Crescenta Valley volleyball wins, controls its own destiny

NORTHWEST GLENDALE — With Noel Wong in command with her serving, the Crescenta Valley High girls’ volleyball team liked its chances.

The Falcons turned to Wong to provide her share of aces on Thursday afternoon to earn a 25-17, 14-25, 25-15, 25-20 Pacific League win against host Hoover.

Crescenta Valley improved to 8-9, 6-7 in league and moved into fourth place in league after Pasadena (5-8 in league) lost to Burroughs on Thursday. The top four teams in league automatically qualify for the playoffs. A victory against Arcadia on Tuesday would put the Falcons in the postseason.

“We’ve had to push through the struggles just to get here,” said Wong, who added seven kills. “If we lose, then we probably don’t go to the playoffs, and that’s something we don’t want to happen.”

Crescenta Valley swept Hoover (4-14, 3-10) in the two head-to-head matches. Crescenta Valley swept Hoover in the first meeting, but the Tornadoes tested the Falcons Thursday.

“Hoover did a great job of getting Shaina [Barrett] and Nicole [Mirzakhanian] involved,” said Crescenta Valley Coach Jen Ku Lee, who got 15 digs from Nannette Grigorian and eight kills from Emmie Walker. “Give credit to Hoover for playing a much better game this time.

“We had to come out here and take care of business. Noel’s serving won it for us. We got that momentum from her serving and we were able to carry it the rest of the way.”

In the first game, Crescenta Valley used a 6-0 run to grab a 16-8 advantage. Wong recorded four aces in a row to highlight the run. Hoover closed to within 16-14 before Crescenta Valley went on a 9-1 run to go up 1-0.

Hoover led throughout the second game. A kill by Mirzakhanian (nine kills) gave the Tornadoes a 14-9 lead. Hoover then rattled off eight points in a row to make it 24-12.

Wong said the Falcons needed to regroup after falling in the second game. 

“That was our wake-up call,” Wong said. “We knew we had to be that much sharper.”

Wong posted three consecutive aces to give the Falcons a 12-9 lead in the third game. Crescenta Valley went on a late 7-0 run to take a 23-13 lead.

Hoover couldn’t recover and Crescenta Valley never trailed in the fourth game. Walker recorded a kill to make it 14-4. Wong closed out the match with a kill.

Barrett, who led Hoover with 11 kills, said the Tornadoes couldn’t capitalize on their few chances.

“We pushed them real hard, but we just missed it,” Barrett said. “We have improved.

“The last time we played CV, we weren’t that good. I thought we played a lot better today.”

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