A season with enormous potential and promise fell short of its intended goal as the Burroughs High girls’ volleyball squad lost to host Serrano in a CIF Southern Section II-A quarterfinal match on Saturday.
It took five games to decide as the Indians came out strong in the first two, but couldn’t maintain the momentum as the Diamondbacks prevailed, 19-25, 19-25, 25-18, 25-21, 15-9.
The Indians were paced by senior outside hitter Danielle Ryan’s 19 kills and sophomore outside hitter Marin Grote’s 17 kills.
“In the third game they [Serrano] stepped up and put pressure on us,” Burroughs coach Edwin Real said. “They changed their offense. Their main players are seniors and they’re going to college. They’re gamers.”
Real added: “Our plan was to get off to a good start like we did in the last match [against Bonita]. We knew they had a good team and there was a big crowd. We were on the visitors side and it was cold. We keyed the right people in the first two games. But in the fourth game our confidence fell, and we got nervous and when the wheels fell off the wagon, we didn’t stick together.”
The fifth game was fairly one-sided as the Diamondbacks moved ahead 7-2. “We had a rough game five,” Real admitted.
Grote was pleased with the overall effort. “I believe that the match had its ups and downs. The first two sets were great. We played as a team, executed our plays, and most importantly, had fun with our teammates,” she said. “However once we started the third match we continued our streak of letting off the gas. We let them come back. Overall I believe the third set was the worst. Then in the third set we started to play harder. We competed the first two points and then fell behind. Once we hit the fifth set I think the shock of our season became a reality and we took a step back. Once the shock wore off we put up a good fight even though the opposing team was in the last few points of the match.”
The Indians, ranked No. 7, had previous playoff sweeps over Bonita in the second round and Pacifica Oxnard in the opening round, and finished 23-8 and went 14-0 in the Pacific League.
Grote was proud of the effort. “I thought that as a team we gave one heck of a fight,” he said. “We played hard and we left it all on the court. Aside from a few adjustments we all should have made, we played our hearts out.”
Grote said there was one swing of momentum against Serrano (24-1), the No. 2 seeded team.
“I think the biggest turning point in our favor was in the fifth game when we started to fight back,” she pointed out. “The other team looked scared that we might come back and win it.”
Looking back Grote felt the team gave everything it had. “Personally I think the entire team played rather well tonight,” she said. “We just had a few moments that caused us to get down. But we got over the bumps and fought back. Overall I think this was one of our hardest matches we played all season and we played together. That’s all any one could ask for.”
Senior opposite hitter Jessica Rury gave it her all. “Our team played with everything we had,” she said. “We knew that nothing could hit the floor, every ball had to come up, and every ball had to be put away. We left our hearts out on the floor and played the best game of the season.”
Rury went on: “I just tried to sell out for my teammates as much as possible and do my job playing offense and defense. After we won the first two games we were so excited and pumped up. But after losing the third game we let it get in our heads and we didn’t turn the page fast enough. Our determination was there and our fight was there, but we just couldn’t pull through with the win tonight.”