome in a 25-13, 25-16, 29-31, 25-17 La Cañada victory at home.

"We just weren't going to take them lightly," said Anderson, who finished with a match-high 22 kills and five blocks and saw fellow outside hitter Kendall Walbrecht finish with 21 kills. "We knew we had to work hard because we knew they were going to come out fired up. It was basically for a league title."

The victory gives the Spartans (10-8, 6-0 in league) a two-game lead over the Tigers (9-3, 4-2 in league) in the Rio Hondo standings more than halfway through the league season. La Cañada will need to win two of its final four matches against Monrovia, Blair, San Marino and Temple City to wrap up a share of its 10th straight league crown and 22nd overall.

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Tuesday was a far cry from the 25-22, 21-25, 25-14, 19-25, 16-14 nailbiter La Cañada eked out at South Pasadena Sept. 27 with Anderson and Pierce out with injuries.

"I did expect a tight match," South Pasadena Coach Ben Diaz said. "In my eyes, I feel like every game we can win. I don't coach to lose. If they don't do what they have to do, if they're not disciplined they're not going to win, it doesn't matter who you play.

"My core didn't come out to play. ... They're not very mature yet, they don't know how to play in tight games and that's something they have to learn."

The Tigers managed to keep the first two games close early on, but never really got rolling until the third frame, which they opened with a 6-1 run. The Tigers increased their advantage to six, 19-13, before the Spartans pulled back into contention with a 6-1 run and eventually took their first lead of the game, 24-23, on another 4-0 charge.

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