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Practice made perfect for Robert Adamson, South Pasadena High boys' volleyball

Just like the rest of the Tigers, Adamson had a teammate pushing him to improve, leading to best season in program history.

June 29, 2013|By Andrew Shortall, andrew.shortall@latimes.com
  • ARCHIVE PHOTO: South Pasadena High's Robert Adamson, center, is the 2013 All-Area Boys' Volleyball Player of the Year.
ARCHIVE PHOTO: South Pasadena High's Robert Adamson,… (Steven Georges )

Robert Adamson got a late start to his senior season with the South Pasadena High boys’ volleyball team.

The 2012 All-Area and All-Rio Hondo League first-teamer, who figured to be the Tigers’ best hitter again, missed the first few weeks of the team’s practices with an illness. When the 6-foot-4 opposite hitter joined the team for the first time in 2013, he quickly realized he couldn’t take anything for granted.

The reason was because of a new addition to the team. Richard Yu, a 6-foot-3 outside hitter, transferred to South Pas from China and quickly showed he’d be giving Adamson a run for bragging rights on the team.

“Richard was able to put the ball away the hardest on our team and that used to be Robert,” second-year Tigers Coach Ben Diaz said.

Fellow South Pasadena seniors David Barker and Quinn Hutchings recalled Yu and Adamson going back and forth with each other in practices. Barker said it helped Adamson get back up to speed after his sickness.

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“It probably took him a good month to fully recover. Watching him recover and battle, it’s the best I’ve ever seen him play before,” said Barker, who’s played with Adamson since they were both about 10. “With the competition we had on our team in practice, he really developed into a lot better player.”

Adamson’s improvement, along with a similar Adamson-Yu competition through the whole team, helped the Tigers hit new heights in 2013. South Pasadena went on win its first CIF Southern Section Division III championship with a victory over Camarillo, which eliminated the Tigers in the quarterfinals the year before.

At the end of the season, Adamson was deemed the key ingredient to South Pas’ run, earning All-Rio Hondo League and All-CIF Division III Player of the Year honors. He was also unanimously voted the All-Area Boys’ Volleyball Player of the Year by the writers and editors of the Glendale News-Press, Burbank Leader, La Cañada Valley Sun and Pasadena Sun.

“It definitely is [weird being singled out], I am not used to all of this attention,” Adamson said of all the postseason awards. “It’s nice to look back and be appreciated, but I wouldn’t have been able to do any of it without the whole team.”

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