There was no denying the effort nor the will to win, but it took every ounce of talent and skill in order for the Burbank High girls’ volleyball team to rally past host Glendale in a Pacific League match on Tuesday.
The Bulldogs prevailed, 22-25, 25-16, 19-25, 25-21, 15-5, and the scores indicate just how close it was, but also showed Burbank’s resolve.
“Our momentum in each game was like a roller coaster ride,” Burbank coach Karl Rojo said. “Glendale gave us a good fight. We need to be more consistent and we need to play with more energy and focus.”
Had the Bulldogs not taken the fourth game, it would have been all over, but Burbank was not to be denied.
In an earlier match with the Nitros on Sept. 17, visiting Glendale prevailed, 15-25, 25-19, 25-15, 29-27.
With the score 18-18 in the fourth game on a kill from junior outside hitter Hailey Heath, Burbank then outscored Glendale, 7-3, to take the stanza.
During this run, sophomore setter Melissa Daniel had an ace that made it 20-18. Junior opposite hitter Rachel Wiley had a winner to make it 21-19, and junior outside hitter Colette Reynolds had a kill that made it 22-19 as the Nitros called time out.
Heath’s ace gave Burbank a 23-19 advantage and a blast from Reynolds vaulted the Bulldogs in front 24-20. A winner from Reynolds gave the Bulldogs the game.
The fourth game was tied 3-3 and 4-4 on a hit from junior middle blocker Nicole Winters, but Glendale pulled ahead 7-4 on an ace from sophomore defensive specialist Angela Salazar.
Glendale (10-6 and 7-2 in league) outscored the Bulldogs, 6-5, with Wiley delivering an ace that trimmed Glendale’s lead to 12-10.
A kill from Heath lowered Glendale’s lead to 16-15, and Heath’s winner tied it at 18-18.
“Physically we’re capable of playing well,” Wiley said. “But I think it gets into our heads too much. This game is more mental than physical. We need to stay strong mentally. We know what we’re capable of doing.”
Burbank jumped to a 4-0 lead in the fifth game on kills from Reynolds and Winters and a pair of aces from junior libero Carly Palmisano.
“It seems that when we’re on, we’re really on, but when we’re off, we’re really off,” Palmisano said of the team’s occasional inconsistencies. “I think we need to build our mental strength. I really see myself as a calm person. I’m able to talk to the team and get them to calm down and play like we’re capable of.”
When Winters delivered a smash to make it 8-2, the Nitros called time out, but the onslaught continued as the Bulldogs marched ahead 11-5 on a winner from Heath.
When Winters (match-best 18 kills) served four straight aces, Burbank took the game.
The Bulldogs (7-5 and 5-3 in league) began the second stanza strong as they took a 6-0 lead with points coming on three aces from Daniel and a kill from Heath.
Burbank went on a 7-3 blitz with points coming on a winner from Heath (eight kills) that made it 7-1. A Reynolds bullet made it 8-2, and Palmisano’s ace gave the Bulldogs a 9-2 edge.
Reynolds (16 kills) had a kill that made it 10-2 and prompted Glendale to call time, and a rocket from Winters made it 11-3. Daniel’s kill pushed Burbank’s advantage to 12-3, and a Winters smash made it 13-3.
The Bulldogs led 16-4 and 17-4 on aces from Reynolds, and led 18-6 on Heath’s kill. Heath’s tapper made it 19-7, and Burbank bolted ahead 20-10 on Wiley’s smash.
The Bulldogs pulled in front 23-15 on a kill from Winters, while an ace from Winters put away the game.
The opening game was tied at 21-21 when Heath’s attempt landed in the net. Burbank led 22-21 on a tapper from Heath, but Glendale tied it at 22-22 when Burbank sophomore middle blocker Bene Snyder’s shot sailed out of bounds.
Junior defensive specialist Nicolette Pirjanian’s ace gave the Nitros a 23-22 lead which led Burbank to ask for a time out.
The Bulldogs led 1-0 in the initial game on Snyder’s kill, and 4-1 on Snyder’s tapper. Burbank pulled ahead 7-5 on a winner from Reynolds, but the Nitros tied it at 8-8 on a blast from senior middle blocker Sophie Georges (13 kills).
Burbank forged ahead 15-11 on a bullet from Heath, and 16-11 on senior opposite hitter Marina Manokian’s block. It became 19-14 on a slam from Winters and 20-17 on a tapper from Reynolds.
Burbank led 4-1 in the third game on an ace from Heath, and it was even at 6-6 on Salazar’s ace. It was tied at 7-7 and 9-9, but the Bulldogs moved ahead 12-9 on a hit from Daniel.
It was level at 13-13 when Wiley’s smash floated out of bounds, but Burbank seized control 14-13 on Heath’s winner. Glendale tied it at 14-14 when Wiley’s shot sailed out of bounds.
The Nitros took control by taking the next five points as Georges’ ace made it 19-14. From there, Glendale outscored the Bulldogs, 6-5, for the game.