But the Nitros couldn’t complete the comeback, falling short of forcing a fifth game when Pasadena held on for a narrow win in Game 4 to complete a key 27-25, 25-19, 22-25, 25-23 Pacific League victory at home on Tuesday afternoon in the Bulldogs’ final regular-season home game.
The Bulldogs did come out strong in the fourth game, jumping out to a 5-2 lead on Alexis James’ kill, but Glendale quickly made it close and tied the match at 8 on a kill by Alyssa Ridad. It remained tied through 13 before Pasadena made a 5-1 run, capped by a Neubauer roof, to go up, 23-17.
But Glendale made a firm stand, scoring the next five points with an ace from Sevana Stepanian and two big kills from Kimberly Coffman to pull within one. James answered with a kill to set up match point for Pasadena and although Serena Snaer once again brought the Nitros within one on a block, it was all over one point later when Neubauer sealed the deal with a kill.
Pasadena (11-8, 5-7 in league) and Glendale (7-11, 4-8) came into Tuesday’s match in a three-way tie for fourth place in league and the final automatic playoff spot with Crescenta Valley. It’s now a two-way tie, as the Falcons (7-9, 5-7) also notched a win over Muir on Tuesday, while the Nitros drop into fifth with two matches left.
“We still have two more games and we just want to finish the season off strong,” Glendale Coach Jennifer Vo said.
The Nitros had a good opportunity to steal the opening game from Pasadena, as they held a slim lead for nearly the entire stanza and were up, 24-23, and 25-24, with chances to put it away. But the Bulldogs scored the next three points, including a kill by Ciara Garner, to tie it and a kill by Holden to seal the win.
Pasadena then rolled to a relatively easy second-game win, taking a 20-11 lead at one point on a kill by Keegan Snowden and holding off a Glendale rally with kills by Garner and Holden down the stretch.
Glendale played its best in the third game where it took a 14-7 lead before Pasadena fought back with seven straight to tie it at 14 on a Neubauer kill. But the Nitros got some late separation behind a Kirsten Cabarong kill that made it 23-21.
“We missed a few serves and missed a few passes,” Vo said. “I think passing was a big problem for us for service-receive, but they have a big middle and she’s very hard to go around.”