By Rick Assad
It’s really too bad the Burroughs High girls’ volleyball team will only play rival Burbank once this season after Thursday night’s Pacific League thriller.
Though it only required three sets before the Bears secured the victory, it’s also entirely possible the Bulldogs could have forced a fourth set after leading the second game 11-4.
The final results had the visiting Bears winning 25-15, 25-17, 25-22, but the second and third games were razor thin.
Part of the steam in Burbank’s ship likely came from it being Senior Night and the match was at the Bulldogs’ gymnasium, so the team was really focused and ready to pull off the upset.
Standing in the way for the Bears were senior outside hitter Janessa Wareebor, senior setter Bri Munoz, junior outside hitter Tawnie Ohrt and junior middle blocker Sadie Lomet as they all stood tall.
“They’re [Burbank] a good team and it’s Senior Night and everyone gets excited and gets in the moment and you pick up your level of play so it’s a really a fun time,” Burroughs coach Edwin Real said of the match.
The Bears have numerous players that can get points from, which allows many players to participate in the offense.
“We go to different players. We don’t just have one or two players and they all have to pitch in, and everyone has their role and if everyone does their role, we’ll come up with a victory,” Real noted.
Real addressed the third set which could have gone to either team.
“They [Burbank] started serving better and we were passing the ball to different areas but once we started communicating better, that was the key,” he said.
The middle set saw the Bears (6-8 and 5-2 in league) pull ahead 2-0 on a kill from Lomet and an ace from Wareebor.
The Bulldogs (4-17 and 2-5 in league) evened it at 2-2 on a point from senior outside hitter Jazmine Cobb.
Burbank won nine of the next 11 points and led 11-4.
“We’ve been so consistent when it comes to serving and it shows when we’re not,” Burbank coach Paolo Fabregar said. “The games were so close and when we were off our serves, we just had to fix that one thing.”
During this spurt senior middle blocker Quinn Cramer added a stuff for a 3-2 edge and a push that made it 4-3.
Junior middle blocker Astoria Torres chipped in with a tapper that extended the cushion to 7-3 and Cobb’s dagger made it 10-4.
When senior defensive specialist Elizabeth Johnson’s bullet sailed out of bounds, the Bulldogs darted ahead 11-4 as Burroughs to ask for time out.
Across the next 16 points, the Bears collected 14 and dashed ahead 18-13.
Munoz rose to the occasion as she tossed in an ace that cut the lead to 13-11. Munoz then added another service winner that vaulted the Bears into a 14-13 lead.
Munoz delivered another ace for a 15-13 cushion. Munoz wasn’t done as she had another service winner for an 18-13 lead.
Senior outside hitter Caitlyn Lugo also had her fingerprints on the comeback as she added a kill that sliced the lead to 11-6 and contributed another kill that made it 13-9.
Over the next 11 points the Bears picked up seven that included kills from senior opposite hitter Destiny Helligar that made it 24-17 and Johnson’s kill provided the clincher.
The third set began with the Bears pulling ahead 4-1 on a service ace from Wareebor.
Burbank came within 8-7 on a winner from Cramer, but Burroughs led 11-9 on a jam from Lomet.
Lomet’s push extended the lead 13-11 and Burroughs then marched in front 17-16 on a tapper from sophomore outside hitter Narrissa Wareebor.
The Bulldogs responded by pulling ahead 18-17 on an ace from senior libero Jolene Ngo as the Bears asked for a stoppage in play.
Back and forth it went that included a 20-20 tie on a kill Lomet. Burbank inched ahead 22-20 on a push from Cramer.
The Bears snared five straight points including kills from Janessa Wareebor that cut the lead to 22-21. Wareebor’s tapper handed the lead to the Bears 23-22 as the Bulldogs requested time out.
Lomet added a kill to make it 24-22 and for good measure Lomet tossed in yet another winner for the game and set.
The first game played out with the Bears springing to a 7-3 advantage on a mishit by the Bulldogs.
The game was knotted at 8-8 on a mishit by Janessa Wareebor and Burroughs evened it at 14-14 on an ace from Lugo.
At this point, the Burroughs asserted itself as the visitors went on an 11-1 run that saw Lugo add another ace for a 17-15 lead and Johnson contributed a block for a 19-15 cushion.
Johnson tacked on a winner for a 22-15 advantage. Johnson’s dagger made it 24-15 and Helligar’s stuff delivered the set to the Bears.