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Slow start can't derail Burbank volleyball against Pasadena

BURBANK — With a wealth of confidence, the Burbank High girls’ volleyball team entered Tuesday’s Pacific League match.

Just five days earlier, Burbank opened league play with a thrilling five-game victory against defending league champion Arcadia.

However, that confidence was tested early against Pasadena. Burbank dropped the first game and didn’t look particularity crisp in doing so.

But Burbank was able to recover and swept the next three games to defeat visiting Pasadena, 22-25, 25-15, 25-22, 25-13.

Burbank (3-0, 2-0 in league), which finished fourth in the Pacific League in 2016, didn’t get derailed after losing the opening game against Pasadena (1-3, 1-1), which also had a big effort in a five-game win Thursday against Crescenta Valley.

“We have been struggling with being able to come out in that first game with a sense of urgency,” Burbank coach Karl Rojo said. “That’s what I think happened in that first game. We just have to be ready to go for every ball and come out like we mean business.

“It was definitely a slow start for us. Our hitters were trying to find their rhythm and we really didn’t do that well serving in that first game.”

Burbank, which received 15 kills and six aces from senior Melissa Danial, nine kills and five aces from sophomore Katie Treadway and six kills senior Erin Lashkari, quickly fell behind in the opening game, 10-5. The hosts made up some ground and trailed by just one, 13-12, after a 5-1 Burbank run punctuated by a kill by Daniel.

However, Pasadena quickly seized the momentum on a 10-1 run to enjoy a 21-12 advantage. Burbank made a run late in the stanza to cut the lead to 24-22, but a service error gave the game to Pasadena.

Burbank committed 16 unforced errors in game one.

“Sometimes things just don’t click,” Daniel said. “We knew we had to put that behind us, forget about it and move on.

“I thought we started playing a lot better in that second set and we were playing more as a unit, I think, and that’s what kind of helped us turn things around.”

In the second game, Burbank seized the momentum from the outset, building a eight-point lead, 14-6, in the early going. Pasadena would only get as close as five points the rest of the way, as its offense stalled in the game with just one kill.

The teams took turns sharing the lead in the third game, with Pasadena going in front late, 21-20. But Burbank wrestled back the lead, 22-21, on a kill by Lashkari, who also tallied a kill to give Burbank the win and a 2-1 advantage.

It was a dominant effort by Burbank in the fourth game, as it never trailed and outscored Pasadena, 16-3, down the stretch.

“We told them to find their rhythm and, after that first set, I think we were able to fine that,” Rojo said. “What really showed is how mentally tough we were. After that first game, they didn’t get down and they fought back and played a lot better.”

jeffrey.tully@latimes.com

Twitter: @jefftsports

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