A tie atop the Pacific League standings awaited the Burroughs High girls’ volleyball team if it could beat Arcadia, which had taken out the Indians in four games early last month.
But it was not to be as the visiting Apaches prevailed, 28-26, 21-25, 25-15, 25-18 on Tuesday despite the inspired play from junior outside hitter Marin Grote, who finished with a team-best 14 kills.
“There was more intensity the first time we played Arcadia,” Grote said. “It was more back-and-forth. Today we were prepared to play, but we didn’t play as well as we could have.”
Arcadia was spearheaded by senior outside hitter Rachel Reedy with 14 kills and junior outside hitter Hannah Kennedy with 12.
The critical set was the opener because it was truly up for grabs.
The Indians (14-4 and 6-2 in league) powered ahead 3-0 on Kennedy’s hit out of bounds and 12-8 on Grote’s winner.
Burroughs maintained a 17-13 advantage on junior opposite hitter Ricki Patenaude’s smash.
The Apaches (14-1 and 8-0 in league) evened it at 17-17 on a kill from Kennedy.
Grote’s block trimmed Arcadia’s lead to 22-20, and consecutive kills from Grote tied it at 23-23.
Grote said everyone has to pitch in if the team is to be successful. “Volleyball is a team game,” she said. “Everyone counts.”
The Indians darted ahead 26-25 on another winner from Grote, but the Apaches seized control with three straight blocks, including senior setter Cammie Dopke’s clincher.
“That was very much the key game,” said longtime Arcadia coach Charles Freberg, who has taken two teams to the CIF Southern Section semifinals. “They had to be smart about it [the match]. They all began to do something that they’re good at.”
Freberg went on: “But what happens sometimes is that everyone wants to hit the ball hard and when you do that, you don’t always win the point. Everything has to be just right.”
The Indians righted the ship in the second game as they pulled ahead 6-2 on a service winner from freshman setter Ali Perez.
Arcadia tied it at 9-9 on a kill from Reedy, but Burroughs junior outside hitter Julianna Cottrell’s kill evened it at 10-10.
“Our energy level is high when we’re winning, but sometimes it isn’t when we’re losing,” Burroughs coach Edwin Real said. “The first time we played them we were more consistent.”
Real added: “Arcadia is capable of making mistakes like in the second game. Tonight we made more errors than they did.”
It became 12-11 on Grote’s blast and the lead was extended to 17-12 on another Grote bullet.
The Indians darted ahead 22-18 on senior middle blocker Caleigh Paster’s dagger.
Grote’s kill made it 24-21 and Paster’s slam evened it a one game apiece.
Arcadia waltzed ahead 3-0 on an ace from Kennedy in the third game and 13-5 on a slam from Dopke.
The Indians shaved the lead to 15-8 on Grote’s tapper before the Apaches moved in front 18-12 on a winner from junior middle blocker Abby Martin.
Arcadia then went on a 7-3 explosion and sealed the game with a block from Kennedy.
The Apaches sensed the momentum and match was in their favor in the fourth set as they moved ahead 10-4 on sophomore middle blocker Ayala Plummer’s kill.
Arcadia’s lead became 15-9 on an ace from senior libero Malia Carr. Grote’s kill cut the lead to 16-12 and 16-13 on a service ace.
A 9-5 blitz sealed the deal as Kennedy’s kill put the finishing touches on the match.