Sam Tipton proved to be a value asset this past season for the Burroughs High boys’ volleyball team.
The senior libero was a key in the backrow for the Indians’ defense and made his presence know with his consummate passing and supreme court knowledge.
Tipton was reward for his efforts when he was honored as a CIF Southern Section Division II first-team selection when the CIF released the awards for all six divisions Thursday.
“Sam is a super smart kid and that’s important being a libero,” Burroughs coach Joel Brinton said. “From that position you really have to have a great knowledge of the game. You have to read all the tenancies, know what hitters like to do with the sets a certain way and be willing to take things on so the hitters can go and do all the glory work.
“A lot of time the libero is the one who handles the ball first and then everyone forgets about you. Sam is the only libero on the All-CIF team in our division, so that really says something.”
Tipton, a three-year varsity player, definitely made an impact with the Indians.
“Being on varsity for three seasons, he just got accustomed to high-level volleyball and he’s not shellacked when he’s going up against really good teams and players,” Brinton said. “He was just confident in his ability to learn and that’s what made him a better player. This year in particular, he really adjusted to the higher level of play.”
Tipton set new school record with 361 digs in a season and graduated with the third-most career digs with 644. In addition, Tipton had 28 aces and contributed 22 and 21 digs in league matches against Arcadia.
“I don’t think we’ve ever had a libero who was All-CIF before,” Brinton said. “It’s usually been our setters and our hitters, and deservedly because because they usually get all of the accolades.
“But this is something great for Sam, and for our program. I hope it helps boost his confidence even more and helps him accomplish what he wants at the next level.”
Brinton said Tipton plans to walk on at Grand Canyon University.
The Indians finished 20-13 and won the Pacific League title at 13-1, securing the program’s 10th straight league championship. The one league loss to Arcadia snapped Burroughs’ 76-match winning streak, one that began in 2013.
The Indians defeated Sherman Oaks Notre in three sets to open the CIF Southern Section Division II playoffs before falling to Mission Viejo in three sets in the second round.
The Division II Player of the Year was senior outside hitter George Dyer of Saddleback Valley Christian.