First published in the Oct. 9 print issue of the Burbank Leader.
Traditionally, crosstown rivals Burroughs and Burbank get just two shots at each other in a single volleyball season.
However, this season the scheduling has been tweaked, with the second half separated into two tiers. Both the Bears and the Bulldogs made the top tier, so a third installment of the rivalry came about. Burbank was looking to grab its first win, while Burroughs was looking to complete the trifecta.
“It’s always hard to beat someone three times, so we weren’t sure what to expect,” Burroughs coach Edwin Real said.
From the beginning, Burroughs made it clear that the third time would not be the charm for the host Bulldogs, paving the way for a 25-8, 25-13, 25-18 win in Pacific League play Monday night at Burbank High.
“It was really special,” Burroughs’ Meghan Lynch said. “It was our last time playing as a team against Burbank High and we just left it all out on the court. I’m really proud of our team and how far we have come this season.”
Burroughs (15-4 overall record, 11-0 in league) came out on fire and scored the first 11 points of the match. The first point came on a Burbank hitting error, followed by two kills from Heidi Collins, a kill by Janessa Wareebor and one from Kara Aldana-Pere in the middle. The run continued with a Bulldog hitting error, then a block by Aldana-Pere, an ace from Lynch, two more mistakes by the hosts and finally another ace from Lynch. Bulldog Alaina Melgar ended the onslaught with a kill from the outside.
“I think we got on top of them pretty fast. We got off to a great start and that was helpful,” Real said.
The Bears cruised through the rest of game one, with the final margin being the largest advantage of the opener. From the service line, Penelope White brought about game point with a pair of aces, allowing a Burroughs block at the net to end things at 25-8.
Collins had a team-high nine kills. Bella Lomet contributed six kills. Tawnie Ohrt had five kills and the same number of digs. Wareebor recorded four kills along with six digs. Aldana-Pere had three kills. Lynch, who had six digs, orchestrated the offense with 23 assists.
Senior Charlotte Hobson led the defensive effort with a team-high 11 digs.
“Charlotte is terrific. She does the dirty work,” Real said. “On serve receive, she is passing, she’s digging balls here and there, she is really the spark plug in the back row. Without her, I don’t know what we would do.”
Game two started on a more even keel, but Burroughs broke the final tie of the second at 4-4 with a kill from the outside by Collins. The Bears continued to stoke the lead from there. Burbank had a three-point run near the end thanks to an ace by Madison Gomez sandwiched between kills from Gabby Damroze, but it was too little too late.
Game three was closer in score throughout, but the Bears were never really threatened. The match came to a close with a tip for a kill followed by one from the outside by Collins to bring up match point. The final point came on an ace Lynch dropped in the short court.
“We saw Burroughs play at a higher level than we have seen them all season,” Burbank coach Patrick Tyler said. “That kind of just shows how talented they are.”
Damroze led Burbank (9-11, 3-6) with five kills. Madison Clevenger had three.
“It was our last Burbank-Burroughs game, which is very emotional,” Collins said. “I feel like winning this one was very important to keeping our confidence up, since we’re undefeated [in league].”