BURROUGHS HIGH — If the Burroughs High boys’ volleyball program isn’t in the midst of a dynasty in the Pacific League, it is well on its way to starting one.
Although the Indians were missing their most potent offensive weapon Thursday against visiting Arcadia, Burroughs was still able to roll to a relatively easy three-game league sweep, 25-18, 25-20, 25-9.
The victory gives the Indians (18-3, 11-0 in league) a share of their third straight Pacific League championship. Burroughs can notch its second consecutive undefeated league campaign Tuesday when it hosts Claremont.
“Our first goal is to win league, and that’s very important to us,” Burroughs Coach Joel Brinton said. “But the next goal is to finish the league undefeated and we will have the chance to do that against Claremont. We want to make it a perfect season.”
The Indians were missing junior outside hitter Daniel Jacobs, who was suffering from a severely sprained right big toe. Jacobs is not only the team’s kill leader, but he is also the Indians’ most forceful server.
In his absence, senior middle Ike Nwachie said his teammates wanted to step up and prove they could handle the match without Jacobs on the floor.
“He just means so much to the team,” Nwachie said of Jacobs. “We just needed to step up and prove what we could do without him. We have the athletes where if someone goes down, or we’re missing someone, the rest of us can make up for it and we can get the win.”
Nwachie definitely practiced what he preached, tallying a match-high 13 kills. Teammate Robbie Rutecki added six kills and BJ Lagmay had 19 assists.
“I’ll have to check for sure but I’m pretty sure that Ike set a school record for hitting percentage,” Brinton said. “He’s really come on in the past few weeks and he’s taken it upon himself to be a team leader. He’s really stepped it up for us.”
After letting the Apaches (5-6 in league) stick around the first two games, the Indians put the hammer down in the third game and completely dominated Arcadia. With crisp passing, fine play at the net and relatively few unforced errors, Burroughs took control of the game early.
Nwachie had two blocks and a kill in the early going to stake the Indians to a 6-1 lead. Arcadia was able to cut the lead to 7-4 before Burroughs took complete control. The Indians embarked on a back-breaking 14-2 run and enjoyed a comfortable 21-6 advantage.
“The way we played in that third game is the way this team is capable of playing,” Brinton said. “Even without our big guy the other guys showed that they could step up.”