By Brandon HENSLEY
After some competitive, intense volleyball this past week, the scene Tuesday afternoon in the Crescenta Valley High School gymnasium was decidedly less stressful. The Lady Falcons’ volleyball team easily took care of visiting John Muir High School in three sets, 25-7, 25-11, 25-10, to nab a Pacific League victory and get back on track after a tough loss last Thursday.
The Falcons downed the Mustangs without the help of some of their starters, but that was by design. Top players, seniors Patty Kerman and Noor Alanizi, played the opening of the first set, but then quickly took a seat as Coach Kevin Boyke allowed his reserves to compete for most of the entire match.
“We put our B team in. You gotta play everyone, you know? They played great,” Kerman said. “I think it’s great we can play everyone and win.”
Muir kept up a competitive spirit, but CV (9-8 overall, 6-2 in league) was fundamentally too sound and quick for the Mustangs, who dropped to 0-7 in league.
Senior Elise Boyle was out there with the reserves, but for the most part this was the time to shine for players who don’t see the court that often. Roxy Raad, Lauren Byun and Hanna Alanizi all contributed for large portions, and Alyssa Pimental served up plenty of aces in the final set to put the match away.
The win for the Falcons means they are tied with Burroughs for second place in league, behind Arcadia, which is 8-0. Arcadia defeated CV last week in five sets. If the Falcons had won, they would have been tied with the Apaches for first.
“We came out really strong, but toward the third set we lost our passing ability, so that put us in a rut,” Kerman said of the Arcadia match. “Toward the end we couldn’t get up those roll shots they threw at us. It’s just little things that we missed. Next time … we’re working on it.”
Crescenta Valley took the first two sets, 26-24 and 25-17, but the Apaches wouldn’t be denied as they won the next three sets.
“We were disappointed because we had them,” Kerman said. “We were up. It just didn’t go in our favor at the end.”
Kerman said that Boyke was proud of the way the girls played because it was their best volleyball they’ve played in two seasons.
“It was an experience for us to go through, to know what it’s like to lose like that. So it makes us stronger. We can learn from that,” Kerman said.
The Falcons end their regular season hosting Arcadia on Oct. 25.
For now, though, Crescenta Valley has the Glendale schools. Today CV is at Hoover High school for a date with the Tornadoes before hosting Glendale High on Tuesday. All times are at 3:30 p.m.
Kerman, a 2015 All-League first team selection and the Falcons’ leading point scorer, is happy her team is playing better in 2016. The Falcons missed the playoffs last season and won just six games in league, a win total they have already tied with another month left to play.
She still wouldn’t say her senior year is everything she’d hoped it would be.
“No, I would love to beat Arcadia and Burroughs, but so far it’s pretty good,” she said.