By Rick Assad
A buzz saw in the form of the Burroughs High girls’ volleyball team wreaked havoc on visiting Crescenta Valley in a Pacific League clash on Tuesday afternoon.
With senior setter Meghan Lynch passing the ball with extreme precision and senior outside hitter Heidi Collins and senior middle blocker Bella Lomet scoring points galore and senior libero Charlotte Hobson unloading cannon-like serves, the Bears easily moved past the Falcons 25-10, 25-16, 25-22.
With the exception of the third set, Burroughs (7-4 and 3-0 in league) was in full control and dominated the action.
“The girls played really well. Serving was executed really well with hitting zones and Meghan did a great job running the offense and mixing up the hitters,” said Joel Brinton, who is the boys’ coach and was sitting in for Edwin Real. “It was great to see Tawnie [Ohrt] step up and put balls away on the outside and Charlotte really set the tone with her serving and defense.”
Ahead two sets to none, the third set proved to be the best and most exciting game.
It began with the Falcons slipping ahead 6-3 when Burroughs sophomore outside hitter Ohrt ripped one into the net as the Bears asked for a stoppage in time.
A kill from senior middle blocker Zara Ayazi made it 9-6 in favor of the visitors.
The Bears drew within 11-8 on a kill from junior outside hitter Janessa Wareebor.
The fray was knotted at 12-12 on a push from Lomet and the Bears went on a 4-1 spurt that was culminated in a service winner from Wareebor that made it 16-13. At this juncture, the Falcons (8-8 and 2-1 in league) asked for time.
Lomet’s tapper pushed the lead to 18-15 and Lomet’s service winner made it 21-17.
When Lynch unloaded a service ace, the Bears bounded ahead 23-19, but the Falcons closed the gap to 23-21 on a tapper from senior middle blocker McKenna Keil.
It became 24-21 when a spike from Crescenta Valley senior opposite hitter Ashley Lineses scrapped the net and the set and match was captured on Ohrt’s kill.
The match began with the Bears racing off to a 6-1 advantage behind three aces including one from Hobson that made it 2-1 and two more from Hobson that pushed the lead to 4-1 and 6-1.
“The serving was the key to keeping Crescenta Valley’s offense from really getting going,” Brinton said.
Lomet’s spike made it 13-4 in favor of the Bears.
Burroughs wasn’t done as Ohrt’s kill extended the cushion to 16-6.
Ohrt’s spike made it 18-7 and an ace from Hobson pushed the lead to 19-7.
The Bears added to more points and they came from Lomet to make it 20-7 and 21-7 on yet another ace from Hobson.
A kill from Lomet extended the advantage to 23-9 and a spike from Collins saw the Bears slip ahead 24-10. The clinching point came on a service winner from Lomet.
“Burroughs came out early to play in the first set, and we didn’t,” Crescenta Valley coach Matt Simons said of the early deficit. “We are still learning to compete from the first point, and today was a great learning lesson for us in what happens when we don’t.”
The middle set proceeded with the Bears vaulting to a 6-1 advantage on a push from Wareebor.
On the run, Collins tallied two points on a kill that evened it at 1-1 and an ace that gave the Bears a 5-1 lead.
Despite being swept, Simons was pleased with the fact that his club didn’t throw in the towel.
“I was very proud of our effort in games two and three,” he said. “We struggled to execute, and our serve receiver was a trouble spot for us all evening, so it was tough for us to get into an offensive groove.”
Lomet’s kill saw Burroughs dash ahead 8-3 and Wareebor’s service ace made it 11-5.
A rocket from Collins extended the margin to 14-8 and a service winner from Lomet handed the Bears a 16-8 cushion.
The Falcons came within 17-11 on an ace from senior setter Alex Blank, but the Bears surged ahead 21-15 on Ohrt’s spike.
Hobson tossed in back-to-back service aces for a 23-15 cushion and Ohrt’s kill made it two sets to none.
Simons only sees good things ahead for the Falcons despite having been swept.
“Game three was a good example of how we can look when we combine a great effort along with solid play,” he said. “Burroughs just outplayed us in that set, and their girls deserve a lot of credit. They played a great match and they showed us today what we need to work on.”