Things have been anything but normal for the Burroughs High boys’ volleyball team this season.
The Bears recently had their Pacific League home winning streak snapped, for instance, putting their bid to win another league crown in jeopardy.
Looking to get back on track and finish the regular season on a positive note before embarking on another appearance in the CIF playoffs, Burroughs took on cross-town rival Burbank in a league home match Wednesday.
Burroughs shook off some early cobwebs and received some excellent serving from Owen Miller to register a 25-20, 26-24, 25-18 victory.
Burroughs (6-7, 3-2 in league) received a stiff test from Burbank (9-14, 2-4) to complete the season series sweep. The Bears notched a 25-23, 25-22, 19-25, 25-18 win against the Bulldogs on March 14 at Burbank.
“We’ve just been trying to work through some things,” said Burroughs coach Joel Brinton, whose team saw its home league winning streak conclude at 47 against Crescenta Valley on Friday. “We’re figuring things out and we’re trying to get back on track.
“I saw some good things, like the way Owen served in the second set and we seemed to get it going the rest of the way.”
Burbank appeared on the cusp of knotting the match at one set apiece after it built a 24-20 lead. However, Burroughs fought off a Burbank serve to pull to within 24-21 before Miller took charge with a series of crafty serves.
The Bears took a 25-24 advantage before an ace by Miller capped the rally and gave the Bears a 2-0 set lead.
“That was definitely the turning point right there,” Brinton said.
Burbank coach James Cowart concurred.
“We were looking so good there, but we just couldn’t close that set out,” Cowart said. “It looked like we had it won, but we just couldn’t overcome some mistakes. We were in the middle of competing against an historically good team that’s had a lot of success in league and Division I/II playoffs.”
In the third set, the Bears took a 21-17 lead on a kill by Gavin Arnold. A kill from Benji Ly wrapped up the second set and provided the Bears some breathing room.
Burroughs never trailed in the first set. A kill by Hopkins (team-high 13 kills) made it 18-14. Burbank pulled to within 23-20 before a kill by Hopkins and a hitting error by Burbank clinched the set.
Burbank got 10 kills from Noah Lintag.
Burroughs, which reached the CIF Southern Section Division II quarterfinals last season, will participate in another league home match against Glendale on Friday.
Burbank, which didn’t qualify for the playoffs a season ago, will travel to face Arcadia in a league battle Tuesday.