Article by Christian Romo
The Apaches hardly broke a sweat in their first match against Hoover.
Sitting their starters after a dominating first set, the Arcadia Apaches (7-0) swept the Hoover Tornadoes (2-10) (25-8, 25-14, 25-13) Thursday afternoon at Arcadia High. The Apaches overwhelmed the Tornadoes early with the outside hitting tandem of junior Hannah Kennedy (#21) and senior Rachel Reedy (#22), who recorded six and four kills respectively in the first set. “It took us a little while to get into what we wanted to do,” Arcadia coach Chuck Freberg said of his offense, “but towards the end our setters decided, ‘yeah, we can run this.’”
Freberg sat his starters for the second and third set, allowing his bench players to lead the rest of the match. Junior Stephanie Yen (#10) and senior Isabell Yang (#20) especially shined, covering space and scoring kills in unconventional places on the court. Yen recorded eight total kills, six in the second set alone, while Yang wowed the home crowd with four straight aces in the second set, displaying an all-around performance the Tornadoes couldn’t match. “I prefer playing back row now,” Yang said, “but I’ve been working on my vertical to improve my game [in the front row].”
The Tornadoes got five kills and two aces from junior Pareli Amirkhanian (#4), but they couldn’t get much else going with a short bench, dressing only eight players for the match. Hoover coach Gaby Gallardo believes that what the team lacks in height and depth they can make up for with improved communication and perspective. “One of the biggest things we struggle with is keeping each other positive,” Gallardo said, “keeping that energy is what feeds us.” Hoover’s large visiting crowd kept their energy up the entire game, often drowning out the home crowd with their cheers, but it wasn’t enough as the Apaches cruised to their fifth league victory of the season.
The Apaches retain their spot at the top of the Pacific League, with Crescenta Valley and Burbank both trailing by one game. Arcadia plays Glendale at home next Tuesday at 3:30.