Being mentally prepared and focused are aspects sometimes overlooked in sports when it comes to winning and losing.
On Tuesday afternoon, the host Burbank High girls’ volleyball team seemed to lose its train of thought in the third set which set in motion a 25-20, 22-25, 25-20, 25-17, win by Chaminade in a nonleague match.
“I thought the effort was great,” Burbank coach Karl Rojo said. “Maybe just a lack of focus at the end of sets. Maybe we lost a little effort and focus. Our service errors didn’t help.”
Rojo said that everything should be okay, given that it was the team’s first match and then added: “I think we’re fine. Just the mental effort,” he noted.
In that third game, the Bulldogs led 3-2, but fell behind 10-7 when junior libero Gillian Yee unloaded a service ace.
A kill from Burbank senior outside hitter Amaya Broyls cut the gap to 14-10.
The Bulldogs moved within 16-12 on a winner from junior setter Ashley Eskander (56 assists with nine digs and two service aces).
When Burbank senior middle blocker Olivia Price and Broyls combined on a block it became 16-13 and a kill from Broyls made it 16-14.
“We were really getting good serve receive passes and that really helped Ashley get good sets for our hitters,” said Broyls, who had 13 kills with 15 digs of the first two sets versus the final two sets.
Broyls went on: “We lost some focus,” she pointed out. “We try to move on from our mistakes. We try to stay calm and stay focused.”
Burbank drew within 18-16 on a kill from junior outside hitter Katie Treadway (team-high 14 kills with 16 digs and one ace), but the Eagles (1-1) went on a 7-4 spurt including a spike from senior outside hitter Bryce Van der Valk for the set.
“We noticed that they were missing a lot of serves,” Van der Valk said. “It is hard to stay focused when you’re ahead.”
The second set was knotted at 3-3, 4-4 and 5-5 before Burbank (0-1) took command 14-10 on a winner from senior opposite hitter Carmen Camacho-Platas.
It became 19-17 in favor of Burbank on a kill from Broyls, 23-21 on an ace from Camacho-Platas and 25-22 on a service winner from Broyls.
The opening set saw the Bulldogs march in front 9-5 on a spike from Broyls, who is the catcher on the softball team.
Again the scoring went back and forth with the Bulldogs eventually pulling ahead 17-14 on a kill from Broyls.
It was even at 18-18 before the Eagles surged ahead 21-18 on a winner from freshman outside hitter Paulina Darby.
Chaminade finally secured the game on an ace from Van der Valk.
“About halfway through the third set I think we were a little bit more disciplined,” Chaminade coach Cory Chandler said of the latter portion of the match. “What I sensed was that we played our game.”
The fourth set was controlled by Chaminade which led 9-4 on junior middle blocker Alexi Whitfield’s kill.
A winner from freshman outside hitter Isabella Martinez made it 12-6 and Van der Valk’s dagger pushed it to 17-10.
Chaminade, which dropped a five-setter to Calabasas on Monday, pushed ahead 19-11 on a service ace from Van der Valk before Burbank came within 24-16 on a kill from Treadway.
“I really think we started to work better as a team,” Chaminade senior setter Sofie Sullivan said of the last two sets. “You have to get a feel for the team [Burbank].”
“I think the hardest thing to do is keep your spirts up,” Chaminade senior libero Adriana Ferraro said. “Every point counts. Every point matters. I think our seniors are the leaders on the court.”