BURBANK HIGH — The Burroughs High and Burbank boys’ volleyball teams don’t exactly have a storied rivalry. In fact, until this season, the Indians have had no cross-town nemesis the past few years.
That changed when the Bulldogs fielded a varsity team this year after resurrecting the program following a brief two-year stint in 2008-09.
Burbank became reacquainted with the rivalry in a tough manor, however, as Burroughs was able to earn a Pacific League sweep Tuesday against the host Bulldogs, 25-7, 25-12, 25-10.
The task was definitely a daunting one for Burbank (0-7, 0-3 in league) and Coach Patrick McMenamin, as they were facing a Burroughs (9-1, 3-0) squad that is not only the defending league champion, but advanced to the CIF Southern Section Division III championship in 2011 and is currently ranked No. 1 in the division.
Burroughs Coach Joel Brinton, who helped start the Indians program just six seasons ago, endured the growing pains the Bulldogs are now experiencing and recognizes the time and patience it takes to start a team.
“I think Patrick has done a really good job,” said Brinton, whose teams have qualified for the playoffs four of the last five seasons. “They’re learning as a team and they’re clearly getting better. They are going to continue to grow as a program and this rivalry is only going to get more competitive in the years to come.”
McMenamin benefited from a large number of prospective players who came out for the program prior to the season. However, only a few had previous competitive volleyball experience and there are no elite club players on the Bulldogs roster.
“Overall, I’m ecstatic with the way this team has progressed,” McMenamin said. “We have a great group of kids and it’s just a matter of us getting down the fundamentals as soon as possible.”
The firepower of the Indians was just too much for the Bulldogs to overcome. Burroughs was paced by Daniel Jacobs, who had a match-high 11 kills to go along with 12 aces. Six aces came in the first game alone.
“Our focus right now is that we’re going to play hard no matter who we go up against,” Jacobs said. “So it doesn’t really matter what the name is on the other side of the net, we just have to play to our level. We didn’t want to change anything.”
Burbank stayed with the Indians early in the first two games. In the opener, the Bulldogs tied the score at 4 after an ace by John You. However, Burroughs surged ahead with a vengeance, going on a 21-3 run to close out the game.
In the second game, Burbank knotted the score at 6 following a Burroughs hitting error. After the Indians grabbed the lead, the Bulldogs began playing better and again pulled even with their rivals, 10-10. But that just seemed to spark Burroughs, as it embarked on another sizable run and ended the stanza on a 15-2 clip.
“We started to put the ball in play more in that second game,” McMenamin said. “We also had less unforced errors that brought us more points. But in the game in general, I thought we could have played better defense.”
In the third game, nine of Burbank’s 10 points came on Burroughs errors. The lone Bulldogs highlight was a single kill from Elijah Cowart.
“The focus for us was having them earn their points, and I don’t think we did a very good job at that,” Brinton said. “We walk out of here and we’re not happy with the way that we played at times. We still have to figure out what we need to do.”