Burroughs Boys Volleyball Pushes Past Westlake

Bears win in sweep over visiting Warriors, 25-13, 26-24, 25-15.

(Photo by Austin Gebhardt)

The Burroughs boys’ volleyball team has begun its season with a lot of matches in a short time span.
To no surprise, the 11-time defending Pacific League champion Bears were prepared when Westlake High came to town Tuesday night.
Burroughs shook off a slow start to win 25-13, 26-24, 25-15 over the visiting Warriors.
“We had a pretty clear plan and it was nice to see ourselves execute,” coach Joel Brinton said of his team, which was playing its ninth match of the season in just seven days. “Everyone is trying to figure everything out. Everyone is in the same position from Covid and figuring out what their best lineup is.”

Photo by Austin Gebhardt

Burroughs (6-3) played against elite competition in the Redondo Tournament over the weekend, losing to the likes of Long Beach Wilson, Servite, and Thousand Oaks.
Westlake, a neighborhood and league rival of Thousand Oaks, is known for its strong athletic department across many sports.
“We were excited to get them on the schedule. They had some hitters that could do some things,” Brinton said.

Both teams began the match with a number of unforced errors that saw the two tied at 7. But Burroughs then began to break away, thanks to a kill and a block from Vinny Harris. Then Justin Burras and Pucky Lawrence started to heat up and take over.
Burras finished with a team-high 12 kills. One of his four kills in the first game pushed Burroughs out to a 19-10 lead. Burras had a pair of kills and a block on three consecutive points to help make things easier for the Bears.
Burroughs opened up to a 7-1 lead in the second game. But Brinton made a number of substitutions and made his team learn from its mistakes until Westlake tied things at 22.
But Burroughs came out of the timeout confident as Jeremy Lapeze snuck in a short kill to catch Westlake off guard and hurt the Warriors’ momentum.
Burroughs won the game as Westlake served too long to make it 25-24 and hit the ball into the net on the game-winning point.
Burroughs jumped out to a 5-1 lead in the third and final game as was never seriously threatened.
Vinny Harris and Lapeze each had six kills for the Bears. Junior Mark Hopkins had five kills. Lawrence added three kills.
Starting setter Christian Solano finished with 16 assists.
 “It has been a long first week,” Brinton said. “We’re trying to get ready for league.”