When the CIF Southern Section boys’ volleyball playoffs get going Tuesday, the city of Burbank will be well represented.
Burbank, Burroughs and Providence all earned berths to the postseason when the CIF Southern Section playoff pairings were released Saturday morning.
The Bulldogs and Indians will participate in Division II, while the Pioneers are in Division V.
No area team has enjoyed more postseason success the last two seasons than has Burroughs, which advanced to the Division III finals in 2011 and the semifinals in 2012.
Yet, that history didn’t help at draw time.
Burroughs (20-8) begins its new challenge in Division II on Tuesday at 7 p.m. hosting Moore League third-place finisher Long Beach Millikan (11-9).
“It is what it is. It all makes sense through the logic of this season, who we played and who we beat and we didn’t beat. I know that’s what they looked at,” Indians Coach Joel Brinton said. “There’s some teams that I thought had better draws than us and I know we’re better than. I know the process of it. It is what it is. We are excited about having the first game at home.”
The good news for the Indians is that they enter the postseason with some momentum after defeating host Claremont, 3-1, on Tuesday to clinch a share of the Pacific League title.
A win would send Burroughs to the second round Thursday versus either PAC 7 League champion Arroyo Grande (17-2) or Channel League third-place Goleta Dos Pueblos (12-4).
One squad hoping to follow the lead of Burroughs is crosstown rival Burbank.
Only three seasons earlier, the Indians had never ventured past the second round. As for Burbank, the program didn’t even exist three years ago.
Yet, in the second year under coach Patrick McMenamin, the Bulldogs are postseason bound, as Burbank (11-17), the Pacific League third seed, will travel to Pioneer League champion El Segundo (15-3) in the first round Tuesday at 7 p.m.
“We’re very excited to participate in the Division II playoffs,” McMenamin said. “I told the team to check the CIF website and we’re well aware of El Segundo. I don’t have much info on El Segundo, but we can’t wait to play.”
Senior John You will likely lead the Bulldogs on offense as the right side hitter has connected on double-digit kill totals the last five straight league matches. Setter Jason Gomez is also averaging more than 20 assists per match.
Both will have to up their efforts this postseason if Burbank is to compensate for the loss of senior outside hitter Victor Mendoza, who was lost for the season due to an injury two weeks ago.
“We’re going to miss him, no doubt,” McMenamin said, “but we have some strong servers and hopefully the offense will play.”
A Bulldogs’ victory will send Burbank into the second round on Thursday versus either Channel League runner-up San Marcos (20-8) or Orange Coast League second-place finisher Santa Ana Calvary Chapel (18-6).
As for the Liberty League-champion Pioneers (15-9), they’ll open the Division V playoffs Tuesday at home at 3:30 p.m. versus Delphic League third-place CAMS (4-7).
“One of the hardest things this year for us is the lack of experience,” Providence Coach Josh Eggleston said. “We’ll have two sophomores and a freshman on the court and at times only one senior with CIF experience.
“I guess I’m just concerned we’ll have that dear in the headlights look.”
The good news for Eggelston is that his one senior, outside hitter Phil Harvey, is Eggleston’s experienced player and leader, while sophomore DJ Cabrera has become a reliable player.
Should Providence win, it will advance to the second round Thursday versus Ambassador League runner-up Ontario Christian (10-7) or Camino Real League third-place La Puente Bishop Amat (15-15).
- Andrew Shortall contributed to this story