BURBANK — The Burroughs High girls’ volleyball looked to have its hands full when it hosted Arcadia in a Pacific League rematch Wednesday.
The Indians were hyped in their first meeting against the Apaches, last month, but that resulted in a four-game loss. This time around, however, the Indians were well-prepared for their league rivals.
In a battle for first place in league, Burroughs took command in the second and third sets and swept Arcadia, 25-19, 25-18, 25-14, handing the Apaches their first league loss of the campaign.
It was the first time Arcadia surrounded more than one game to a league opponent.
“This time around, we were pretty level-headed,” Burroughs coach Edwin Real said. “We followed the plan and we stuck to the things that we’ve been doing in practice since the last time we lost to them. The wheels were turning pretty well.”
Behind Lydia Grote’s 16 kills and 12 from Juliana Van Loo, Burroughs established two runs against Arcadia in the final two games — an 8-0 run in the second game and an 11-0 spurt in the third.
“We’ve played as more of a team than I’ve been on any team before,” Grote said. “We played cohesively and had the same mindset, the same goal of winning in three, and I really think we came prepared.
“Last time, I think we might have overshot in our heads a little bit, but today, we knew exactly what our competition was. We knew what our prize was, and I think we earned that prize.”
With the victory, Burroughs (20-5, 11-1 in league), the defending league champion, shares first place in the Pacific League with Arcadia (22-3, 11-1).
“We still have to win,” Real said. “We still have to beat the two teams ahead of us. Nothing’s a given, really. We’re feeling good, for today.”
Along with the Indians being able to be the first league team to claim multiple games against the Apaches this season, the win also broke Arcadia’s run of three straight league sweeps.
Burroughs sophomore Catie Virtue added nine kills. Ayala Plummer led the Apaches with 15 strikes.
Burroughs and Arcadia started the first game in tense fashion that saw two ties early on. But the Indians broke through for a five-point,11-6, lead with Grote contributing two kills on the run.
Trailing, 15-8, the Apaches battled back against their largest deficit of the game and pulled to within 15-13. But the Indians went on another 6-0 run for a 23-17 lead.
“We’ve been having strong practices and we’ve been working really hard to put ourselves in situations that we’d be in tonight,” Grote said. “With all that put together, it made us a better team.”
With a 12-10 lead in the second set, the Indians unnerved the Arcadia side and forced five Apache errors to cap an 8-0 run.
“We just tried to serve tough,” Real said. “Tried to keep them out of getting the ball to their hitters because once they gave the ball to their main hitter, she was killing us. We couldn’t stop it.”
Once the Apaches regrouped, Plummer added three kills for Arcadia to spark a short comeback, 23-16, before Van Loo struck twice to close out the set.
“We really didn’t put anything in our way,” Van Loo said. “We just went forth and put all of our energy into this game, and it paid off.”
Burroughs came out in the third game with a 5-0 run before Plummer had enough of the Indians. The teams contested the next two points before another Sarreal ace pulled Arcadia within 8-6. Then Maggie Harris started an 11-0 Burroughs run that sandwiched two Van Loo kills and two Caitlin Lim aces before an Arcadia kill made it 19-6.
“There was no point in the game when I thought we had this,” Van Loo said. “Even in that last [game], I didn’t think we had it because Arcadia is a great team, and they’ve come back from worse.
“Throughout the whole match, it’s been competitive and you can’t really expect much, it’s unpredictable, so I think it’s really awesome that we pulled through.”