SOUTHEAST GLENDALE — One minute the Glendale High girls' volleyball team was celebrating a comeback rally in the first game of its nonleague home match with Montebello on Tuesday and looking to carry its momentum into the second game.
The next, it was anxiously surrounding its starting middle blocker/outside hitter April Reed as she lay on the court wincing in pain with an ankle injury.
Reed never returned and neither did the Nitros first-game moxie, as the Oilers assumed and retained control for a 24-26, 25-13, 25-12, 25-21 victory.
"I think it hurt us a lot because she's one of our team leaders, she's one of our captains and one of our stronger players," Glendale Coach Jennifer Vo said of Reed, a senior, who was injured on a point that saw the Oilers go up, 4-2, in the second game. "We lost focus in the second game and we were not able to do anything. The girls were worried about her, they couldn't focus, so it was tough on us."
Losing Reed, who went to the hospital for further treatment, took some of the Nitros' focus. But it also seemed to diminish some of the confidence they had built in coming back from deficits of 19-11 and 23-16 in the first game.
Down by seven with the Oilers two points away from victory, Trish Nubla notched a sideout with one of her team-high five kills and Reed, who collected three kills and an ace, continued the run with a block.
The Oilers reached match-point on a missed serve by the Nitros, but Glendale (2-2) reeled off the next seven straight points to stun Montebello, with the final six coming on the serve of Satine Iskandaryan, who finished with four kills..
Vo said she wasn't surprised to see her team take control of the first game, but unfortunately wasn't surprised to see the team regress in the later games either.
"We always come out strong in the first game," said Vo, who got two kills from Alyssa Ridad. "Our first game is always the most energetic game. By the second game, I don't know if they get tired or what's going on, but our first game usually comes out strong."