Nitros make quick work of archrival Tornadoes

SOUTHEAST GLENDALE — It takes two teams to make a rivalry, but on Thursday afternoon the Glendale High girls' volleyball team dominated a very one-sided installment of its twice-annual cross-town showdown with Hoover.

The Nitros came out like gangbusters in all three games of the 25-16, 25-7, 25-10 Pacific League sweep, while the Tornadoes repeatedly fell behind big early and were never able to do much to close the gap.

"In our summer league we lost against [Hoover], so it's kind of like redeeming ourselves," said Glendale senior setter Gabrielle Magpantay (12 assists), whose teammate Kirsten Cabarong tallied six kills to go along with four apiece from Grace Tappin and Serena Snaer. "In the past four years, we've never lost to them on our home court, so we wanted to keep that momentum. I did not want to lose to them."

Although Glendale (3-4 in league) sped out to a 14-4 advantage in the opening game, Hoover (4-10, 2-5) did make a late move to get back in the game, coming within 23-14 on a kill by Shaina Barrett followed by an ace from Nicole Mirzakhanian (four kills).

But once Glendale put the finishing touch on the game behind a kill from Tappin, it kept plugging away to the tune of a 7-0 run to begin the second game.

"They were just serving tough, they got into a rhythm and we just never got things started," Hoover Coach Charles Min said of Glendale. "We were out of rhythm the entire day.

"I think our kids came out a little bit overconfident. …They kind of slacked off a little bit. Hopefully they learned from this and will take care of it next time."

Glendale widened its second-game lead to 10 at 15-5 on an ace by Sevana Stepanian, who had a pair of aces during her five-point service run. Cabarong put an end to the stanza with back-to-back kills.

Hoover responded to Glendale's 4-0 run, that included two aces by Magpantay, to open the third game by running off three straight points of its own and succeeded in keeping things close at 9-5 on a Barrett kill. But Glendale countered with a backbreaking 11-2 run fueled by two more Tappin kills amid a six-point service run from Stepanian.

"They were very pumped. I've never seen them as pumped, but this is always the biggest game for us," Glendale Coach Jennifer Vo said. "Our biggest problem all season long is finishing off games, so today was a big thing for them [to see] they can actually finish off a game and not let the other team come back and win."

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