BOYS VOLLEYBALL: Temple City continues to impress

Rams make San Gabriel feel ill

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(Staff Photo Keith Birmingham)

My Thoughts: The Rams have a pair of solid middle blockers in Aaron Kappe and Ben Hogue. Temple City’s match against South Pasadena should be interesting.

By Scott Galetti, Staff Writer
SAN GABRIEL – Temple City High School middle blocker Ben Hogue was feeling a bit under the weather during Thursday’s boys volleyball match at San Gabriel. So much so that he sat out a game.
In the end, however, the Matadors were the ones feeling ill, thanks to Hogue and fellow middle blocker Aaron Kappe.
Kappe posted 14 kills and five blocks and Hogue added seven kills to lead Temple City to a four-game victory, 25-10, 22-25, 25-19, 25-17.
The Rams (10-2) had little trouble in the first game and appeared to be in control of the match from the start.
“We had all our passing and hitting in the first game and they were making all of the mistakes,” Kappe said. “In the second game, we started making a lot of mistakes and it just started killing us, and we just weren’t playing the best that we could.”
It wasn’t only San Gabriel that was hurting Temple City. Hogue’s stomach couldn’t hold out and he was forced to leave the match in the second game.
“He got sick and we had our other middle play, and we were still in awe of what just happened,” Temple City coach Eric Chin said. “We were winning, but I think we relaxed a lot and took it easy.”
Hogue’s return in the third game was a lift to the Rams’ spirits and made the Matadors (3-6) sick.
“We lost the second game, so I said, ‘We’re not losing the third and fourth,’ so I decided to come back,” Hogue said.
Even with Hogue temporarily on the sideline, Temple City had the luxury of relying on Kappe to come up with a big kill or block.
“I think he’s one of our most important players,” Chin said. “Without him, I don’t think we’d be doing this well, because he can pass, serve and he’s our main middle hitter, so we want to put him in the front as much as we can.”
Kappe wasn’t satisfied with the way he performed, though.
“I could’ve played a lot better,” he said. “I hit a couple out and I missed a couple of my blocks, and there’s always room for improvement.”
San Gabriel showed glimpses of the successful program it once was, with sporadic runs in the third and fourth games. But the young Matadors still have much learning to do.
“It started out bad because we weren’t prepared to play,” San Gabriel coach Chris Kwan said of his team’s 25-10 loss in Game 1. “We’re not really a good team right now, and things are getting more important because we start league next week.
“It’s my job to make sure these guys are ready to play, and the other half is them.”
Alex Lung led San Gabriel with seven kills.