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By Jacob Bigley
The South Pasadena Tigers faced off against the Jordan Panthers this Tuesday in the first round of CIF playoffs. The Tigers got off to a slow start in game one as they trailed the Panthers 6-0 early. The first Tiger point came from Greg Luck (#9), who demonstrated his power early with a spike, recording his first kill of the night. The first match contained a lot of debated calls that fell in favor of the Panthers, which resulted in a Tiger timeout with the Panthers leading 12-17. Out of the time out, the Panthers committed a line fault on their serve, which ignited the Tigers on a seven-point streak, giving them a 19-17 lead. The Tigers were able to maintain their lead thanks to the power of twins Max and Greg Luck, taking the first game 25-20.
The second game started with teams trading points, until Greg Luck rallied his team with yet another seven-point streak, recording four kills in the rally alone. The Panthers trailed the Tigers 13-8 and in an attempt to stop the momentum, Head Coach Larry Taylor called a timeout. The lead stayed at five for the Tigers, 21-16, as they continued trading points until Pasadena firmly took over. The final point was scored by Max Luck, who delivered a titanic spike, winning the game 25-18 and putting the Tigers one game closer to advancing in the CIF playoffs.
The Panthers’ defense was the victor in game three. Pasadena kept getting denied at the net, digging them into an early 2-7 hole. The Panthers’ Dimitry Fagalima (#20) and Israel Sarabia (#24) stepped up, recording multiple blocks and kills and keeping the Tigers contained. The Tigers strung together some points and diminished the deficit to only one point, 20-21. Jordan High’s Fagalima shone with a block and a kill but the game-winning point came from Sarabia (#24) whose spike gave them the win 22-25.
Game four was all about the Tigers. They broke out to an early lead, 11-4, and never looked back. Tigers defeated the Panthers 25-13 and earned a spot in the second round of 2 CIF-SS Boys’ Volleyball Playoffs. Greg Luck earned the player of the game status with his precision strikes and powerful kills Tuesday night. His brother, Max Luck, earns a mention as well with his intensity and will to win. This dynamic duo hopes to advance pass Camarillo today, Thursday, May 14th at Camarillo 7 p.m.