LA CAÑADA — On the court, the La Cañada High and South Pasadena girls' volleyball teams looked to claim second place in the Rio Hondo League.
With October being Breast Cancer Awareness Month, the teams also took part in a "Dig for the Cure" match in which the rivals competed while raising awareness and funds in support of cancer research. Players from both teams wore pink, the symbolic color for breast cancer.
At the end of the night, South Pasadena registered a 25-13, 17-25, 25-23, 26-24 win against host La Cañada to complete the sweep of the two-match season series and finish second behind Monrovia. La Cañada took third place.
"We have a young team and we're picking up a lot of good experience heading into the playoffs," La Cañada Coach Chris Sullivan said. "The last two sets were so close and we were right there. We just couldn't finish it off.
"It's important to honor Breast Cancer Awareness. Breast cancer is a terrible disease, but it's something we should pay attention to. To have a 'Dig for the Cure' match is a great cause. [Former La Cañada Coach] Brock Turner started the tradition a long time ago and it's something I hope we will continue."
La Cañada (11-15, 5-5 in league) received 21 kills from Chloe Kerstein, and eight from Emily Weirick.
The Spartans appeared on the verge of forcing a fifth game after building a 24-21 lead in the fourth set. However, the Tigers (12-10, 7-3) closed out the victory with a 5-0 run.
"It's tough to lose that last set," Kerstein said. "But maybe we can find a way to get that to fire us up for the playoffs.
"We have a pretty young team, so we are always learning.
"I think it's a great tradition that's going on raising awareness for breast cancer. It's good to see making donations and they care."
In the third game, the Spartans pulled to within 22-21 on an ace from Weirick. They got to within 24-23 before the Tigers got a kill from Molly Feldmeth to grab a 2-1 advantage.
In the second set, La Cañada took a 16-12 lead on a kill from Kerstein. It then got a kill from Weirick to make it 23-18 before Weirick later finished the set with an ace.
South Pasadena, which earned a home win against La Cañada on Oct. 6, grabbed a 15-9 lead in the first set on an ace from Lily Turner-Kipke. An ace from Harper Fox of South Pasadena finished the first game.
La Cañada received 42 assists from Hailey Belcher and 11 digs from Elizabeth Gannon.
"I think we have a lot to be proud with our effort," Weirick said. "We're starting to play with a higher level of energy and things are coming together."
Charles Rich, firstname.lastname@example.org
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