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Burroughs’ Tipton earns top honor for Pacific League boys’ volleyball

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Burroughs High senior libero Sam Tipton was named the Pacific League Player of the Year for the 2019 season.
(Tim Berger \ Staff Photographer)

The Burroughs High boys’ volleyball team continued a longstanding streak during the 2019 season.

For the 10th straight year, the Indians captured a Pacific League championship, dropping just one match in the process.

Another continuing trend also was perpetuated this season, as a Burroughs player was once again bestowed with the Pacific League Player of the Year honor.

The latest recipient is senior Sam Tipton, who earned the top honor despite playing the libero position.

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“I don’t remember a libero ever getting the top honor in the league,” said Burroughs coach Joel Britton, who finished his 13th season after helping establish the program in 2007. “It’s something that usually goes to the higher-profile players, like the outside hitter and setters.

“Sam was in a unique position because he could have literally played any position for us except middle. But he could have easily been a setter for us. To make the impact that he did playing from the back row and to get that recognition is very rare. But it’s something that he really deserved.”

Tipton was one of 11 players from Burroughs and Burbank to earn all-league honors.

Junior outside hitter Connor Burroughs, junior opposite Kade McGovern and senior middle Jagger Green were named to the first team for Burroughs. They were joined on the first team by Burbank senior outside hitter Chase Marcy.

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Making the second team was Indians’ sophomore setter Carter Cottrell, senior setter Steven Grandinetti and senior outside hitter Luke Kvarda, along with Bulldogs’ senior outside hitter Ryan Rickey. Burroughs junior middle Troy Outwater was honorable mention, as was Burbank sophomore defensive specialist/libero Jonathan Colman.

Tipton, a three-year varsity player, definitely made an impact with the Indians. He 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.

“Sam is a super smart kid and just being a student of the game made him a better player,” Brinton said.

Connor Burroughs had 364 kills, which led the team and is No. 2 for a season in program history. He also tied the mark for most kills in a match with 34, led team in aces with 46, had 149 digs and 26 1/2 blocks.

McGovern was second on the team with 353 kills and had 43 aces, 155 digs and 30 1/2 blocks.

Green finished with 172 kills, led the team in blocks with 36 and set a new school record for hitting percentage in a match at .918.

The Indians finished 20-13 and won the Pacific League title at 13-1. 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.

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While Grandinetti had 371 assists and 22 1/2 blocks, Kvarda contributed 58 kills and 106 digs and Outwater had 85 kills and 18 1/2 blocks.

“It was pretty awesome that we got, I think it was eight guys, who made all-league,” Brinton said. “I know we had kind of a weird lineup this year where we had two setters. So, for both of our setters to make all-league was great. I’m just happy that our players gained the recognition.”

In earning first-team recognition for the Bulldogs, Marcy had 140 kills, 99 digs, 21 aces and 12 blocks

While Rickey had 89 kills, 66 digs, 14 blocks and 11 aces, Colman finished with 78 digs and seven aces.

Burbank (12-15, 7-5 in league) finished fourth in league and fell in the first round of the Division III playoffs in four sets to Cerritos.

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