When the Burroughs High girls’ volleyball team needed someone to step up crucial situations, Juliana Van Loo was right there to lend a hand.
And when the team needed a leader, Van Loo stepped to the forefront.
The senior opposite hitter was a driving force for the Indians during the 2018 season, helping the team win a share of the Pacific League championship and advance to the CIF Southern Section Division III quarterfinals.
Van Loo was recognized for her accomplishments when she was named to the All-CIF Division III first team.
She is the lone local player to earn All-CIF honors this season.
“This was a team that we saw improvement from throughout the year, and Juliana was a big part of that,” Burroughs coach Edwin Real said. “Toward the end of the season, we were playing at a very high level and she stepped up for us.”
Van Loo made her presence known on the court, but Real said her value to the team reached far beyond the statistics that she was able to attain.
“Yes, she does a lot of things well,” Real said. “But what really doesn’t show up in the books or on the charts is the great leadership that she provided. A lot of the times she took on the team and took some of the other players under her wing and they felt comfortable with her on the court.
“When things would start to go wrong, she was assuring to everybody and that really showed what kind of a leader she was. It was just her presence that was calming a lot of the time.”
Van Loo finished with 142 kills to go along with 43 digs and 12 blocks. She tallied 25 kills in a league match against Crescenta Valley and had 16 against Burbank and 15 against Arcadia.
“She was just very coachable and she would go above and beyond to help the other players along with their skills.
“Sometimes I would have to try and hold her back and tell her to focus on herself. But she was just like that and she just liked to help.”
Burroughs (24-8) lost to Arcadia early in the season, but bounced back to defeat the Apaches in the rematch to capture a split of the league title. The Indians and Apaches ended with 13-1 records.
It was Burroughs’ second straight league crown and third in four seasons.
In the playoffs, the Indians earned wins against Irvine University and Notre Dame Academy to advance to the quarterfinals. In the quarters, Burroughs lost a close contest to Village Christian, 25-17, 21-25, 22-25, 25-15, 15-11.
Village Christian went on to win Southern Section and state titles.