By Rick Assad
Special to MyBurbank
Like a finely-tuned thoroughbred race horse, the Burroughs High boys’ volleyball team established the pace and never looked back.
Behind the overall brilliant play of Daniel Jacobs and Shayne Beamer, who combined for 22 kills, the host Indians waltzed to a convincing three-game Pacific League sweep of cross-town rival Burbank on Wednesday night by the score of 25-15, 25-13, 25-11.
If it appears one-sided, it was, but Burroughs didn’t celebrate too much knowing that powerful league foe Claremont (20-4 and 7-0 in league) still awaits.
“Our goal tonight and our focus is that we do our job,” Burroughs coach Joel Brinton said. “Everything that we do leads up to April 30 when we play Claremont.”
The Wolfpack are a half game ahead of Burroughs and ranked No. 6 in the latest CIF Southern Section Division II poll. A few weeks ago Claremont beat the Indians, but the match lasted five games. The rematch will be at Claremont.
Wednesday’s final game was tied at 3-3, but Burroughs (14-4 and 7-1 in league) outscored the Bulldogs, 7-2, with junior outside hitter Jonathan Fuentes chipping in with a pair of service aces late in the run.
It became 15-7 on a wicked spike from Jacobs, a senior outside hitter, who tallied 12 kills, six aces and three blocks, which prompted the Bulldogs to call time out.
“We look forward to playing Burroughs every time,” Burbank coach Patrick McMenamin said. “Daniel Jacobs is the best player in the league. We took some chances offensively. We tried to mix it up, but we failed to find their weaknesses.”
And just like that the Indians’ lead ballooned to 19-10 on a Fuentes kill, and sensing the match was nearly over, Burroughs closed it out by taking six of the next seven points as Jacobs had three aces.
Burbank (8-10 and 5-4 in league) led the opening game 2-0 before the Indians knotted it at 2-2 when senior outside hitter Daniel Marbach (five aces) launched a service winner.
Burroughs, the No. 9 ranked squad in Division II, caught its stride and took a 7-4 lead on a kill from Beamer, a senior middle blocker.
With another winner from Beamer it became 10-5, and Beamer’s spike gave the Indians a 13-5 advantage before his block made it 14-6.
“We did a real good job in our transition game,” said Beamer, who had 10 kills with five blocks. “There were not a lot of rough spots.”
When asked how deep a run the Indians can make in the playoffs, Beamer responded.
“If the team is able to break through the barriers mentally, then we can win it all,” he said. “Physically we’re there, but mentally we have to be there.”
Burroughs lurched ahead 19-11 on Beamer’s stuff, and when Jacobs added a pair of aces, the Tribe went ahead, 21-11.
The second game was tied three times early, including 6-6 before the Indians seized a 12-6 lead on a Burbank hitting miscue.
After senior setter BJ Lagmay, who dished out 21 assists, threw down a winner, Burroughs took a 14-9 lead, and a kill from Jacobs made it 17-11, before the Indians went on an 8-2 run.
Senior outside hitter Derian Blandon paced the Bulldogs with two kills, and Blandon, junior middle blocker Tyler Ryan and junior outside hitter Justin Saisirkul all had four digs, while Burroughs junior libero Danny Casillas had 11 digs.
Burbank maintains a half-game lead on Arcadia for third place in the Pacific League as the teams battle for playoff position.