BURBANK — It is a cross-town rivalry any time Burroughs High goes up against Burbank in any sport. But in boys' volleyball the rivalry is a purely geographical based one as the Indians are a divisional powerhouse and the Bulldog program is in just its second year after being revived as a varsity program.
As the two squads squared off Wednesday in Pacific league play on the Indians' home floor, the metaphorical gulf between the two programs was on display as the hosts quickly and easily handled the visiting Bulldogs, sweeping them, 25-15, 25-13, 25-11.
"We try not to treat it as a cross-town rivalry or anything," Burroughs Daniel Jacobs said. "We try not to let emotions get in the way of our playing [because], of course, a lot of emotion comes with it."
Burroughs (14-4, 7-1 in league) controlled every aspect of the contest on the way to its second sweep of the Bulldogs this season. This means Burbank (5-9, 5-4) is yet to take a game from the Indians, currently ranked No. 9 in CIF Southern Section Division II, since reviving the program.
"[Burbank] is making a ton of strides in the right direction. We have been there," said Burroughs Coach Joel Brinton, whose program is now in its seventh year since being started up again. "and we know that when we were there, the focus couldn't be on the scoreboard. The focus had to be on what we are doing right, how are we improving and how can we get better. They are still in that transition phase."
Against the Bulldogs, the service game of Burroughs was in full effect leading to 14 aces while stifling the Burbank attack.
"We served really well," Brinton said. "We've been taking time and really working with our jump servers, so mainly [Daniel] Marbach] and [Daniel] Jacobs."
Burroughs was led in aces by senior outside hitter Jacobs, who had a match-high six to go along with his match-high 12 kills, along with three blocks. Marbach followed with five aces. Jonathan Fuentes tallied the other three aces.
"It is just what we have been working on in practice. We've been working on a lot of serving and receive passing," Jacobs said. "It just showed today. It was really good to see."
Center Shayne Beamer was strong for Burroughs, especially in the first game when it became obvious that Burbank had no answer for the Indians superior size, skill and organization. The senior finished with 10 kills and a match-high five blocks.
"In the last week I've done a lot of work, and the team's done a lot of work, working on defense," Beamer said. "So I'd have to say that because of my team's defense it was really easy to excel the way I did."
Burbank led, 2-0, in the first game and, 5-4, in the second, but those were the only advantages the visiting team would hold. The Bulldogs kept active and never gave in, but could do little to overcome their cross-town foes. Burbank was led in kills by senior Derian Blandon with two. Elijah Cowart and Justin Saisirikul each had four digs. Burroughs was led in that department by Danny Casillas with 11.
"Burroughs is a well-coached team," Burbank Coach Patrick McMenamin said. "They are good at all positions, so they are tough to defend and tough to attack."
With the convincing victory, Burroughs is yet to drop a Pacific league game to anyone outside of league-leader and Division II No. 6-ranked Claremont, who it lost to in games, 3-2, earlier this year. Although three league contests sit between the Indians and their regular-season ending rematch with Claremont, Burroughs is eager to get another shot at the Wolfpack.
"We have our eyes on April 30th against Claremont," Brinton said, "and we're working. Everything we're doing is working with that is mind, to get better for that day."