Nitros find matchup a tall order

SOUTHEAST GLENDALE — It was obvious to see that the Burroughs High boys' volleyball team had a distinct advantage in its Pacific League match against Glendale on Friday.

While the Nitros field a team in which all of its players are under 6 feet, the Indians have an imposing lineup that includes 6-4 Chris Smith, 6-4 Malcolm Collins and 6-2 Josh Marbach.

That height advantage served Burroughs well, as the team dominated play at the net and easily swept the Glendale, 25-18, 25-21, 25-15, on its home floor.

“[Burroughs] is very tall, and we have probably the shortest team in the league,” Glendale Coach Mark Bauman said. “I told our team because they are so tall, we had to try and modify the way we hit the ball, and we had to wait a little longer on our kills. But we weren't able to do that.”

The win was significant for the Indians (5-3, 2-2 in league), who are in just their second year as a program. Burroughs has won one more match than it did during its inaugural 2007 season, and the squad has doubled its league victories from a year ago.

“Although we are happy with the win [Friday], I told the guys that we still have a long way to go,” Burroughs Coach Joel Brinton said. “There are still a lot of things we have to work on if we want to improve.”

Burroughs' dominance at the net was evident early on, as Glendale (2-5, 1-4) had trouble getting the ball past the Indians' front line.

Smith had six blocks to go along with five kills and Marbach had three blocks, 11 kills and seven aces — including a string of four in a row in the first game. Collins added five kills.

“We just made too many mistakes,” Bauman said. “We didn't play our best, and Burroughs was able to take advantage of that.”

Marbach's serving prowess came into play in the first game with the Indians trailing, 4-3. However, the senior rattled off six straight points — including four aces — to give Burroughs a 9-4 advantage.

The closest game was the second, when Glendale whittled down a six-point Indians advantage to two, 22-20. However, Nitros errors and kills by Marbach and Smith enabled Burroughs to win the game.

The Nitros were paced by Kris Santiago, who had seven kills.

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