Volleyball Coach, 2 South Pas Stars, Capture Top Awards

Ivy Chew (above) was named All-Area Coach of the Year after leading the South Pas Tigers to the SoCal Division 3 state title. Lola Foord and Lindsay Hirano also won major postseason awards. Photo by Henk Friezer

Their season is over, but the South Pas girls volleyball Tigers keep winning anyway.

After capturing the SoCal Division 3 regional championship and falling one win shy of a state division title, the Tigers reaped in some major awards last week — with head coach Ivy Chew receiving All-Area Coach of the Year honors, junior Lola Foord getting All-Area Player of the Year honors and junior Lindsay Hirano receiving All-Area First Team honors.

Foord and Hirano also were selected to the All-CIF Southern Section Division 4 First Team.

“I feel excited. I think one word to describe it would be speechless,” Chew said about winning the award. “I’m pretty speechless knowing that I was selected for Coach of the Year. It’s an award that really makes me speechless. I was really shocked and surprised. I was just doing my job — I wasn’t doing it to win Coach of the Year. It’s a very surprising award for me.”

Said Foord about her honors: “I feel awesome. I feel really lucky, and it’s a really big honor to be recognized like that, especially because there are so many amazing players in the San Gabriel Valley.”

Chew believes Foord deserved the award.

“She’s a great, awesome player,” Chew said. “I think it’s great that she’s getting put out there as a top player, because I think she’s an awesome player and I think what the publicity has given her dating back to the season, she’s getting the recognition she deserves. She’s a hard-working, down-to-earth girl, and she’s a great leader on our team, so her getting selected really solidifies her as a player.”

Foord definitely felt the same about her coach.

“She has been great,” Foord said. “She’s one of the coaches that I have that cares so much, that is really invested in not only each and every volleyball player but every person, too. … I feel like she has created a very supportive and safe environment for her players to come up and ask her stuff.”

Chew and Foord agreed about the impact Hirano had on their season, and Foord enjoys sharing the spotlight with her.

“Oh, my gosh. Lindsey is one of my best friends, and I don’t think our team would be the same if we didn’t have her,” Foord said. “I honestly believe that she is the MVP of our team. It’s amazing to play with her, so just being with her, she makes every player that plays with her better. She’s so fast and small that she’s able to take up so much of the court and opens all of the hitters up to hit, and she’s really a phenomenal player.”

Chew and the Tigers finished the season with a 37-8 overall record and a 10-0 league record. They reached the CIF Southern Section Division 4 semifinals but lost 3-0 at Norco, then made it all the way to the Division 3 CIF State finals before losing 3-1 to Lowell of San Francisco.