SOUTHEAST GLENDALE â€” 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.
â€œ[Burroughs] is very tall, and we have probably the shortest team in the league,â€ Glendale Coach Mark Bauman said. â€œI 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.â€
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.
â€œAlthough we are happy with the win [Friday], I told the guys that we still have a long way to go,â€ Burroughs Coach Joel Brinton said. â€œThere are still a lot of things we have to work on if we want to improve.â€
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 â€” including a string of four in a row in the first game. Collins added five kills.
â€œWe just made too many mistakes,â€ Bauman said. â€œWe didn't play our best, and Burroughs was able to take advantage of that.â€
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 â€” including four aces â€” 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.