First published in the Sept. 25 print issue of the Burbank Leader.
It was once again a battle for city bragging rights when Burbank High went on the road to face John Burroughs in girls’ volleyball. It turned out to be a one-sided contest.
Burroughs stayed in control throughout, with the host Bears’ service game as the catalyst, and swept Burbank 25-19, 25-13, 25-9 on Sept. 17 in Pacific League play.
“I think our serving was good throughout the whole match,” Burroughs coach Edwin Real said. “That always helps keep [our opponent] out of system. Our defense is easier when we serve tough.”
It was a two-way street, as the Bears had their service game on point and Burbank (5-5 overall record) struggled with serve receive, leading to a bevy of quick points for Burroughs (10-4 overall), which remains undefeated in Pacific League play.
“We struggled in serve receive. We struggled in serving,” Burbank coach Patrick Tyler said. “If you can’t compete at the beginning of every point, it’s hard to compete throughout the entire match.”
Burroughs recorded 23 total aces: six in game one, nine in game two and eight in game three. Meghan Lynch led the way with 10 aces, Heidi Collins recorded seven and Bella Lomet had three, with one ace in each game. Charlotte Hobson, Kylie Colton and Penelope White each had one.
“It always feels good to beat your crosstown rival. It was a really fun one,” Lynch said.
Game one saw the Bears record three aces early on as Burroughs established control. Later on, the Bears pulled away as the hosts scored eight straight points off of Collins’ serves, after which the lead peaked at nine. During the run, after an outside kill by Lynch made it 17-13 in favor of the hosts, Collins had three aces in the span of four points. After the first one, the next serve found the floor deep, a kill from the outside by Janessa Wareebor followed and then Collins got her next serve to hit the tape and crawl over it for her squad’s final ace of the opening game. The game ended on a service error by Burbank.
Game two saw the Bears score the first seven points behind the serve of Lynch; this included her first two aces of the contest. Later, the senior had a pair of back-to-back aces to push the advantage to eight for the first time. Collins finished the Bulldogs off, ripping off four straight aces for a 25-13 final, the biggest lead of the game.
The Bears kept it up in the third game, which featured a 12-0 run by the hosts. It started with a Bulldog service error putting the ball in the hands of Lynch. She then notched seven aces in the span of the next eight points of the run. The first dropped in short, the second hit in deep and a kill by Collins followed, with four more consecutive Lynch aces after that. After two more points in the run, White subbed in at the service line and promptly got an ace of her own. Britney Mejia got the penultimate point of the match on a kill from the outside before a Bulldog hit the ball long to end the contest.
Collins led Burroughs in kills with 10. Wareebor had five kills and Lomet contributed three. Lynch set everything up with 20 assists. Senior Charlotte Hobson led the defensive effort with nine digs.
Burbank was led by senior outside hitter Gabby Damroze with five kills. Senior Madison Clevenger had two kills and an ace. Isabella Mashour and Madison Gomez had two aces and one, respectively.
“Always first on the list [of focus points] is serving,” Lynch said. “It’s really important for our team. It is how we are going to win games. That is how we are going to win league, with our serve.”