BURBANK — Connor Burroughs was adamant about keeping the Burroughs High boys’ volleyball team’s Pacific League winning streak alive.
Against Crescenta Valley on Friday, the visiting Falcons went the distance in the opening set to start the match with a one-game advantage.
But Burroughs, a junior, then tallied seven kills in the second set and eight in the third set to help the Indians regroup.
Behind Burroughs’ 25 kills, the Indians earned a 24-26, 25-22, 25-17, 25-10 victory to maintain their perfect league start and extend their league winning match streak to 69.
“A lot of emotions came out,” Burroughs said. “In the second set, we just dropped all our emotions and just tried to play volleyball like we do in practice every day and just do what we do.
“We had a lot of thinking through our heads like what if we lose this game, because we have a good streak going through league.”
The teams battled to 11 ties in the first set, and Crescenta Valley (8-5, 3-1 in league) took its first lead, 13-12, and looked set the tone in the opening game.
Burroughs battled back to tie the score at 24, but Crescenta Valley was able to pull away for the first-set victory.
“Everything was working in the first set and we had little spurts, otherwise,” Crescenta Valley coach John Nelson said. “They served tough to their credit. Really tough, and they made some good adjustments that shut us down.”
Burroughs (8-6, 4-0) was again tested in the second set, but pulled away for a three-point advantage after the score was tied at 6. A pair of Connor Burroughs kills set up a 19-13 lead for the Indians, before his seventh kill closed out the second set to tie the match at 1.
“We had a very long conversation after the first set. I usually like to get in and get back on the court to start playing, but we had a long conversation about like, ‘I don’t know what we’re doing, but this is not us,’” said Burroughs coach Joel Brinton, who played for and coached under Nelson at Crescenta Valley. “It felt like the first set was played at Crescenta Valley’s tempo, not in our tempo.
“We didn’t have control. [We took] a deep breath and allowed ourselves to refocus and control the game we wanted to play it.”
Connor Burroughs struck five times on an Indians’ 10-0 run in the third game to set up a 21-10 lead that Burroughs didn't relinquish in surging ahead in the match, 2-1.
“Our passing stayed pretty consistent, so when our passes were good, we were able to get CV to pay a lot of attention to our middles,” Brinton said. “That allowed us to let Connor go to work. Great individual performance on his part.”
The Indians jumped to a 10-2 lead in the fourth game and closed out the match with a 10-5 run to keep the Falcons at their lowest scoring set of the match.
“It’s a combination of them making tough plays and us making mistakes,” Nelson said. “Volleyball is a game of momentum. If you start making mistakes, it’s hard to get out it as we demonstrated in the fourth set.”
Crescenta Valley junior setter Andrew Boyle tallied 10 kills and four blocks, while junior middle Brendan Harvey also added four blocks and senior opposite Garo Barsemian had nine kills.