GLENDALE — Identifying the problem that’s hounded the Glendale High boys’ volleyball team throughout the season has been easy. Solving it is another matter.
For most of the Pacific League portion of the schedule, the Nitros have found themselves on the cusp of winning games. It’s toward the end of games when things get dicey for Glendale.
The trouble resurfaced again Wednesday afternoon during Glendale’s 25-20, 26-24, 25-12 league loss against visiting Arcadia.
“We keep finding ourselves in the same spot match after match,” said Glendale Coach Ta’ase Mose, whose team dropped to 6-8, 1-6 in league. “Once again, we get close but can’t close it out.
“I don’t know why it happens. Maybe we just get too excited and can’t finish it off.”
The Nitros lost their third match in a row and are 1-4 in their last five contests. Arcadia (3-9, 3-6) swept both meetings with Glendale, including a 25-12, 25-15, 25-16 victory March 8 at Arcadia.
On Wednesday, Glendale found itself in tight battles with Arcadia in the first two games before losing its steam in the third game.
In the first game, the Apaches jumped out to an 11-6 lead. That forced Mose to call timeout and provide the Nitros with an opportunity to regroup. Glendale closed to within 16-14 on a kill by Luis Trejo, but Arcadia finished up strong with a 9-6 run.
Things started off well for Glendale in the pivotal second game. The Nitros raced to a 6-4 lead on an ace from Trejo. Arcadia fought back to take a 10-7 lead on a kill by Esteban De Mendoza, who finished with a match-best 12 kills.
Glendale knotted it at 15 on a block by Kyle Hulguin before going on an 8-3 run to take a 23-18 advantage. Arcadia used a 5-0 surge to tie it at 23, capped by an ace from Matthew Ormseth. Victor Bernardino gave Glendale a 24-23 lead, but the lead would prove to be short-lived as the Apaches finished up with a 3-0 run to take a 2-0 lead.
“We thought we had the second game,” said Trejo, who collected eight kills. “We start off strong, but we don’t finish up strong.
“We got out there thinking there’s no way for the other team to catch up and then it happens. We had the momentum and then lost it.”
The Apaches led throughout the third game, building a quick 14-3 advantage. Glendale got no closer than 14-6.
Glendale will next participate in another league home match at 3:30 p.m. Friday against Burroughs, which shared the league championship last season with Claremont and is ranked No. 8 in the latest CIF Southern Section Division II poll.
Burroughs recorded a 25-15, 25-10, 25-22 home win against Glendale on March 12.