BURROUGHS HIGH — Coach Joel Brinton didn’t like how his Burroughs High boys’ volleyball team ended the regular season, but he sure was pleased about how the Indians started the postseason.
Less than a week after losing to Claremont in the Pacific League finale and feeling like they were “outplayed,” the Indians were out for redemption in their first-round match of the CIF Southern Section Division III playoffs.
The Indians weren’t perfect, but they were definitely good enough to defeat visiting Village Christian, needing 56 minutes to advance to the second round with a 25-20, 25-20, 25-12 win.
“As much as we tried not to think about [the loss to Claremont], we used it as motivation,” said Brinton, whose team shared the league title with Claremont. “We summed it up in one word — redemption. We got outworked on our home court against Claremont. We should never get outworked on our home court.”
Burroughs (19-4) will next play Yorba Linda or John Glenn in Thursday’s second round.
Brinton pointed to the Indians’ 19 errors as a flaw that needs to be fixed prior to the next round.
“We had too many unforced errors,” said Brinton, whose team advanced to the division title match last season. “We need to get away from that as we move on in the playoffs.”
Despite the errors, the Indians were in complete control, trailing just once, 1-0, to start the second game.
After scoring five of the final six points to take the first game, the Indians started the second and third games on 5-1 runs to take commanding leads, with Daniel Jacobs and BJ Lagmay leading the way.
Jacobs, a 6-foot-1 opposite hitter, mesmerized the Crusaders (10-11) with his leaping and hitting ability, as he finished with 12 kills and a pair of blocks. Lagmay, a setter, comfortably set Jacobs, Ike Nwachie (11 kills), and Robert Ruetecki (seven kills) throughout the match, finishing with 30 assists and two kills.
“We wanted to come out as hard as we could and send a message to CIF,” Jacobs said. “We focused on communication. We have the philosophy that the loudest team wins. The loudest team knows where the ball is going.”
They were also the stronger and deeper team.
Tristan Martin added five kills and Daniel Marbach had four kills for the Indians, who have won or shared each of the past three league titles.
“It was up to us to move our hitters around and create the matchups we wanted,” Brinton said. “I definitely liked how we were in control most of the time. It worked out well.”