Falcons turn back rival Nitros on road

SOUTHEAST GLENDALE — Fresh off playing their archrivals, the members of the Crescenta Valley High and Glendale girls' volleyball teams were curious to see what the aftereffect would be.

They found out Thursday when the teams squared off in a Pacific League match at Glendale. For the second time this season, Crescenta Valley came away with a few more answers than Glendale.

Crescenta Valley received a match-high 14 kills from senior outside hitter Leah Gagliardi to earn a 25-15, 25-18, 20-25, 25-13 victory.

The Falcons improved to 6-4 and 5-3 in league, while the Nitros dropped to 3-9 and 1-7. Crescenta Valley posted a 25-22, 25-21, 25-18 victory against Glendale on Sept. 21 at home.

"We started off strong [Thursday] and we wanted to get that winning feeling back after losing to Arcadia [Tuesday]," said Crescenta Valley first-year Coach Steven Umemoto, whose team was swept by Arcadia. "We were there in the first two games against Arcadia and we wanted to come back and play like that against Glendale.

"We didn't let up in the first two games and we were able to keep that energy that we had in those games against Arcadia."

Glendale fell to cross-town rival Hoover in four games at home Tuesday and looked to make a statement against the Falcons. While they stayed close and forced a fourth game, the Nitros didn't have the depth and experience that their counterparts did.

"I think we are looking to play better going around league for the second time," said Glendale junior middle blocker Satine Iskandaryan, who finished with a team-best nine kills. "We want to get our energy level as high as we can.

"I think we played better [against CV] this time around and we want to keep being able to do that against the other teams."

Crescenta Valley also received 29 assists from junior setter Payton Wheeler. It also got eight and seven kills, respectively, from junior outside hitter Kira Guarino and senior opposite hitter Bethany Reed.

The Falcons, who qualified for the playoffs last season, raced to an 11-7 in the first game on a kill by sophomore middle blocker Allison Reik. After the Nitros cut the deficit to 14-10, the Falcons used a 9-0 run to extend their lead to 23-10. Gagliardi had three aces in a row in highlight the run. A kill by Reed closed out the game.

In the second game, a kill by senior outside hitter Brielle Walker gave the Falcons a 10-3 advantage. Glendale sophomore middle blocker Andrea Popescu notched a kill that brought the Nitros to within 14-12, but a 10-3 run by the Falcons raised their lead to 24-15.

Glendale responded in the third game, as it used a 12-3 run to take a 13-6 lead. An ace by senior outside hitter Trish Nubla capped the run, but a late run by the Falcons reduced the margin to 24-20 before the Nitros closed out the game.

Crescenta Valley pulled through in the final game. After Glendale took a 3-0 lead, the Falcons went on a 10-0 run and never trailed again. Gagliardi finished with three of her match-high eight aces in the last game.

"We were able to serve tough and we did well keeping the ball in play," Umemoto said. "I expected this to be a close match because we knew Glendale wasn't going to just give it to us."

Copyright © 2019, Glendale News-Press
EDITION: California | U.S. & World