LA CRESCENTA — The members of the Crescenta Valley High girls’ volleyball team knew they were going to have to battle to win their Pacific League match at home against Burbank on Thursday.
Despite taking a two-set lead over the Bulldogs, the Falcons got complacent after a hard-fought win in the second game.
Burbank rode the momentum from the second-game loss to claim the third set, but Crescenta Valley regrouped to win the fourth set to come away with a 25-17, 31-29, 17-25, 25-22 victory.
“It was a tight, emotional, game-two win, and I think we relaxed a little bit,” Crescenta Valley coach Matt Simons said. “A little bit of catching our breath. Before we knew it, it was 6-1 and Burbank punched us in the mouth. It was tough for us to get back on track.
“But Burbank, with a set like that, they could’ve folded. They did really well, so credit to them.”
The Falcons (10-2 in league) were led by outside hitters Lizzy Kerman and Jamie Santos, who had 12 kills apiece. Crescenta Valley junior Jamie Santos added nine kills and three blocks and setter Cadie Carlson chipped in with seven aces and five kills.
Burbank (12-7, 7-5) was led by Tamryn Betts with 14 kills, while senior outside hitter Katie Treadway added 12.
The match all but seals a showdown for second place between Crescenta Valley and Arcadia when the Apaches host the Falcons in the season finale Oct. 17.
However, Arcadia (10-2 in league) will be on the road at Burroughs two days before hosting the Falcons. The Indians (12-0) swept Muir to capture a share of the league title for their second consecutive season. Burbank has secured a playoff berth and sits in fourth.
As the teams were draped in pink uniforms on the Falcons’ “Dig Pink” night in an effort to raise funds for breast cancer awareness, the Bulldogs took an 11-9 lead.
“We have a tendency to let bad plays carry over,” Simons said. “We let one point cost us more than one point. When I called that second time out early in game one, I told the girls to stay calm and worry about the next play. Have fun, but focus on the next play.”
Behind a trio of blocks from Glaza, the Falcons embarked on a 7-1 run to take a 19-12 lead before Crescenta Valley took the set on a block from Carlson.
“Burbank stands up to us just like we stand up to Arcadia and Burroughs,” Glaza said. “We wanted to make sure that we performed well to get a first-set win so that it could be momentum for the rest of the game.”
The pivotal second game saw 13 ties, four of which came before Burbank took a 15-12 lead on a Falcons’ misfire.
“I think our servicing improved drastically in that set,” Burbank coach Karl Rojo said. “Our outsides started passing a little better, and our outside hitters, too. We were making some good, defensive moves. We adjusted there. I think we were doing a good job moving the ball around as well.”
The Falcons were on the verge of a two-set advantage with a 24-22 lead before Betts knocked down consecutive kills to tie it up.
Betts forced two ties and recorded five kills to keep the Bulldogs alive, but a slight graze off the finger tips of Bianca Hudson and a misfire from Treadway handed the set to Crescenta Valley.
Burbank carried the momentum on to the third set, jumping out to a 6-1 lead before taking its largest lead of the match, 14-6, midway into the set. The Falcons were unable to recover and the Bulldogs were able to win the third set to cut the host’s match lead to one.
“I thought we did a good job bouncing back from that second set and playing hard in the third,” Rojo said. “Obviously we took that set and pushed it to four, so it was a good effort from the girls.”
The Falcons held a three-point lead for much of the fourth set, and though the Bulldogs cut it to a one-point deficit four times, the visitors were only able to tie it at 20.
“I think when we lost in the third set, we got kicked in the butt a little bit and that’s what sparked more energy and effort in the fourth set to take the win,” Glaza said.
Crescenta Valley scored four consecutive points to set up match-point at 24-20 and force Burbank to take a timeout before taking the match on a kill from Isabella Doom.
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