Short-handed Spartans girls' volleyball sweep Apaches

LA CAÑADA FLINTRIDGE — Under normal circumstances, La Cañada High girl's volleyball Coach Brock Turner should have been more confident going into a nonleague, home match versus Arcadia.

But with the team coming off a holiday weekend in Cerritos for the Gahr Molten Classic, recently completing "Hell Week" and playing without three starters, the home opener had some uncertainty creeping into Turner's head.

The anticipated struggles against the Apaches only lasted one game, as the Spartans improved to three wins and three losses on the season with a 25-23, 25-5, 25-19 Thursday.

"I was thinking this might be a tough game," said Turner, who saw his squad play to 12 ties in the first game before settling down to take 25 of the second game's 30 points, and eventually closing it out in the third. "I'm proud of the girls for stepping up and showing some confidence."

Due to injuries and needing rest, the Spartans (3-3) were without senior outside hitter Kendall Walbrecht, senior middle blocker Katie Pierce and sophomore outside hitter Taylor Page.

Needing to fill the roster, Turner called on junior varsity's Sarah Sellman, who received praise from the head coach, and senior outside hitter Micaela Anderson.

Anderson led the team with 19 kills. She and Lauren Streeter combined for 28 kills, and looked unstoppable in the second game against an Arcadia team that exerted all its energy in the first game to no avail and proceeded to look overmatched and, at times, overwhelmed in the second.

The Apaches held a 21-20 lead in a tightly contested first game, but a service error with the game tied at 23 set up the game-winning point for the Spartans — a Loren Shin ace.

Anderson and Streeter turned it up in the second game and were instrumental in a dominant performance in which the Spartans scored 10 unanswered points midway through. Shin kept up her good service as she served each point in the extended scoring run.

"The first game we started off slow, a little shaky, because we weren't playing with all our starters," Anderson said. "Sellman had to be called up so we were a little discombobulated but she stepped up. After the first game, we were going with the flow and playing well together."

Anderson kept up the momentum for the Spartans with a kill to start the third game. The Apaches kept it close early on, though, scoring five of the first seven. La Cañada took control shortly after, scoring nine straight points and never looked back en route to clinching the sweep.

"Isn't it amazing what good serving and passing will do," said Turner, who hopes to get his team back at full strength after a week off before the team's next home game against Sherman Oaks Notre Dame Sept. 13.

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