LA CRESCENTA — A year ago, the Burroughs High girls’ volleyball season came to an end in the second round of the postseason.
But this season the Indians had a chance to do at least one better, and that’s is exactly what they did against visiting Notre Dame Academy.
Burroughs played with confidence throughout a comfortable sweep of the visiting Regal Gryphons, 25-18, 25-13, 25-20, Saturday evening at Crescenta High in the second round of the CIF Southern Section Division III playoffs.
“This was a good win. The kids came out on fire ready to play,” Burroughs coach Edwin Real said. “It’s good to see. We didn’t play up to our potential in the first round and now we’re playing at a higher level like we should be.”
With the victory, Burroughs (24-7), the co-Pacific League champion, will move on to the quarterfinals at 6 p.m. Wednesday. The Indians will be on the road for a short trip to face Village Christian in a quarterfinal contest.
The Crusaders (31-9), the Olympic League champion, are the top seed in the division. Village Christian won its second-round match Saturday against Dos Pueblos, 25-13, 25-13, 25-13.
“We all worked really hard and had the same goal: winning this and moving on to round three,” Indians Lydia Grote said. “We were all just really focused and played together.”
In Saturday’s match, Burroughs was designated as the home team, although the action took place on Crescenta Valley’s home floor due to a conflict with homecoming activities at the Indians’ home gym.
“We came out and we were so ready to play this team,” Indians Juliana Van Loo said. “Even though we had a home game in obviously not our home gym, we still came out strong.”
Notre Dame Academy (17-14) could not contain the outside hitting of the Indians. The tandem of Grote and Van Loo benefited from sharp passing throughout the match, as both racked up 16 kills apiece. Sophomore Catie Virtue also got in on the action with eight kills for the sophomore.
“I think our passing was very, very good today,” said Grote, a junior. “We stayed disciplined. We stayed home on defense and with the pass we were able to get the set and get the kill.”
Notre Dame Academy, the No. 2 team out of the Sunshine League, was led in kills by Lucia Folsey with seven.
In game one, Burroughs tied the score at 5 with a Van Loo strike from the outside and then took the lead for good on a Regal Gryphon hitting error. The Indians stayed in control from then on, slowly stoking the advantage until it peaked at nine after an ace by Indians Charlotte Hobson.
In game two the Indians never trailed. The frame started with a resounding kill by Grote to the back corner. The game ended appropriately with a final Grote kill that found the floor deep in the middle of the court. The final margin of 12 was the largest of the game, which saw Grote tally seven kills.
It was Van Loo’s turn in game three, where the senior rang up seven kills. Burroughs twice built sizable leads only to see the Regal Gryphons fight back. The Indians trailed, 6-5, but then went on a 8-0 run to seize control. The run started with a Van Loo kill, and two points later she put up back-to-back kills followed by a block. However, Notre Dame Academy scored the next four to tighten things up.
Later, a Van Loo kill put her squad ahead, 20-14, but the Regal Gryphons scored the next four to pull to within 20-18. An outside kill by Grote stopped the run.
“It was really important to put them after [in game three],” Van Loo said. “[Notre Dame Academy is a great team and they came back, but we decided to settle down, get right back in it and put the game away.”
The game and match came to a close with an ace by Jolene Soliman to send the Indians on to the quarterfinals.