LA CAÑADA — Through the years, the crosstown rivalry between the La Cañada High and Flintridge Sacred Heart Academy girls' volleyball teams has resulted in some healthy competition.
On Saturday, the Spartans and Tologs played a nonleague match with an eye toward helping fund breast cancer research and treatment in La Cañada’s fifth annual “Dig for the Cure” match at La Cañada. The event raises money for the Los Angeles County affiliate of the Susan G. Komen for the Cure Foundation. Donations were collected before and during the match, ranging from per-dig pledges or flat donations.
While visiting Flintridge Sacred Heart posted a 25-15, 25-16, 25-21 victory, personnel from both teams realized the benefits of spreading awareness about breast cancer in the community.
For Sacred Heart's Kayla Lund, it was her first taste of the rivalry.
"It's a huge rivalry, but we are out there playing for a great cause," said Lund, who finished with 14 kills to help the Tologs improve to 11-3. "It's fun to be a part of it on the court."
La Cañada Coach Brock Turner said playing Flintridge Sacred Heart added some spice while looking to raise money, while all the players wore pink on their uniforms to raise awareness of their cause.
"It's two teams in the community who are looking to make some kind of a difference," said Turner, whose team dipped to 5-12. "The main goal is the awareness and getting involved in something bigger than volleyball."
On the court, Flintridge Sacred Heart, ranked No. 7 in the latest CIF Southern Section Division I-A poll, controlled the pace most of the first game. The Tologs held a 10-8 lead before going on an 8-0 run to make it 18-8. Setter Sophia Coffey (28 assists) recorded three aces in that stretch to give the Tologs some breathing room.
In the second game, the Spartans took an 8-6 lead on a kill by Jenna Gray. Sacred Heart then embarked on an 11-2 run to build a 17-10 advantage.
"Going on major runs like that can only help you," said Lund, who had three kills in that surge. "They can make or break a game."
Flintridge Sacred Heart led throughout the third game, jumping out to a 9-3 lead on a kill by Katie Conley. A block by Megan Bacall gave the Tologs a 20-14 lead before the Spartans made one final charge.
La Cañada went on a 6-0 run to tie it at 20. Sacred Heart closed out the victory with a 5-1 run.
"I like the way we responded in the third game," said Turner, who got eight kills from Jenna Gray and six from Taylor Page. "We could have played better and served better, but you just have to give credit to Flintridge Sacred Heart."
Tologs Coach Ernest Banaag said his team, which got 15 digs from Emily Devele and nine kills from Conley, came prepared to compete.
"We are getting back to where we want to be," Banaag said. "We are finding our spots with our serves, but we are still trying to click a little more on offense.
"Playing for the cause was fun. It's great to be a part of because it makes it a great atmosphere. The coaches and the players love it."