From Left to right, senior Kimberly Brown and freshman Abby Garner are just two of the key players that Head Coach Ivy Chew believes will take the So Pas varsity volleyball team deep into the postseason. Photo by Joseph Ruiz

If you think Ivy Chew’s first year as head coach of the SPHS varsity girls volleyball team has her intimidated, think again.

Chew, who’s been coaching boys varsity for the past three years, brings a strong commitment to the team playing as a family. In fact, as a close family.

“I want the girls to experience playing volleyball as a tight-knit family unit,” Chew said in a recent telephone interview with The Review during which she laid out the team’s goals for the upcoming season. “I want them to experience playing as one family with passion and joy.”

Chew wants to improve on last year’s league record, which, at 5-5 left the Tigers fourth in the Rio Hondo League standings and out of the postseason.

Chew acknowledged her approach requires a mental, emotional and physical component, which thus far the girls have been more than willing to engage.

“We had several heart-to-heart conversations about life,” Chew said. “You would have been surprised how open they were about this. We had some incredible talks. We really bonded.”

A close relative of one of the team members had recently passed and that became a subject of discussion.

“I have lost a few friends also and our talks were quite candid and not just about why we wanted to play volleyball but what is important in life,” the coach added. The answer was family and friends.

When the mental part of the game was beginning to sink in – Chew said although the team is getting close as a unit, they are still in a learning stage – it was time for the physical aspects of the game to be highlighted.

“We have three freshmen that bring a winning mentality to the game because of their experience, which is tremendously helpful,” Chew said.

Those key players are Alyssa Sokolow, an outside hitter; Kennedy Taylor, an opposite hitter; and another outside hitter, Abby Garner. Chew also said that senior Kimberly Brown’s experience helps guide the team along with team captains’ Lola Foord and Lindsay Hirano, both sophomores

Chew is confident that with the experience of a Kimberly Brown coupled with the passion and winning experience of the freshmen, this Tiger volleyball team can actually win a championship.

“I think we are a strong team,” Chew said. “This year, we are a little more of a complete team. I do think we can be league champs.”

The Tigers’ first test comes Sept. 11 when they go up against the talented girls volleyball team from Monrovia. Monrovia High School finished second in league standings last season with an 8-2 record.

“They are a very good team,” Chew said. “But so are we.”

2018 SPHS Girls Volleyball Roster

Frosh/Soph

#NameGradePosition
28Heather Roldan9Defense Specialist
29Ellie Lupien9Opposite Hitter
31Sarah De La O10Defense Specialist
33Lauren Pithey9Outside Hitter
34Monet Cajayon9Opposite Hitter
35Valerie Hernandez9Defense Specialist
37Emma Kim9Outside Hitter
39Zoe Hollingsworth9Middle Blocker
40Lauren Fox9Libero
42Violet Main9Setter
45Hayden Fuentes-Aguirre9Defense Specialist
51Erin Hughes9Opposite Hitter
58Emily Busick10Setter
74Evelyn Dowd9Middle Blocker

Junior Varsity

#NameGradePosition
9Mia Gallagher12Middle Blocker
12Ali Crockett11Libero/DS
15Lulu Talesnick9Outside Hitter
16Alison Jensen9Middle Blocker
19Ashley Gutierrez10Outside Hitter
20Jewel Nguyen11Outside Hitter
23Makena Saito10Opposite Hitter
24Samantha Molina9Setter
25Tonalli Garcia Rodriguez10Libero/DS
26Julianna Chabot10Outside Hitter
27Mikaela Noonan11Outside Hitter
30Stella Benton11Setter
32Carrie Fleming10Middle Blocker
38Ashley Fox11Opposite Hitter
46Amber Mallett11Opposite Hitter
0Ines Yang11Setter

Varsity

#NameGradePostion
1Lindsey Hirano10 Libero
2 Lindsey Kuwahara12Defense Specialist
3Sydney Abundo10Defense Specialist
4Christina Taylor12Middle Blocker
5Alyssa Sokolow9Outside Hitter
6Maddy Abundo12Setter
7Lexi Schroeder10Setter
8Laya Jabalameli12Middle Blocker
10Ashley Hugasian12Opposite Hitter
11Ella Hoadley-Brill10Defense Specialist
13Jessica Lopez12Outside Hitter
14Kennedy Taylor9Opposite Hitter
17Lola Foord10Opposite Hitter
18Abby Garner9Outside Hitter
21Katharine Florence10Setter
22Kimberly Brown12 Middle Blocker
Steve Whitmore
Author

Steve Whitmore is the editor for the South Pasadena Review. Steve has spent more than four decades as an award-winning print and broadcast journalist with a 16-year stint as the senior media advisor for the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department. Steve comes to us from the Keene Sentinel in Keene, New Hampshire, where he covered politics and was a columnist.

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