For roughly three quarters of Thursday night’s CIF Southern Section Division III first-round playoff match, the Burroughs High girls’ volleyball team pretty much dominated visiting University.
The four-setter was claimed by the Indians 25-17, 22-25, 25-18, 27-25, but it could easily have spilled over to a fifth game.
The fourth set was a classic and knotted at 25-25, and it eventually boiled down to the final two points.
“We had trouble getting the ball to the setter. Once we got the ball to the setter, our hitters are pretty hard to stop,” Burroughs coach Edwin Real said.
Junior outside hitter Lydia Grote collected both points to secure the win and a second-round match against Notre Dame Academy on Saturday.
The Indians played Notre Dame Academy and lost in five sets in August.
It will be played at 6 p.m. and the Indians will be the host, but it will be played at Crescenta Valley High because their gym is being used for homecoming.
“We’ve got one day to practice,” Real said of the turnaround. “We’ve played them before in a tournament [Molten Classic] and we’re going to look at that tape.”
The Indians surged ahead 6-1 in the fourth game and led 10-5 on a kill from senior opposite hitter Juliana Van Loo.
Grote’s spike made it 15-10, but consecutive aces from Trojans sophomore outside hitter Kiana Zarghalami cut the lead to 15-14 and Grote’s hitting error evened it at 15-15.
“In the first set I thought we were all there,” said Grote, who had a match-best 25 kills. “We were all ready. In the second set we kind of let that drop. Took it for granted. In the third set we pulled it back together again.”
Grote’s spike tied it at 16-16 and an ace from senior setter Shea McGovern made it 17-16.
Van Loo’s tapper put the Indians in front 18-16 and Grote’s softie pushed it to 19-16.
“We’re definitely happy that we won, but I know and we know that we can play a lot better,” said Van Loo, who added 11 kills. “Going into Saturday we’re going to have to step up our game.”
Van Loo expected the first-rounder to be tough.
“I knew that it would go a fourth or a fifth because they’re a good team,” she said.
Van Loo’s kill shoved Burroughs (25-8 and 13-1 and a tie for first in league) ahead 22-21, but a kill from Trojans junior outside hitter Lily Krongold evened it at 22-22.
It was tied 3-3 in the opening set on Grote’s winner, but the Indians then moved ahead 7-4 on a spike from senior middle blocker Maggie Harris.
“I think we were able to hold it together,” Grote said of the match. “We came together and played together and played like a team. We have to play as one unit.”
It became 8-8 on Van Loo’s dagger and 15-10 on a tapper from sophomore outside hitter Catie Virtue.
Grote’s kill made it 17-12 and 20-14 on an ace from senior libero Caitlin Lim.
A service ace from Virtue made it 23-17 and a bullet from Grote gave the Indians the set.
Grote’s kill leveled it at 3-3 in the third frame and Van Loo’s spike evened it at 5-5.
Grote’s dagger made it 9-6 and an ace from sophomore defensive specialist Lily Rogers supplied the Indians with a 13-10 cushion.
Back-to-back aces from McGovern extended the lead to 18-11 and Grote’s kill handed the Indians a 19-14 lead.
A kill from Burroughs sophomore defensive specialist Reese Coblentz made it 20-14 and the Indians sealed it when senior opposite hitter/defensive specialist Jolene Soliman served up an ace.
The Indians jumped to a 3-1 lead in the second set when Van Loo and Harris combined on a block.
An ace from Soliman pushed Burroughs’ lead to 10-5 and an ace from Rogers made it 13-7. A kill from Van Loo made it 15-11 and later 17-17 on a tapper from Van Loo.
University (15-16 and 6-4 for third place in the Pacific Coast League), which is located in Irvine, captured eight of the next 13 points as junior opposite hitter Serena Choi’s kill won the set.
“The experience as far as Burroughs goes, they’ve made the playoffs,” University coach Garry Currier said. “These girls have never been to the playoffs. It’s been nine years and this would have been 10 years. It [the match] could have gone either way.