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Burroughs volleyball wins playoff opener against Irvine's University

BURBANK — The Burroughs High girls’ volleyball team narrowly escaped a fifth game and instead picked up key points to secure a CIF Southern Section Division III first-round victory.

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It took 27 points to win the fourth set of the match against visiting University High School of Irvine, closing out a tightly-played frame that saw five ties over the final nine points.

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Ultimately, Lydia Grote’s swings were a little too much for University, as she picked up two of her match-high 26 kills for the final two points of the deciding fourth to clinch a 25-17, 22-25, 25-18, 27-25 win for Burroughs at home on Thursday.

The Indians will play host to Notre Dame Academy in the second round Saturday. Burroughs lost in five in the teams’ previous meeting on August 25.

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Notre Dame Academy (17-13), which finished second in the Sunshine League behind Alemany, swept Saugus in its playoff opener Thursday.

“Right now, some,” Indians Coach Edwin Real said when asked what he knows about the next opponent. “We played them in a tournament earlier this season so we’ll pull out that tape.”

On Thursday, the Pacific League co-champion Indians (23-7) used experience garnered in a competitive league and nonleague schedule to stay composed in key moments.University had game -point at 25-24 in the fourth looking to force a fifth set, but Burroughs didn’t falter and scored the next three on a service error and a pair of kills from Grote.

Grote and senior Juliana Van Loo came up huge in the fourth, combining for 11 kills.

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The fourth game was a culmination of a well-contested match, with Burroughs getting all of University.

“The first [game] we were all there, all excited,” Grote said. “We dropped off a little in the second, didn’t compete as a team, and handed it to them. In the third we battled through the ups and downs and pulled together.”

Added Real: “Our intensity needs to be better. We played relaxed. It’s good sometimes to play with confidence, but we need to pick it up sometimes.”

Burroughs overcame six service errors in the first to take the opening set without much resistance from the Trojans. A 5-0 run early turned a tie score into a 14-9 advantage for the Indians. University wouldn’t come within three points the rest of the way.

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