The South Pas girls varsity volleyball team couldn’t cap the season with a Southern Section title, but does have the chance to capture a CIF state championship in SoCal Division 3 — and the Tigers took the first step toward that Tuesday, winning their opening-round matchup over Cleveland High, 3-1.
The No. 2-ranked Tigers came into the home game motivated to make up for their early semifinal exit from the Southern Section playoffs last week.
Head coach Ivy Chew said the game went as planned.
“I’m really proud of the girls for coming out and fighting hard,’’ she said. “I told them every game is going to get harder and harder. … We wanted to serve hard and pressure them, and it seemed to work.”
South Pasadena went into the first set and dominated, but fell apart and gave it up in a 26-24 loss.
The second and third sets started similarly, but the Tigers held on in each one, beating the Cavaliers 25-22 and 25-16.
Junior Lola Foord said Chew told players before the last set that they have control of the game.
“[Chew] is very confident in our play and she just said to play our game,” Foord said.
On the brink of elimination, the Cavaliers were able to go on an early run in the fourth set and made the Tigers start off on a bad note. It was a close battle, and both sides showed they didn’t want to go home without a win. But in the end, South Pas was able to take control and win it 25-23.
“I feel like we weren’t in it that much, but at five [o’clock], we did a meditation and we got into it,” Foord said. “We had a good warm-up, everyone was here, and after the first set, we kind of reset into our normal game.”
The second-round matchup was scheduled for Thursday at 6 p.m. against Valhalla High of El Cajon at South Pas.