By Rick Assad
Being consistent usually translates into being successful.
On Tuesday in a Pacific League girls’ volleyball match, Burroughs High wasn’t consistent enough when it hosted Crescenta Valley.
Though pushed to four sets, the Falcons were more consistent and collected a 25-19, 25-14, 19-25, 25-23 triumph.
“When we play well and we get spirited and we play together, it’s fun. Early on we were having trouble connecting and passing,” Burroughs coach Edwin Real said of the first two games. “We went through a period between point nine through point 15. It was bad.”
Real wants his team to play with purpose. “We go in spurts. We play well in spurts and then we’re not playing so well,” he said. “We make errors. A couple of errors here and there.”
Matt Simons, the Crescenta Valley coach, extended praise to the Bears and Real.
“I thought Burroughs played well. I thought that some of their hitters were making some really good shots. Coach Real, he’s a great coach. Even though they were down 2-0, I knew they were going to keep fighting and they did,” he said. “He had them prepared. You have to give them a lot of credit. They fought till the end.”
Simons is also seeking consistent play from his team which earned its first league title in more than two decades.
“We’re just trying to work on being consistent. The best teams are consistent all the time,” he said. “When we are playing well, we look good, but we are working on trying to maintain that peak for us.”
After dropping the first two games, the Bears found a second gear and played their best set in the third.
Senior outside hitter Nyra Tatoulian’s spike gave the Falcons (27-9 and 9-0 in league) an early 2-1 lead.
The Bears scooted ahead 3-2 on a winner from junior outside hitter Tawnie Ohrt.
Crescenta Valley senior middle blocker Jana Coffen’s tapper evened it at 3-3 and Coffen’s smash made it 5-3. Coffen’s blast extended the advantage to 6-4.
Burroughs (6-12 and 5-4 for third place in league) scored the next two points and Ohrt’s ace leveled it at 6-6.
The score see-sawed and was knotted at 8-8 on a tip from Crescenta Valley senior outside hitter Rory Reedy-Solano.
It was tied at 10-10 when Burroughs senior outside hitter Janessa Wareebor’s shot trickled out of bounds.
Standing tall and determined, the Bears forged ahead and led 13-11 on a winner from junior middle blocker Sadie Lomet as the Falcons asked for time out.
Burroughs trotted in front 15-13 on a push from senior opposite hitter Destiny Helligar.
The Bears then went on a 4-1 run and led 19-14 as senior opposite hitter Kara Aldana-Pere tossed in a block.
Another run followed as the Bears outscored the Falcons 2-1 and led 21-15 on a shot from Wareebor.
Crescenta Valley then rallied and pulled within 21-18 Tatoulian’s hammer as the Bears requested a stoppage in play.
“When our passing is on, it makes everybody’s job easier. This is the first league championship we’ve had in 24 years. This is my fourth season here with CV. We’ve had some really good teams, so I don’t want to shortchange them,” Simons said. “This team, they’ve accomplished the most. They’ve got the highest ceiling. It’s a combination of some athleticism and experience.”
Burroughs took four of the next five points and led 23-19 on a jam from Lomet and winners from Wareebor that made it 24-19 and Helligar for the set.
The fourth set could have been won by the Bears who drew within 24-23 but a service error by senior outside hitter Caitlyn Lugo gave the set and match to the Falcons.
A slam from Lomet made it 2-0 in favor of the Bears and Wareebor’s dagger made it 6-4.
Wareebor’s winner evened it at 8-8, but the Falcons came back to take an 11-9 lead on Reedy-Solano’s tapper.
The Falcons darted in front 13-11 on a spike from sophomore middle blocker Isabel Haytayan and 17-13 on a winner from Coffen.
A blast from Aldana-Pere cut the lead to 20-18 and Helligar’s bullet made it 20-19 as the Falcons called for time.
Crescenta Valley grabbed the next two points and led 22-19 on Tatoulian’s kill as the Bears requested time out.
Senior setter Hyacinth Ang’s push for the Falcons made it 24-21, but a dagger from Ohrt sliced the lead to 24-22 and Tatoulian’s hitting error made it 24-23.
The Falcons dominated the second game and then zoomed ahead 20-13 on a shot by Tatoulian.
Crescenta Valley claimed five of the next six points that included a kill from Coffen that made it 22-14 and Tatoulian’s winner for the set.