BURROUGHS HIGH — For the second time this season, the Burroughs High boys' volleyball team had a relatively easy time in sweeping its Pacific League counterpart, and area rival, Burbank.
The outcome of their latest match Wednesday at Burroughs was to be expected, and as the match was well underway, the outcome was never in doubt.
But going into the postseason and with aspirations of reaching a CIF Southern Section championship match for the second consecutive season, Indians' Coach Joel Brinton said his team isn't where it needs to be.
"We're not playing at the level we want to be at," Brinton said after the 25-14, 25-11, 25-13 win over the Bulldogs, which kept the team undefeated in Pacific League play. "[Burbank Coach] Patrick [McMenamin] has done a great job, but this is about us and I know I'm being selfish but we're not at the level we need to be at. We're trying to improve ourselves."
The Indians (16-3, 9-0 in league) are ranked No. 2 in Division III and are poised to win the league title for the third straight season.
Burbank, on the other hand, is a new program headed by McMenamin, who is in his second year of trying reestablishing the sport at the school.
The vastly different level of experience and play was evident throughout Wednesday's match, as the Indians never relinquished the lead in the three games after taking a 4-3 early advantage in the first stanza.
The two teams traded the first six points of the opening frame, but five unanswered points from the Indians would prove to be enough to sustain the momentum. Burroughs then ran away with the game, scoring 13 of the final 17 points after Burbank cut the lead down to four, 13-9.
The second game stayed one-sided, as Burroughs scored the first nine points and would lead by no less than five before closing it out with a 6-0 run.
Again in the third game, Burroughs jumped on the Bulldogs early, leading by eight after the first 12 points.
Shortly after the sweep, McMenamin focused on the positives.
"Our goal was to score more points against Burroughs than last time," he said. "It was a good challenge for us to block better. They have a diverse offensive attack."
The potent offensive attack was led by Daniel Jacobs' eight kills to go along with six from Robby Rutecki. Ike Nwache and Shayne Beamer added five kills each and BJ Lagmay paced Burroughs with 19 assists.
"We had to keep everybody in and stay aggressive, because we still have improving to do," Brinton said.