LA CRESCENTA — For quite some time, the Burroughs High and Crescenta Valley boys’ volleyball teams had been eager to meet up with the goal of gaining the upper hand in the hunt for the Pacific League championship.
The Indians and Falcons met Friday night in the first of two head-to-head contests, with each squad undefeated in league. Thanks to a big effort from Tristan Martin, the Indians are the only unbeaten team standing in league.
Martin finished with a team-high 11 kills and Ryan Van Loo contributed 29 assists to power visiting Burroughs to a 25-21, 25-22, 25-18 victory in front of a loud crowd.
PHOTOS: Burroughs boys' volleyball powers over Crescenta Valley
Burroughs, ranked No. 8 in the latest CIF Southern Section Division II poll, improved to 12-3, 5-0 in league. Crescenta Valley dipped to 14-1, 4-1. The Indians, who shared the league championship with Claremont last season, and the Falcons will meet at 6 p.m. May 1 at Burroughs.
“Our guys were excited about one of our biggest challenges in playing CV,” said Burroughs Coach Joel Brinton, a former setter/opposite hitter who played at Crescenta Valley under coach John Nelson in the late 1990s. “We heard about CV’s record and we were amped up to play them.
“It’s a huge win for us. There was just great energy and we will have to play better the next time we play then. I’m sure CV will make the adjustments the next time we play them.”
Burroughs also received 11 digs from Danny Casillas and six kills apiece from Max Chamberlain and Nick Van Loo.
Martin, a senior outside hitter, said the Indians were prepared for the Falcons.
“We just tried to keep it as simple as possible,” Martin said. “We had momentum on our side most of the time.
“If we got in a rut, then we knew how to settle down and that comes with having a lot of experienced players. You have to stay within yourself. We still have a long ways to go, but we’ll keep pushing ourselves to get better.”
Martin helped spearhead Burroughs’ success in the third game. The Indians held a 13-10 lead before two kills in a row by Martin made it 15-10. Burroughs used an 8-0 run to make it 20-10.
The pivotal second game provided the most dramatics. A kill by Nick Van Loo gave the Indians a 21-18 advantage. The Falcons, seeking their first league championship since 2005, pulled to within 24-22 on an ace by Eric Shin. However, a block by Ryan Van Loo clinched the game and gave the Indians a two-game lead.
Martin closed out the first game with a kill.
Nelson said the Falcons hung with the Indians throughout portions of each game.
“We stayed with it,” said Nelson, who got a team-high eight kills from Bradley Fernandez. “We made some unforced errors on things like serving. That’s a little uncharacteristic of us.
“There are some other things we have time to work on. We’ll use it to make us a better team and hopefully things will be different the next time we play Burroughs.”
Follow Charles Rich on Twitter: @TCNCharlesRich .