Volleyball Teams Showcase Skill at Summer League

La Cañada High School and Flintridge Sacred Heart Academy both traveled to Pasadena Polytechnic last Thursday to participate in summer league volleyball action.

Playing in a rally-scored best-of-three match, the Tologs faced-off against the Maranatha Minutemen of Pasadena, while the Spartans played against the Apaches of Arcadia High School.

Senior Tolog Katie Condon led her team to a two-set sweep over Maranatha, as Flintridge Sacred Heart won 21-13, 21-12.

Condon rebuffed many good blocks and returned volleys with killer strikes. When she did not strike, she pushed her teammates to play hard, being the vocal team leader who encouraged her teammates, even after bad plays.

Sophomore Marcy Schroeder helped Condon, as both players made an impenetrable front line that broke open the first game.

After an 11-11 tie, the Minutemen had four hits without clearing the net. The Tologs capitalized, scoring the next five points.

Maranatha called a time-out, and forced a side-out to score a point, but they could not regain enough momentum to overcome the Condon-Schroeder frontline.

In the second set, the Tologs struggled early, as the Minutemen jumped out to a 5-2 lead.

But Condon stepped up again, as her teammates fed her sets to kill, for which Maranatha had no answer — and the Tologs took the lead 6-5.

The Tologs took control of the second match, led by the strong defense of Schroeder, who blocked three spikes on one rally, extending the Tolog lead to 13-8.

After Condon made yet another strike, the Tologs led 18-12, and the Lady Minutemen never got any closer. In fact, after Maranatha cut the lead to 15-12, Condon led the Tologs to score the final six points of the set, and never allowed another side-out in the process.

Tologs Head Coach Shelli Ovlandini commended her players, saying the girls played a great game.

"Katie played a very solid game today," She said of Condon, who will be attending UC San Diego after she graduates in June. As to the roster outlook for FSHA during the regular season, expect to see the same players.

"I do not anticipate any changes to the roster," Ovlandini said.

Minutemen Head Coach Ralph Rives and Bill Larew commended the Tologs. "Flintridge has some tall players and they are tough to play against," Larew said. "With such tall players and a roster full of girls playing at the club level, their coach is very fortunate.

"We did the best we could do against them," Larew added.

The Spartans did not fare as well as their counterparts from Flintridge Sacred Heart, as they were swept by Arcadia in two sets, 21-17, 21-19.

Both sets were characterized by long rallies, lots of hustle and good digs — but just as many missed plays.

In the first set, both teams were dull and disorganized, as points were scored primarily on side-outs, with few long rallies. Neither team controlled the game, as both teams stayed close throughout the whole set.

Leading 12-11, the Spartans were on the winning end of a long rally where both teams were diving and digging to keep the rally alive. La Cañada's Cami Martin came through with a strong spike to end the rally, and the Spartans would score on the next play to extend their lead to 14-11.

The Apaches scored the next four points to take the lead, 15-14, with both teams keeping the volley alive right in front of the net.

The Spartan frontline of Hayley Woodford and Martin made a few spectacular spikes and blocks to keep the Spartans in the match; however, with Arcadia leading 18-17, the Spartans could not keep up at the end, as the Apaches scored the final three points to take a 21-17 victory.

Spartan Head Coach Brock Turner was more active in the second match, as he used his deep bench to find the right combinations on the floor.

La Cañada led comfortably for most of the second match. Arcadia came within a point at 16-15, but Connie Suh and Monica Jung made a series of solid sets, blocks and spikes to help the Spartans extend their lead to 19-16.

Arcadia stormed back, however, scoring the next five points to win the second match, 21-19. Each Apache contributed to the comeback rally, as the Apaches completed the sweep over La Cañada.

After the game, Turner stated he wanted to give all players some time on the court.

"I have a chance to give players who have not played to get some game action," he said. "It's a fun thing, the summer league. We're not really worried about the scoreboard."

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