By Rick Assad
Special to MyBurbank
One way to measure success is whether a team is consistent, and although the Burroughs High boys’ volleyball team wasn’t against host Burbank on Wednesday night, the Indians still had more than enough to push aside the Bulldogs, 25-18, 28-26, 25-19, in a Pacific League encounter before a boisterous full house.
Burroughs senior outside hitter Max Chamberlain was consistent and a clear difference-maker as he demonstrated why he will be playing volleyball for Pepperdine University in the fall.
“I was not worried at all,” said Chamberlain, who finished with eight kills and four digs on the closeness of the middle game. “That was our own fault. We also know that we have a big target on our back. I try not to think about who we’re playing even if it’s Burbank. For me every game feels the same.”
The swing game was the second because it could have gone to either squad, but eventually went in favor of Burroughs (14-1 and 3-0 in league), the CIF Southern Section Division II No. 2 ranked team.
With it tied at 2-2, 5-5, 6-6, 7-7 and 8-8, the Indians, who have an 11-match winning streak after losing to Notre Dame on March 6, pulled ahead 13-10, only to see the feisty Bulldogs knot it at 17-17.
It was even at 19-19 on a splendid block by Burroughs junior setter Ryan Van Loo, who had 25 assists.
Burbank knotted it at 20-20 on a tapper from sophomore outside hitter Zack Cranmer, at 21-21 on senior middle blocker Robert O’Brien’s bullet, while Burroughs tied at 22-22 when O’Brien’s serve sailed out of bounds.
“These games are more mental,” said Burroughs coach Joel Brinton, who has watched his teams capture five consecutive league titles, and 23 league matches in a row. “They [the Indians] don’t take a game off. But there are small things we need to dial in. They’re teenagers and they’re bound to make mistakes. What I want is for them to be consistent. They’re a great group of guys.”
The Bulldogs (10-6 and 2-2 in league) never flinched despite losing the first two games as they stayed within striking distance.
“That second set was our opportunity, but we didn’t capitalize,” Burbank coach Patrick McMenamin noted. “We didn’t focus on playing the perfect game. We just wanted to play good. We have respect for Burroughs. They are balanced at all the positions and they’re difficult to stop.”
After it was level at 2-2 in the third game, the Indians, ranked No. 8 in the state by the website maxpreps.com, proceeded to pull ahead 12-6 on a winner from junior middle blocker Bailey Carter, who finished with eight kills and two blocks.
It became 15-9 on a slam from junior middle blocker Andrew Dalmada before the Indians bolted in front 22-13 on a marvelous stretch from Chamberlain, who had a stuff and two spectacular winners.
The Bulldogs demonstrated true grit as they outscored the Indians, 6-3, with senior middle blocker Willie Perryman and senior outside hitter Dylan Anderson (five kills) doing most of the damage.
It was even at 2-2 in the opening frame, but the explosive Indians went on a tear and led 10-6 on a rocket from Van Loo, who also delivered four blocks along with 11 digs.
Burbank wasn’t about to fold and outscored the Indians, 5-2, to close within 12-11 on a winner from Perryman, who capped the night with eight kills and six blocks.
Burroughs reasserted itself and darted in front, 19-15, on a terrific stuff from Dalmada (14 digs, six kills and two blocks), and then built a 23-17 advantage on a bullet from junior outside hitter Cameron Capili, who had nine digs with six kills.
In the final game Burroughs dashed ahead 6-3 on a service ace from Chamberlain, and then took control 11-6 on a kill from Carter.
The Indians settled into a 15-9 lead on Dalmada’s blast, and it blossomed to 22-13 on another brilliant stretch from Chamberlain, who tossed in a block with a pair of kills.
Burbank continued to show spunk and resilience as it rallied and outscored the Indians, 6-3, with Perryman chipping in with three blocks.
Junior setter Paul Shim contributed 20 assists for the Bulldogs, junior libero Christian Park added nine digs, while senior libero Matt Kim had nine digs for the Indians.
These two longtime rivals will meet again on April 24 at Burroughs, and it should be just as tight and exciting.