LA CRESCENTA —Through the first couple of Pacific League matches, the Burroughs High girls' volleyball team has turned to its experience for favorable results.
Having senior outside hitter Marin Grote swinging well has also paid dividends for the Indians.
Grote finished with 12 kills Tuesday to lift visiting Burroughs to a 23-25, 25-20, 25-14, 25-20 league victory against Crescenta Valley.
"It helps to have the kind of experience we have to get you through the close sets," said Burroughs coach Edwin Real, whose team won the league championship in 2015. "Some of these sets could have gone to either team and we seemed to have an answer late to pull out the victory.
"We made a lot of errors, so we had to find a way to step it up at the end. CV passed the ball well and they did a good job digging and serving. I've seen improvement with our team, but I think we got a little overconfident at times in a couple of the sets."
Burroughs (6-1, 2-0 in league) received six aces from Shea McGovern and five from Ricki Patenaude to top Crescenta Valley (1-6, 0-2) in the first of two head-to-head meetings. The teams will play again Oct. 5 at Burroughs.
Crescenta Valley, which qualified for the playoffs last season, held a 6-0 lead in the fourth set before Burroughs gained traction. A kill by McGovern (eight kills) tied it at 13 and Burroughs took a 15-13 lead on a kill down the right side by Grote. After the Falcons closed to within 23-21, the Indians completed the win with a kill by Patenaude and a block by McGovern.
"We expected a real good match from CV and we got it," Grote said. "We had to come back early in the fourth set after we took off in the third set.
"I think experience was a big part of it."
The Falcons took a 10-9 lead in the third set on a kill by Teny Noodermeer. The Indians went on a 6-0 run to build a 16-9 lead, capped by a kill down the middle by Patenaude. Burroughs finished up the set on a 5-2 run, with McGovern recording an ace to give the Indians a 2-1 advantage.
In the second set, Crescenta Valley took a 6-3 lead on a block from Maya Lightfoot (team-high nine kills). Burroughs followed with a 7-2 run to grab a 15-13 lead and extended the advantage to 20-15 on an ace from Lizzy Jessen. Crescenta Valley closed to within 21-20, but Burroughs finished up on a 4-0 run.
Crescenta Valley held a 9-1 lead in the first set, but Burroughs responded to take a 10-9 lead. A kill by Juliana Van Loo gave the Indians a 23-22 lead before Crescenta Valley surged late with a 3-0 run to take a 1-0 lead.
"We had a productive summer and we have a lot of people up who were on the [junior varsity] team last year," Crescenta Valley first-year coach Travis Dancer said. "It's just about getting them to jell and things will come together.
"We fell apart against [Grote] and she had some free swings for points. We played well at times, but we had some breakdowns on defense and our inexperience showed."