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Confident Indians march on to semis

BURBANK — Quite easily, the Burroughs High volleyball team made history on Saturday afternoon.

The Indians disposed of visiting Cypress Saturday, 25-15, 25-18, 25-20, in a CIF Southern Section Division III quarterfinal playoff match to advance to the semifinals for the first time in program chronicle.

With the win, top-seeded Burroughs (32-3) advanced to Tuesday’s semifinal round, where it will meet either Temple City or South Torrance.

“We worked so hard just to get a No. 1 seed,” said Ike Nwachie, a middle blocker. “I think in these playoffs, if we play the way that we can, I don’t think there’s a team that can honestly beat us. They might take us to five games, but I think in the end, we can win.”


Against Cypress (18-9), senior outside hitter Lucas Yanez totaled 10 kills, 12 digs, and two aces. Senior setter Tyler Yanez tallied 34 assists and seven kills.

“Today was just another regular game for them,” Burroughs coach Joel Brinton said of the Yanez brothers. “The thing that doesn’t show up in the stats is the leadership that they’re providing.”

The Centurions had plenty more to deal with, too.

Opposite hitter Daniel Jacobs had 10 kills and five digs. Nwachie had eight kills and middle blocker Robby Rutecki finished with five kills, three aces and two blocks.


That balance kept Cypress guessing, as multiple Indians emerged as offensive weapons.

“That’s kind of been what our goal has been for the entire season,” Brinton said.

“I see it as perfection,” Lucas Yanez said. “Our coach says practice makes permanent. If we play the way we practice, it’s permanent. You can see we’re all steady down the stat sheet. How can you stop that with everybody coming?”

Tyler Yanez agreed.

“We’re pretty stacked,” he said. “Basically, the passing was there. If the passing is there, we can’t be stopped.”

Burroughs jumped out to a 13-5 lead in the first game and never allowed the lead to drop to less than the eight-point margin.

In game two, the Indians went up, 18-8, but Cypress went on an 10-5 run, closing the gap to 23-18.

“They’re a good team,” Tyler Yanez said. “They started clicking.”


Burroughs went up, 6-0, in the third game and held the Centurions at bay to close out the match.

“The group of seniors we have were part of our first-ever freshman team,” Brinton said. “Most of the seniors have been playing together four years. They carry it down to the younger guys. They don’t even have to say anything necessarily to communicate.”

“We never put each other down,” Nwachie said. “It’s always, ‘It’s okay. Just get the next one. We’ve all done it.’ We might get down and we might start not playing as well, but we never break from it.”