The Burroughs High boys’ volleyball team has played some very tough teams this season.
Saturday evening the Bears played an opponent that was as difficult as those they have seen.
Pushed to a fifth game, Burroughs eventually prevailed with a 25-22, 25-21, 19-25, 22-25, 15-9 victory over Cerritos Valley Christian in a CIF Southern Section Division 2 second-round contest.
“We know there are going to be errors. We’re pushing the limits on a lot of things that we’re doing. It is just trying to get them to re-set after errors,” Burroughs coach Joel Brinton said. “It started to mount up a lot. We’re not going to change the game plan. We’re going to stay aggressive. It was nice to see them go through the struggle, but then to re-set and coming out firing in the fifth set.”
Burroughs will travel to Orange County Wednesday to play at Tesoro of Las Flores in the quarterfinals.
The Bears (30-3) had to contend with Valley Christian’s dominant duo hitting of 6-foot-7 Micah Sybesma, who is committed to Vanguard University and 6-foot-5 Cole Oliver. The pair each had 24 kills.
Burroughs outside hitter Justin Burras was also superb, as he had a match-high 26 kills.
“We were expecting a tough match because they had two phenomenal attackers as everyone saw,” Brinton said. “As long as they could set to them, there’s a pretty good chance of it turning into a kill.”
Getting Valley Christian (21-3) to make mistakes was not easy. Leading 23-22 in the first game, Burroughs got a break when one Crusader stepped on a teammate’s shoe trying to retrieve a ball, throwing off his momentum and giving the point to Burroughs.
Valley Christian served into the net on the game-clinching point for Burroughs in the second.
Burroughs fell behind early in the third game. The Bears tied things at nine on a kill from Burras. Valley Christian went ahead again before another Burras kill tied things at 16. But Sybesma and Oliver combined to put together six kills to help close out the game.
Things did not improve in the fourth game, as Oliver dominated with nine kills.
“We knew Burroughs had a very good program. We gave them everything we had, but they never quit. That’s the sign of a good team,” Valley Christian coach Jason Kwak said.
Burroughs got 10 kills from Vinny Harris and eight kills and three blocks from Pucky Lawrence. Burras also served four aces. Setter Christian Solano had 41 assists.