Glendora knocks out Foothill in Div. 3 semifinals
SANTA ANA - Glendora outside hitter Emma Svagdis hobbled off the court with a slightly sprained ankle during an important point of Tuesday night's CIF Southern Section Division 3 semifinal match against host Foothill.
The second set was tied at 24. The Knights took 25-24 and 26-25 leads, yet the Tartans rallied to the second-game victory.
“We just did what we had to do,” Glendora coach Clara Lowden said. “We had Lauren (Andrews), who did a great job coming off the bench.”
Svagdis re-entered with Glendora trailing 4-0 in the third game, and the Tartans went on to sweep the Knights, 25-18, 28-26, 25-20.
Glendora (25-4) trailed Foothill (18-11) in every set.
“We just mixed it up,” said Alex Lowden, who was effective in hitting over the Knights' big front line.
Lowden finished with a match-high 15 kills. Many of them came from the back row.
Glendora will play No. 4 seed St. Joseph of Lakewood in the finals either Friday or Saturday at Cerritos College in Norwalk.
It is the first time the Tartans have reached the finals.
The season ends for Foothill, which won its first league title since 2001.
“We did not play our game,” Foothill middle hitter Grace Cannon said. “I don't know. When we had our chances, we just didn't do it.”
The sophomore said the noise in the nearly soldout Foothill gym got to the Knights.
“The (Glendora) crowd bothered us,” she said.
Both student sections were loud.
One of Glendora's strategies was to hit around the Knights' formidable block.
If Lowden wasn't making backrow smashes, Marissa Montoya was hitting dink shots.
Foothill had a 10-7 lead in the first game. Lowden had four consecutive kills to help push the Tartans to a 21-15 lead.
Foothill led 20-14 in the second game. Shyann Reynolds had three blocks and Rachel Dermejian had an ace in a 7-0 run to give the Tartans a 21-20 advantage.
A block by Cannon and kills by Eliza Cannon and Remi Lehnertz gave the Knights a 24-22 lead. Svagdis had a block and then a kill, where she sprained her ankle, to tie it at 24. L
owden had a kill and then an ace that clipped the net and dribbled over to win the game.
“That helped,” Clara Lowden said. “It gave us that lead.”
Foothill led the third game until Glendora tied it at 15. It went back and fourth until a double hit, Montoya kill and back-to-back Svagdis and Reynolds blocks made it 22-18.
Glendora has yet to drop a set in the playoffs.
Lowden had seven kills in the third game. Montoya had 14 kills and Svagdis 13 kills and four blocks in the match. Reynolds had five blocks and Demerjian five aces.
Imani Moreen led the Knights with 10 kills. Eliza Cannon and Natalie Gray had six each and Grace Cannon and Gray three blocks each.