Burroughs High’s dynamic trio of junior outside hitter Marin Grote, junior outside hitter Julianna Cottrell and sophomore middle blocker Juliana Van Loo, accounted for 36 kills for the girls’ volleyball team which swept visiting Dos Pueblos, 25-20, 25-20, 25-15 in a CIF Southern Section Division III opening-round playoff match on Tuesday.
The Indians now have a second-round encounter with Los Osos on the road Thursday.
“Our crowd can really make a difference,” Burroughs coach Edwin Real said. “We served swell, but had problems passing the ball early in the first game. We did a lot better in the second game.”
Real also pointed out that Dos Pueblos didn’t serve his team tough, which made it easier to return the ball and attack on offense.
Burroughs (21-9) took command 4-0 on an ace from senior middle blocker Caleigh Paster in the clinching set and pulled ahead 11-3 on an ace from Grote, who delivered a match-best 18 kills.
The Indians went on a 6-2 explosion to lead 17-5 and that included a winner from Cottrell, who ended the evening with eight kills.
Burroughs took control 22-12 on Grote’s kill and divided the next six points to capture the set and match on Cottrell’s tapper.
The first two sets were tense and filled with drama as they could have gone to either school.
The initial game was even at 3-3 on junior outside hitter Camilla Tamburini’s service ace, but Burroughs danced in front 9-6 on Grote’s dart. It became 11-6 on an ace from freshman setter Ali Perez.
The Chargers (16-15) closed within 13-10 on a kill from Tamburini, however, the Indians moved ahead 18-13 on Cottrell’s smash.
After Cottrell’s winner made it 22-15, Dos Pueblos called its only time out of the match.
It helped somewhat as the Chargers drew within 23-20 on Tamburini’s rocket.
“I’m not a fan of calling time out,” Dos Pueblos coach Dillan Bennett said. “We practice what we’re going to do in games and we should know how to get out of jams.”
The Indians seized control of the game by winning the final two points on a kill from Grote and Van Loo (10 kills), who delivered a tapper for the set.
The second game was another tight one as it was level at 3-3 on Van Loo’s dagger and 8-8 when senior opposite hitter Sophia Rizzotti’s shot went out of bounds.
It was even at 11-11 on Rizzotti’s kill before the Indians dashed in front 13-11 on Grote’s bomb.
The Chargers were stubborn and talented as they tied it at 15-15 on a winner from freshman middle blocker Danielle LaGrange.
From this point, the Indians slowly eased in front 20-17 on Cottrell’s spike and 24-19 on Grote’s kill.
“It’s been four years since we’ve made the playoffs,” Bennett said. “I think that lack of playoff experience hurt us and helped them. We didn’t pass the ball exceptionally well tonight and that really hurt us.”
Burroughs took a two-games-to-none lead in the match when sophomore middle blocker Ally Mintzer’s attempt sailed out of bounds.