BOYS VOLLEYBALL: La Canada prevails in five

Spartans overcome 11-7 deficit in deciding game to get past Gabrielino

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Above: La Canada’s Evan Zarate tries to hit past Gabrielino’s James Remes and Daniel Lin during the Spartans’ five-game victory. (Correspondent photo by Larry Goren/Sports)

My thoughts: It didn’t start out looking that great, but this was an outstanding volleyball match that could’ve gone either way.

By Scott Galetti, Staff Writer
LA CAADA – There’s no denying that emotion and momentum are an essential recipe for winning volleyball matches.
After fighting from behind, the Gabrielino High School boys team had plenty of emotion on its side – seemingly enough to win against host La Canada on Tuesday afternoon in the Rio Hondo League opener for both schools.
But the Spartans reached into the reserve to wrestle away the momentum and a five-game victory, 25-15, 22-25, 25-14, 24-26, 15-12.
“Momentum is huge in volleyball, and it’s the topic of a lot of timeouts between games that at the time you have the other team down, they don’t play their best,” La Canada first-year coach Linda Murphy said. “The two matches that we had lost were five-game matches and this is the first one we’ve won.”
The Spartans (7-2, 1-0) found themselves down 11-7 in the deciding fifth game, but used the recent memory of a five-game loss at the hands of Golden Valley – one they led 11-4 in the fifth game – to overcome the pesky Eagles (4-1, 0-1).
“You almost have to have that loss to have this win,” Murphy said.
Gabrielino thought it had a victory, but it was swept away when La Canada used an 8-1 run to win the match.
The Eagles played the match without their starting setter David Lin, who forgot his uniform. Daniel Lin took his place in the lineup.
“Daniel doesn’t get a lot of playing time so I felt like he stepped up, and I was very proud of the guys and their effort,” Gabrielino coach Kevin McClure said.
Evan Zarate paced La Canada with 14 kills, and Chris Sullivan had 12 kills and four blocks.
Tommy Tsoi led the Eagles with 11 kills and a game-high five aces.