BURROUGHS HIGH — They pulled away down the stretch in the first two games, took early command in the third game and left little doubt of their dominance by the end.
The Burroughs High boys’ volleyball team cruised past Claremont Friday night, winning in consecutive games, 25-17, 25-16 and 25-15, convincingly to sweep the visitors in a Pacific League match.
Claremont and Burroughs shared the league title last season.
“We knew we could do it,” Burroughs coach Joel Brinton said. “It was just up to our execution.”
Junior Ike Nwachie led the Indians with a match-high 11 kills. His teammate, senior Tyler Yanez, registered 22 assists and five kills. The 6-foot-2 Yanez assisted the 6-5 Nwachie on eight booming kills that set the tone.
“Right now, they are rolling,” Brinton said of Nwachie and Yanez. “If Tyler gets the set there, [Nwachie’s] unstoppable. There’s not many kids that can’t touch 11 feet two inches.”
Burroughs (21-3, 5-0 in league) is ranked No. 1 in the CIF Southern Section Division III, and topped seventh-ranked Claremont (13-6, 2-2).
“Most people out our school don’t even know we have a volleyball team,” Nwachie said. “We’re starting to get recognized.”
During a stretch where Burroughs pulled ahead in the first game, Yanez set up Nwachie for three kills in four points. Nwachie roamed the middle, rose above the net and thundered the ball into position where Claremont had no answer.
“We work to establish the middle,” Nwachie said. “I think we would’ve lost without that connection.”
Said Yanez: “We kind of feed off of big kills. Ike usually gets big kills because he jumps so high and he hits so hard. We he gets rolling, it’s real hard to stop.”
It’s a dynamic Brinton has placed emphasis on in practice and an evolution he’s developed over the course of the season.
“It’s been a connection we’ve worked a lot with,” Brinton said. “They know that it needs to happen if we want to be successful.”
The Wolfpack trimmed the Indians lead to 16-15, but only scored one more point in the first game.
Claremont went up, 3-1, in the second game, and the teams played to 19-15. But Burroughs ended on a 6-1 run.
The Indians jumped out to a 7-1 advantage in game three and breezed to the 10-point win.
Daniel Jacobs finished with seven kills and five aces for Burroughs. Lucas Yanez had 12 digs and teammate Justin Llamas added eight digs and four kills.