closer than it really was.
Like expected, Crescenta Valley (15-7, 1-2) -- the defending
co-league champion -- just had too many weapons for the inexperienced
Nitros (1-9, 1-2).
So why were the game tallies so close?
"We were just trying some different things," said Falcon Coach
John Nelson, which explains why his team committed 34 errors during
Wednesday's match. "We have to do something different to beat
Claremont and Arcadia."
The Falcons lost a pair of heartbreakers last week against their
primary competition in league.
Claremont defeated Crescenta Valley in four games on March 30, as
did Arcadia two days later.
With that as a backdrop, Nelson's squad looked to get back on
track against the Nitros, who snapped an eight-match losing skid
Friday by defeating Hoover in five games.
When the Falcons played to their potential, they were unstoppable,
especially senior Stuart Lange.
The outside hitter finished with a match-best 15 kills, 12 digs
and six aces. It was during Lange's hot moments that Crescenta Valley
The Falcons built leads of 17-10 in the first game, 23-17, in the
second and 19-10 in the third.
But after getting the sizable cushions, sloppy play by Crescenta
Valley allowed Glendale -- which had just 14 kills as a team -- to
The Nitros got within, 19-15, in the first, 24-22, in the second
and 19-15 in the third.
Vinson Ching was responsible for those rallies.
The Nitro senior finished with a team-best seven kills and two
But despite Ching's toughness, Glendale just didn't have enough
depth to match Crescenta Valley, which received seven kills each from
Nick Muccitelli and Adam Romine, in addition to five apiece from
Eugene Yi and Julien Ziolanka.
"Our blocking was not even there at times," Glendale Coach Trent
Parkin said. "That's something we need to really work on."
* HAMLET NALBANDYAN covers sports. He can be reached at (818)
637-3226 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.