Tologs begin league play on right note

LA CAÑADA FLINTRIDGE — With an already hectic schedule consisting of academics and running for the Flintridge Sacred Heart Academy cross-country team, Maddie Peterson has enough time to squeeze in playing on the school’s volleyball team.

It’s helped her become more organized, along with becoming a better all-around volleyball player on a team looking to turn the corner and get back to the playoffs after missing out last season.

Peterson showed that she’s got plenty of energy left to handle her responsibilities on the court, as she notched 12 kills to help Flintridge Sacred Heart register a 25-17, 25-15, 22-25, 25-13 home win against Alemany on Thursday night in a Mission League opener for both teams.

“It’s a hard schedule, starting at school and then going to cross-country and then straight to volleyball,” said Peterson, who will participate in the prestigious Stanford Invitational on Saturday in Palo Alto. “I get a 30-minute break [between cross-country and volleyball], but volleyball is a fun sport to play.

“It’s good to start league with a win. We don’t have that star player, but we have different people who can help out. I liked the way we kept up our intensity.”

Flintridge Sacred Heart (4-5) won for the first time in four home matches.

Flintridge Sacred Heart first-year Coach Ernest Banaag said Peterson provided the Tologs with an edge against Alemany (5-12).

“Maddie has done well for us,” said Banaag, who got 12 kills apiece from Katie Conley and Ally Clapp. “She’s taken on the role of outside hitter after not playing last year. It’s still an outside hitting league, and she’s more than held her own.

“It’s a great way for us to start league and we will take it anyway we can. It’s a learning process. We’ve seen glimpses so far this season of goodness and immaturity. I have to be patient with them and they have to be patient with me.”

Peterson collected four kills in the first game. Peterson’s final kill in the first game provided Flintridge Sacred Heart with a 13-7 lead. Alemany closed to within 19-16 on a kill by Delaney Telford, but Flintridge Sacred Heart finished up on a 6-1 run.

Peterson recorded a kill to give Flintridge Sacred Heart a 16-8 lead in the second game.

Flintridge Sacred Heart appeared on the verge of a sweep, building a 23-18 lead in the third game on a kill by Conley. Alemany avoided the sweep by finishing up on a 7-0 run, capped by a block by Mikayla Campbell for the final point.

The comeback seemed to inspire the Warriors early in the fourth game. Alemany jumped out to an 8-4 lead on a kill by Campbell. Flintridge Sacred Heart then went on a 19-2 run to make it 23-10. In that stretch, Flintridge Sacred Heart received three aces from Clapp and two from Emily DeVelle.

“A win like this can be a morale booster,” Banaag said. “They can taste the win and there’s way more they can offer.”

Sophia Coffey finished with nine kills and 10 digs for the Tologs, who received 22 digs from Colleen Degnan and 14 from DeVelle.

The teams will face off again at 6:30 p.m. Oct. 16 at Alemany.

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