When the La Cañada High girls’ volleyball team traveled north to take on Arroyo Grande in the second round of the CIF Southern Section Division II-AA playoffs Thursday night, the Eagles seemed to have a number of advantages in their favor – a higher seed, homecourt advantage and a bye through the first round.
The latter might not have helped Arroyo Grande too much after all, as Spartans Coach Brock Turner said he thought the Eagles looked a bit rusty in the first game after not playing a match for a week.
A win in the opening game proved to be a huge advantage for La Cañada, as even though the Eagles were able to tie the match with a second-game win, the Spartans finished strong on the road for a 25-10, 19-25, 25-17, 25-22 victory.
The Spartans (18-11), who were led by 23 kills from Kendall Walbrecht and 13 kills from Micaela Anderson, will next meet Oaks Christian at home at 7 p.m. on Saturday in the quarterfinal round.
“We came out and served well, we passed well, we did just about everything well,” Turner said of his team’s quick first-game victory. “In the second game, the other team picked it up.
“You could see some tentativeness [in Arroyo Grande] in the first set, but they picked it up in the second and they actually played well.”
La Cañada, which defeated Paramount in three games to open the playoffs on Tuesday night, made sure Arroyo Grande (25-7) didn’t carry its momentum over into the third game.
“I was real proud of our team coming back in the third game,” Turner said. “In the fourth game we came out strong.
“They just kind of came out, took tough serves.”
The Spartans were up, 22-19, late in the fourth game before Arroyo Grande came back to tie it at 22. La Cañada followed a timeout with three straight points, as Taylor Page served out the match for the Spartans.
La Cañada got 11 kills from Katie Pierce and 22 digs from Loren Shin.