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Burroughs boys' volleyball can't stay with South Torrance

BURBANK — Over the past seven years, the Burroughs High and South Torrance boys' volleyball teams have had an intriguing affiliation.

The Indians and Spartans have battled one another while climbing up the CIF Southern Section divisional ladder.

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In 2011 and 2012, the squads split Division III playoff semifinal contests. Burroughs won a four-game nonleague battle of Division II squads in 2013 and South Torrance, in Division II, earned a four-game nonleague win in 2017 against the Division I Indians.

The squads, now in Division I, revisited their rivalry Friday evening in a nonleague matchup.

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Although Burroughs tried to battle back against No. 5-ranked South Torrance, the Spartans had too much firepower and dispatched the host Indians in a sweep, 25-20, 25-21, 25-18.

"I think we got better as a team tonight," said Burroughs coach Joel Brinton, who, in his 12th year, has piloted the Indians to two CIF championship contests, four semifinal appearances and a Southern California Regional championship. "It hurts because it's been a long time since we lost at home, it's been a long time since we lost in three at home, so it's definitely a weird feeling.

"But I think we learned a lot about what we need to do to get where we want to be."

With the Indians (5-4) struggling at times on offense, the Spartans (10-0) made things tough on Burroughs with solid passing and a multi-pronged attack.

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"They just passed better and served better, and the team that does that better is the team that usually wins," said Brinton, whose program has won eight straight Pacific League titles. "They were able to pass all of our serves and were able to set where they wanted and they dictated our offense."

Burroughs, which moved up to Division I in 2017, received 10 kills and eight digs from Cole Kaitz and six each from Connor Burroughs and Diego Rosal, while Jose Solano had 20 assists and Sam Tipton had 10 digs.

South Torrance, which advanced to the Division II semifinals in 2017, began the match by taking an early lead. However, the Indians never let things get out of hand and didn't trail by more than three early on. Burroughs surged back and took a 15-14 lead on a South Torrance attacking error that went wide. The Spartans grabbed the lead back at 17-16 and went on to score the final four points of the game.

The Spartans controlled the second game and took advantage of Burroughs errors and offensive woes to take a 10-point advantage, 21-11. At that point, the Indians committed 12 errors and had just one kill. But Burroughs didn't fold. The Indians fought back to the tune of a 10-3 run to make it a three-point game, 24-21. Torrance was able to close out the game and take a 2-0 lead following a kill by Patrick Faloona.

"Our team just doesn't quit, that's just not us, and we showed that in that second game," Kaitz said. "We just wanted to battle and that's what we did.

"I think we just didn't execute in clutch situations like we needed to. But we need to play against this high level of talent because these are the teams we're going to see in the playoffs."

South Torrance used a 5-0 run in the third game to take a 24-13 lead. But once again the Indians refused to give up, scoring five straight points to make it 24-18. The Spartans closed things out with a kill from Luke Krzmarzick (11 kills).

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Twitter: @jefftsports

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