Crescenta Valley High boys' team volleyball sweeps up Hoover

LA CRESCENTA — Throughout the first couple of weeks of the season, the members of the Crescenta Valley High boys’ volleyball have been searching for consistency and an identity.

After advancing to the CIF Southern Section Division III quarterfinals last season, the Falcons sought a quick start to this season.

PHOTOS: Hoover vs. Crescenta Valley boys' volleyball

Things might be coming together after Alex Shin finished with six aces Wednesday afternoon to lead host Crescenta Valley to a 25-15, 25-16, 25-18 Pacific League victory against Hoover.

“We haven’t been playing to the level where we want to be and are still trying to get the jitters out,” said Shin, who helped Crescenta Valley improve to 3-3, 1-1 in league. “We saw some flashes of what we are capable of doing.

“We just need to keep working on our play and perfecting the different techniques and fundamentals. I missed a couple of serves, so I’m also trying to establish more consistency.”

The senior outside hitter provided Crescenta Valley, which tipped off league play Friday with a home loss against Burbank, with a shot in the arm. In the second game, Shin recorded four aces in a row to pick up the Falcons and give them a 7-2 advantage.

Crescenta Valley Coach John Nelson, whose team finished third in league last season, said Shin played a major role in the Falcons’ serving game.

“I thought we did a better job of serving,” said Nelson, who got eight kills from Bradley Fernandez. “I thought we were much more relaxed.

“Alex is big and strong and we are trying to get more out of him. We would like to get some more leadership out of him and see him be more vocal by taking charge. We are still trying to figure out where we are as a team. We are not set with our lineup.”

Hoover (0-2 overall and in league) played well during parts of the first and third games. The Tornadoes, who didn’t qualify for the playoffs last season, began league Friday with a loss against Claremont.

Hoover received a team-best six kills and three aces from Dan Sanidad in the first of two head-to-head meetings against Crescenta Valley.

“It’s about having them compete and trying to work on our strengths,” Hoover co-Coach Christian Hong said. “We are also trying to work a lot more on our mental toughness.

“We played well in two of the games, but we had a tendency to make too many mistakes.”

In the first game, Crescenta Valley used a 10-1 run to grab a 19-9 advantage. Fernandez had three kills in that stretch.

The Falcons dominated the second game, jumping out to a 15-3 lead. Shin’s serving set the tone early for Crescenta Valley with four aces. Hoover made a late comeback bid to close to within 23-16, but Min Kim gave the Falcons a 2-0 advantage by closing out the game with a kill.

After Hoover pulled to within 7-6 on a kill by Christian Pacificador in the third game, Crescenta Valley used a 10-5 run to build a 17-11 lead. The Falcons got three late kills from Zachary Burch to complete the sweep.

Crescenta Valley and Hoover will meet again at 3:30 p.m. April 12 at Hoover.

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