By Dick Dornan
MyBurbank Sports Editor
What a difference 24 hours can make.
The season is less than two weeks old but the Burbank boys volleyball team has already shown it can bounce back from adversity. After suffering a 3-0 road defeat at the hands of Canyon on Monday evening, the Bulldogs returned to the “Doghouse” for their first home match of the year on Tuesday afternoon.
Burbank handled Hoover with relative ease taking the first Pacific League contest of the season, 3-0 (25-12, 25-21, 25-18). It was a total team effort for Burbank (2-1, 1-0) as three players had eight or more kills and the defense played consistent with few passing errors.
“We had our hands full. Canyon was a strong team and they took it to us,” Burbank coach Patrick McMenamin said. “It was good to see the boys rebound, bounce back and win in straight sets.”
The Bulldogs jumped out to a quick 11-5 lead on the Tornadoes. Willie Perryman’s stuff block followed by a kill from Patrick Lance extended Burbank’s lead to 17-10 in the first set.
Leading 19-12, Burbank closed out the first set with six straight points courtesy of four Hoover attack errors and kills by Lance and Dylan Anderson.
Tied 12-12 in the second set, the Bulldogs took command of the match rattling off 11 of the next 14 points with Robert O’Brien slamming one of his game-high 10 kills to give BHS a 23-15 advantage. Another poor Hoover service error ended the set.
Similar to the first two sets, Burbank broke open a close affair in the third set behind Perryman who recorded back-to-back kills giving the Bulldogs a 15-10 lead. Perryman added an ace to make it 17-11 and Burbank coasted the rest of the way taking the final set, 25-18.
“We passed better today,” said Perryman, who notched nine kills in the match. “We got the whole team on the same page with our passing and setting for all of our hitters. Everybody had a chance to hit and everyone had a chance to pass. It all clicked pretty well today.”
Lance added eight kills, Isaiah Torres contributed 17 assists and Anderson had a team-high 10 digs. Torres along with Kirk Capalla and Paul Shim rotated at setter and each player did a nice job of distributing the ball to their teammates.
Burbank returns seven of 15 lettermen from a year ago when the Bulldogs went 16-6 and 9-3 in league. A second place finish behind five-time league champion Burroughs resulted in a well-deserved CIF playoff berth.
“We have a lot of returners who bring plenty of experience this season. We feel good about that,” said McMenamin. “But we are still trying to figure out what kind of a team we are going to be this year.
“Our strength is our experience. The boys are students of the game, more than any of our teams in the past. We want to use that volleyball IQ to our advantage.”
The Bulldogs are off for a week before resuming league play with a match against Claremont at home on March 17.
“This team could be just amazing,” Lance said. “When we are clicking, we are really good. We need to improve when we are not clicking. It was our first home match so we were pumped for this game.”