Bulldogs sputter in defeat

LA CRESCENTA — After getting swept in its last two matches, perhaps the Crescenta Valley High girls' volleyball team is beginning to look beatable to the other teams in the Pacific League.

Burbank certainly showed no fear of the Falcons in its league match Thursday, testing Crescenta Valley in a tight first game before eventually falling, 25-23, 25-15, 25-18.

"I was kind of afraid we would let it slip," said the Falcons' Ally Hearn (five kills) of the first game in which the Bulldogs battled back to tie the score at 23. "We shouldn't have let it get that close."

After dodging that first bullet, Crescenta Valley (5-4, 2-2 in league) — which had been swept by Pasadena and Burroughs in its two previous league matches — reverted to form in the second game.

With the Falcons holding a slim 15-12 lead, junior outside hitter Maggie Rajtar led them on a run of 10 straight service points, including four aces.

By the time Natasha Van Sonn of Burbank ended the run with a kill, Crescenta Valley led, 23-13, and was well on its way to a commanding two-game lead.

"That was the point where it just kicked in," said Falcons Coach Jennifer Kunz Ryan. "This match we started to play more like what we are capable of.

"We still have a ways to go."

The Falcons rolled through the third game and earned the win behind a match-high 15 kills from outside hitter Myra Nishizaki. Rajtar added 11 kills and six aces. Brianna Hill notched 25 assists.

Van Sonn had four kills and three blocks for the Bulldogs.

"The girls played very well [Thursday]," said Burbank Coach Wayne Teng. "I think they are still trying to find their rhythm right now."

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