BURBANK HIGH — The girls’ volleyball contest between rivals Burbank High and Burroughs had a few subplots.
For starters, it was Burbank and Burroughs — two rivals from the same league battling it out in the regular season finale.
Then there was conference standing implications.
All in all, it was the perfect scenario for a ruckus crowd at Burbank High that witnessed the visiting Indians defeat the nemesis Bulldogs in four games for the second time this season to finish in sole possession of second place in the Pacific League.
“I don’t think the players really knew the impact on the seeding, but it was more about wanting to beat their rival,” said Burroughs Coach Edwin Real after the 22-25, 25-20, 25-21, 25-22 victory.
Burbank Coach Sarah Brown shared a different approach, with a similar motivation, with her squad.
“I think they knew about the seeding, but we also knew it’s Burroughs, so a little bit of both,” said Brown in talking about her team’s motivation.
The Bulldogs (14-5, 10-4 in league) looked like the more motivated group in the first game, holding the lead the entire way after taking a 4-3 advantage.
Burroughs (14-6, 12-2) didn’t see an advantage until taking a late 20-19 edge in the second game in which they scored seven of the final eight points to tie the match at two games apiece.
Despite trailing most of the way, the Indians kept it close, not letting the Bulldogs hold an advantage of more than three points.
“We fixed the lineup a little bit in the second game, and we just had momentum going forward,” Real said.
Burroughs went ahead and took a 7-6 lead in the pivotal third game and never looked back. The Indians led by as many as six points, though the Bulldogs battled back and trailed, 23-21, before the Tribe closed it out.
It was more of the same in the fourth game. as the teams were tied at 22. Again, the Indians scored clutch points to avoid a deciding fifth game.
Burbank didn’t help its cause in trying to force a final set when it committed four service errors that resulted in four of the Indians’ first six points.
The Bulldogs were cruising, 20-14, but let up, allowing Burroughs to make a comeback and eventually completing the season sweep.
“We stuck to the game plan in the first game,” Brown said. “But we got a little lackadaisical in the final three.”
Burbank’s Danielle Reed paced the team with 10 kills and 22 digs. Sarah Tubert had 32 assists and Reilly Brennan accounted for 10 blocks for the Bulldogs, who also head into the postseason with confidence — and a third-place league finish — despite the loss.
“We’re excited to go to the playoffs,” Brown said. “We have a common goal in what the team wants from this season.”
Burroughs was paced by Kathy Henry, who tallied 21 kills. Teammate Megan Stephenson added 13 kills, Catarine Emerson had 21 assists and Victoria Santos had 24 digs.
“It’s always good heading into the playoffs on a winning note,” said Real, whose squad finishes the regular season seeded behind league-champion Arcadia. “We didn’t accomplish our first goal, now it’s on to the second goal.”