First published in the Sept. 16 print issue of the Outlook Valley Sun.
The La Cañada High School’s varsity girls’ volleyball team had a stellar tournament performance at the Whittier Cardinal Classic, sweeping their competition without ever losing a set on Sept. 9-10.
The Spartans won the tournament by ultimately defeating Palm Desert by scores of 25-14 and 25-21 in the final match.
“This weekend was a blast,” said Laura Browder, La Cañada’s head coach. “My girls executed on a high level and bonded together throughout the tournament. We were missing a couple key players, so it was encouraging for me to see my team adapt to changes and handle adversity so well. Excited to use the momentum from this weekend into league play.”
Senior Olivia Toland had a team-high 12 kills in the championship match, while sophomore Haley Clark and junior Rachel Salit added seven and three kills, respectively. Sophomore Chloe Nussbaum had a team-leading seven aces and 15 digs.
La Cañada’s first three opponents — Diamond Bar, Montebello and La Puente Bishop Amat — stood no chance against the Spartans. To kick off the tournament, LCHS defeated Diamond Bar by scores of 25-16 and 25-20. Clark led the way with a team-high 11 kills, senior Allie Landa set up the offense with a team-high 18 assists and freshman Taylor Dobbs had an excellent performance with a team-leading eight digs.
The second match was a blowout, as LCHS dominated Montebello by scores of 25-12 and 25-9. The offense flourished behind Toland’s team-leading 12 kills, with sophomore Tatum Purdy (13 assists) and Landa (seven assists) setting up most kill attempts.
In the match against Bishop Amat, it didn’t take much for the Spartans to win by scores of 25-15 and 25-13. Clark did great defensively with a team-high four blocks, as junior Kate Shaw and freshman Katie McGuinness added one block each. As usual, Toland and Clark led the offensive charge with 11 and 10 kills, respectively, while Shaw and sophomore Natalia Carolla added one kill each.
LCHS picked up right where it left off the previous day with an early-morning sweep against Pacifica of Garden Grove by scores of 25-22 and 25-20. The high-scoring affair saw Clark (11 kills) and Toland (nine kills) tally 20 total kills, with Landa and Salit each adding two kills. The defense played tough, evident by 38 total team digs by Nussbaum (13), Landa (10), Salit (six), Clark (five), Toland (three) and McGuinness (one).
The second match was easier than the previous one, as LCHS defeated Pico Rivera El Rancho by scores of 25-16 and 25-10. Toland (10 kills) and Clark (eight kills) did their part on offense, with Shaw, McGuinness and senior Kylie Sears each adding one kill. Nussbaum had a team-high five aces en route to La Cañada’s fifth straight victory.
The final game before the championship was against Whittier La Serna, which LCHS handled well by scores of 25-19 and 25-22. Toland had a phenomenal game, earning a tournament and team-high 17 kills for LCHS. Landa also had a spectacular day with a tournament and team-leading 23 assists.
Browder said her team executed on all levels. LCHS had 166 total kills in the seven-match span, averaging 23.7 per match, which wouldn’t have been possible if not for the 156 team assists. Defensively, the team added 223 digs, good for 31.8 per match.
La Cañada (15-2 overall record) opened Rio Hondo League play this week and is scheduled to play at San Marino on Thursday, Sept. 16, at 3:30 p.m.
FLINTRIDGE SACRED HEART
FSHA defeated visiting Immaculate Heart, 3-0, on Monday, Sept. 13, in the Tologs’ second league game by scores of 25-17, 25-12 and 26-24.
It was a team effort for FSHA, as seven players combined for 36 total kills. Junior Nikki Garriola and freshman Piper Scherbert led the pack with 10 and nine kills, respectively. Senior Peyton DeJardin (seven), sophomore Luisa Madrigal (five), junior Emily Smith (two), sophomore Veronica Udell (two) and junior Keira Limon rounded out the team kills.
Junior Charlotte Taylor had a terrific day with a team- and season-high 16 digs and Garriola followed closely behind with 13 digs. Smith also had a career day with a team and season-high 30 assists.
On Sept. 9, FSHA fell at Notre Dame of Sherman Oaks by scores of 23-25, 25-14, 23-25 and 22-25. The four-set match that saw DeJardin and Garriola lead the team with 17 and 13 kills, respectively. Scherbert had two kills, while Limon and Smith added one kill each. Senior Milena Andrade efficiently set up the offense with a team-high 24 assists.
Caitlin Du had an outstanding performance as she tied her season-high 24 digs. DeJardin played terrific, tying her career-high with 19 digs in the contest. Taylor and Garriola added 12 digs each, with Andrade (11), Smith (five), Scherbert (two), sophomore Lindsey Du (one) and Limon (one) rounding out the team’s 87 total digs. In the four sets, FSHA only committed two digging errors.
FSHA (6-4 overall, 1-1 in league) is scheduled to participate in a tournament on Friday, Sept. 17, and Saturday, Sept. 18. The Tologs are scheduled to continue league play against visiting Louisville of Woodland Hills on Tuesday, Sept. 21, at 6 p.m.
Flintridge Prep hosted Providence of Burbank on Friday, Sept. 10, in a league match as the Wolves swept the Pioneers by scores of 25-19, 25-22 and 28-26. No individual or team statistics were provided to the Outlook Valley Sun.
The Wolves are scheduled to play Arcadia Rio Hondo Prep this Saturday, Sept. 18.