First published in the Sept. 24 print issue of the South Pasadena Review.
It was a lopsided sweep for South Pasadena High School’s varsity girls’ volleyball team, which earned a Rio Hondo League victory over visiting San Marino by scores of 25-17, 25-12 and 25-10 during Breast Cancer Awareness Month. The Tigers dawned unique pink uniforms in honor of the occasion en route to their fifth consecutive victory.
“They were very disciplined, had high energy and they were just taking care of business on the court,” said Ivy Chew, the Tigers’ head coach. “Everyone did what they needed to do, and they are all standout players. They were serving [San Marino] off the court.”
Three aces by SPHS sophomore Jenna Garner gave the Tigers an early 5-1 advantage. The set remained close until SPHS sophomore Helena Foord broke the tie for an 11-10 lead, one the Tigers wouldn’t relinquish for the remainder of the set. A couple of kills from SPHS senior Kennedy Taylor and a couple of aces from teammate sophomore Kendall Taylor saw the Tigers jump out to a 21-13 lead en route to a 25-17 win.
The Tigers’ defense was on point in the second set, blocking many San Marino kill attempts to help build a commanding 8-2 lead. Kills from Foord and sophomore Ingrid Zahn and service points from SPHS senior Samantha Molina gave the Tigers a 25-12 win in the second set.
Teammate Kennedy Taylor broke the 2-2 tie early in the third set, and once SPHS took the lead, it never looked back. With sophomore Mia Ramos serving, the Tigers extended their lead to 10-2. The Tigers kept padding their 20-5 lead thanks to San Marino errors, excellent serving and powerful kills from Foord, Kennedy Taylor, Jenna Garner and Ava Dorny in the lopsided 25-10 win.
“Our liberos, Alyssa [Sokolow] and Mia, both did a great job; our outside hitters, Helena, Abby Garner and Jenna Garner, also stood out,” Chew said.
Foord played well with a team-high 12 kills while senior Abby Garner added 10 kills. Both sophomore Ingrid Zahn and Kennedy Taylor added five kills and Jenna Garner had four.
Kendall Taylor was perfect with a team-high 25 assists in 25 attempts. Sokolow also set up her team with 10 assists.
Sokolow was phenomenal at serving with a team-high nine aces, while Dorny added five. Jenna Garner tallied four aces, and Kendall Taylor and senior Samantha Molina each added two.
Sokolow was all over the court as she earned a team-high 16 digs. The next closest — Abby and Jenna Garner — each tallied eight. Dorny added six herself, while both Kendall Taylor and Ramos had five. Kennedy Taylor (four), Foord (three) and senior Evelyn Dowd (one) rounded out the Tigers’ 56 total digs.
“Mia Ramos stepped in. She was libero the last set, and she really did a great job,” Foord said. “She was communicating on the court, and she was picking up lots of serve receive balls.”