Spartans, Tologs play for more than win

A new layer has been added to the annual cross-town rivalry match played between the La Cañada High and Flintridge Sacred Heart Academy girls' volleyball teams this year.

The Tologs agreed to make this year's contest against the Spartans the third annual "Dig for the Cure" match, which doubles as La Cañada's fundraiser for breast cancer research. Both teams collect donations before the match, collecting per-dig pledges or flat donations, that benefit the Los Angeles County affiliate of the Susan G. Komen for the Cure foundation. The event is sponsored by the Arcadia Radiology Medical group.

For the past two years, the "Dig for the Cure" has been played between La Cañada and South Pasadena as a Rio Hondo League match. This year, La Cañada Coach Brock Turner scheduled it against Flintridge Sacred Heart. The match is set for 7 p.m. on Saturday.

"I did it local to keep it more of a community event and maybe raise some more awareness and get some more people at the game," Turner said.

Sacred Heart Coach Anne Arlie said her team was interested in doing a "Think Pink" match this year, which made it perfect when Turner approached her about making this year's contest the "Dig for the Cure" match.

"It just makes the game more important, when you think about it in the bigger picture," Arlie said. "It's not just a volleyball game. We are playing for something bigger."

Of course, both teams will be focused on defeating their cross-town rival, too.

"[Beating Sacred Heart] is always on the list of goals for the season," Turner said. "I know it's [the girls'] own personal goal — win league, beat Sacred Heart and move forward in CIF."

Last year, the Spartans defeated Sacred Heart for the second year in a row with a sweep, 25-16, 25-20, 25-22, at Sacred Heart Academy. La Cañada's win in 2009 snapped a five-year winning streak by the Tologs.

"The rivalry in general is so huge that both sides want to make sure they come out on top," Arlie said. "Obviously it's huge, they have a good team and we have one too, so it's exciting volleyball to watch."

The Spartans (12-7) are currently on a six-match winning streak and haven't dropped a set in that span. The Tologs are 4-6 so far this season.

"It's one of those rivalry game where you throw the records out," Turner said. "People get fired up because it's a rivalry — like UCLA and USC. It's a lot of fun."

"Dig for the Cure" T-shirts and wristbands will also be on sale during the event. Pledges, whether flat amounts or per dig, can be made before the game. For more information or a pledge sheet, people can visit the Spartans' website ( or email Turner at

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