The Black Panthers of Rosemead tear South El Monte’s Wings in Volleyball.


Cesar Nunez, Features editor

A varsity boys volleyball game took place at South El Monte and was scheduled on March 31st from 3:30 PM to 5:00 PM against the Rosemead Panthers. Many students and parents were present at the game to root on for their teams. The game started with an early lead from Rosemead, but the Eagles swooped in and managed to bounce back after #11 Nauh Martinez had a very successful set of blocks and got the score to 6-4 with South ahead. After a short intermission to allow both teams to recover and reorganize, the Eagles were able to increase their lead to 8-5.  After some intense plays, Rosemead was able to tie the game at 13-13. This part of the game may have seemed to be in the eagles favor, but Rosemead had  gained the upper hand when the second intermission took place. Rosemead and South were still neck and neck and had everyone in the gym at the edge of their seats, but it had come down to a score of  23-25. If Rosemead scored one more time it would be a win in their favor for the first half of the game. Rosemead had been able to get the next point and South was 0-1, but they still had a very good chance at winning this match.

At the start of the second half of the game, South’s Volleyball team seemed to be reinvigorated and ready to battle it out with Rosemead. South started off with a huge lead and lots of momentum when they went 5-0 against Rosemead, but Rosemead had managed to bounce back due to the result of overshot balls and some good offense. The varsity eagles volleyball team still seemed determined to extend the lead, but the eagles were 9-7 and after a great couple of sets and blocks by South it had transformed to 16-9 lead. Though this lead would not remain long after a series of close calls and great last second decisions, Rosemead was able to almost tie the score at 15-16, but after a great block by #10 Brandon  Salvador it was denied. A little while later once again the score was tied  18-18, but Rosemead seemed to be the one with the momentum. Rosemead  proceeded to perform well with several blocks, saves, and a really successful offense bringing the score to 23-18 Rosemead up. The Eagles fought hard for a win but failed as Rosemead overtook them with the final score of 26-23.

 The third and final set began after a 15 minute intermission. This third set was the final beam of hope that the eagles had in order to win this intense game. Rosemead started off this match strong and was able to get a 7-0 lead before the first point scored by South. Despite this setback, the Eagles came back and were able to bring the score to 7-10 thanks to fantastic offense and defense. Rosemead still continued to persist and through some close calls were able to strengthen their lead to a score of 15-9. After constant struggle for both teams to score the score is 17-23 Rosemead up, but South seems to have gotten a spur of energy at this point and didn’t let one point go through until they were almost tied thanks to the help of Nauh Martinez, Ethan Hernandez, and Joseph Sanches. The score was 24-23 and Rosemead only needed 2 more points till they’d beat South. South was  able to get another point and tie the game. However, Rosemead  proceeded to get the better of them with a miraculous ball. Then, Rosemead only needed one more point and they were able to get it and overcome the Eagles with a 26-24 final victory. The Eagles fought hard, but were not able to win.

This loss was devastating due to how many close calls there were during the game. Coach Lopez commented on the game after stating, “What caused us to lose vs Rosemead was the lack of intensity. Volleyball is a sport where one has to play with a strong and smart mindset to build up momentum as the game goes on. If a team plays with intensity, the momentum of the game will swing their way. I think we just didn’t play with that fire we usually have in games.” When asked how his players can improve he stated, “Practice harder and at practice they can take practice more seriously.” Coach Lopez elaborated that  he was indeed disappointed with the outcome because he recalled that his team previously was able to play against Rosemead all the way to a 5th set. Although the Eagles tried they were not able to succeed, but next time they will be ready.