Above: Lexi Resch (4) is one of the coolest freshman players I’ve ever interviewed. She not only played with such confidence and flair, but she also gave great quotes after the game. And after I was done with my interview, I extended my hand to shake hers. Instead of the usual business-like hand shake, I got the down-low-five-fist-pump. I thought that was pretty cool! Oh, and by the way, she had a game-high 20 kills, so you know she’ll be a force for the Apaches and a major migrane for opposing teams.
By Miguel A. Melendez, Staff Writer
GLENDALE – Growing up is part of the process for a young team, and the Arcadia High School girls volleyball team did plenty of it Thursday.
The Apaches took a comfortable lead in the final game but then needed a comeback to preserve a 26-24, 22-25, 20-19, 25-23 win over Glendale in Pacific League action.
Freshman Lexi Resch led the way with a match-high 20 kills and senior Brittney Lee wasn’t far behind with 19. The tandem carried Arcadia (7-1, 3-0) in the final game with Resch recording the final three kills before a return by Glendale (12-7, 1-2) went out of bounds to seal the win.
Arcadia coach Charles Freberg said learning how to win is part of the growing process.
“Our girls had to fight for their wins and they did, which is what we need to learn how to do,” Freberg said. “We act like a young team on and off, and part of learning how to play the game is making decisions that are going to be good for your team and not put them in jeopardy.”
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Arcadia led 15-11 in the fourth game before the Nitros clawed back to tie it at 19-19 and then again at 20-20 before reeling off a modest 3-0 run to take a 23-20 lead. That forced the Apaches to call timeout.
“That’s happened to us more than once,” Resch said. “We’ve had a lot of leads but teams always come back. We have to learn from that and I think by the end of the season we’ll pick up on that quickly.”
Glendale had trouble coming back after timeouts, and it happened again in the most crucial part of the match as a Glendale service error was the start of Arcadia’s 5-0 run that closed the match.
“When you get into (a) higher level the games will get more intense and you can’t give up that lead,” Resch added. “We have to play with intensity until the end.”
The first game was too close for comfort and the second game saw 11 ties and the Apaches couldn’t overcome the early deficit.
“The first two games we weren’t coming together as a team,” Lee said. “I wasn’t coming through as a leader.”
That wasn’t the case in the third game when Arcadia, after Glendale tied it at 1-1, jumped to a considerable lead and led by as much as 18-8. The Apaches won a long rally point that included three digs that wowed a boisterous crowd. Arcadia got off to a strong start in the final game and led 15-9 before Glendale displayed relentless effort.
“They’ve gotten a lot better,” Lee said of Glendale. “Everybody’s been stepping up in our league and we’re a young team so we need to keep practicing. (Glendale) came out and gave us a show really, really well.”
Ninette Mirzakhanian had a team-high 10 kills to lead Glendale, which made an impression on Freberg.
“I thought they were great,” he said. “From last year to this year it’s really night and day. They understood the game a lot better. They have a great libero (Mary Tonkian) who played really well.”