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No free Pas for Glendale

Volleyball: Pasadena High girls' volleyball team gets jump on visiting Glendale in Pacific League play.

September 28, 2011|By Andrew J. Campa, andrew.campa@latimes.com

PASADENA — It may be early in the Pacific League girls' volleyball season, but the significance of Tuesday's league match between visiting Glendale High and host Pasadena wasn't lost on either team.

Maybe that's why the Bulldogs were a little more thrilled and the Nitros a bit more bummed after Pasadena's 25-18, 25-17, 16-25, 25-11 triumph at Hamilton Gymnasium.

With the victory, the Bulldogs improved to 3-3 overall and 2-2 in league, where they are currently tied for fourth place with Crescenta Valley (2-3, 2-2).

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The Nitros dropped to 5-4, 1-3.

"It's a pretty big win for us," Bulldogs Coach Shari Iwatani said. "We struggled through the first two league games and this helps boast our confidence and helps our team gel a little bit more."

Momentum was up for grabs after the third game as the Nitros stormed back from a 2-0 deficit with a convincing 25-16 victory.

That energy, however, did not carry over into the fourth game.

In fact, it was quite the opposite as the Bulldogs raced out to a 9-2 advantage behind the devastating serve of 6-foot-3 junior Bayley Neubauer.

The middle blocker served with Pasadena leading 5-2 and directly contributed to three of her team's next four points.

Neubauer went to work after a kill from Bulldogs' senior Mariah Holden through the dig attempt of Glendale's Sevana Stepanian.

Neubauer first connected on a flat-footed ace, which was followed by a Glendale service-receive error.

Neubauer's final point of the Bulldogs' 4-0 run came with a line-drive ace that rippled off the top of the net and died on Glendale's side. The point put Pasadena ahead, 9-2, and led to a timeout from Glendale Coach Jennifer Vo.

"On our first serves we stay on the ground and once we get into the swing of it, we start jump serving," said Neubauer, who finished with a match-high eight aces. "When we serve low, that's usually when we stay on the ground."

The timeout froze Neubauer, who smacked a service error out of the break.

However, despite the Bulldogs' error, Glendale did not recover.

Pasadena continued to build its lead toward its zenith of 13 at 21-8 and again at 22-9.

Two kills from Nitros' outside hitter Ninette Mirzakhanian pushed the score to 22-11.

Yet, the Bulldogs closed out with a kill and block from Racheal Ofili and a match-clinching ace from Holden.

Holden's ace was Pasadena's 16th, much to the chagrin of Vo.

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