GLENDALE — With less than a month left in the regular season, Crescenta Valley High boys' volleyball Coach John Nelson said he's still trying to get a read on his team.
Nelson remained perplexed shortly after Crescenta Valley earned a 25-19, 30-32, 25-22, 25-20 Pacific League road victory against Glendale on Friday.
"We have a young team, and I'm not sure where we are in the middle of the season," said Nelson, whose team improved to 5-7, 3-3 in league. "We played better Wednesday [in a loss against Burroughs] than we did today.
"We still keep making some of the same mistakes, but we were better at the end [Friday]."
An improved Glendale (6-7, 1-5) team fought valiantly throughout the contest against Crescenta Valley in the first of two season matchups. The teams will meet against April 23 at Crescenta Valley.
Crescenta Valley and Glendale set the tone with plenty of intensity throughout the first two games.
Crescenta Valley closed out with a 10-0 run to clinch the first game before Glendale fought off three game-points in the second game before working extra to knot the match at one game apiece.
Crescenta Valley held a 24-21 lead late in the second game before Glendale stormed back to take a 25-24 advantage on a kill by Josh Ivory. Crescenta Valley got the next two points to take a 27-26 lead, but a kill by Kyle Hulguin tied it at 27. The Falcons grabbed a 28-27 lead, but the Nitros took a 29-28 advantage following a kill by Hulguin.
A kill by Alex Shin of Crescenta Valley evened it up again at 29. A serving error by each team made it 30-30 before kills from Kevin Fonta and Ivory tied the match in games.
"That was a pretty intense second game," Glendale Coach Ta'ase Mose said. "It just kept going back and forth and we were able to pull it out."
Crescenta Valley, which advanced to the CIF Southern Section Division III quarterfinals last season, saw Glendale build a 15-9 in the third game. The Falcons responded with a 9-1 run to take an 18-16 lead, capped by a kill from Bradley Fernandez.
Crescenta Valley grabbed a 23-19 lead on a kill by Chris Yi. The Nitros fought back to pull to within 23-22, before Crescenta Valley posted the next two points.
Henry Sim of Crescenta Valley said the Falcons needed to bounce back quickly after dropping the second game.
"We had to take control of the pace of the game," said Sim, who finished with 10 kills. "The third game was the turning point, so we knew that each point was extremely important."
Crescenta Valley maintained its momentum, leading throughout the fourth game. Freedom Tripp registered a kill to give the Falcons a 15-9 lead. Glendale could get no closer than 24-20 before the Falcons clinched the victory.