SOUTHEAST GLENDALE — Burroughs High Coach Edwin Real admits that the Glendale girls' volleyball team has improved from last season.
Even the Nitros players have seen an improvement in the program that didn't make the CIF Southern Section playoffs in 2009.
However, even if Glendale has gotten better in a year's time, it still has a way to go to try and compete at the same level as some of the top teams in the Pacific League.
That was evident Thursday when the Nitros hosted the Indians in a league contest. Burroughs was dominating at the net and Glendale was unable to deal with the team's heavy hitters, as the Nitros went down in a 25-15, 25-11, 25-11 defeat.
"They are improved from last year," said Real, whose team placed second in league last season. "A lot of the teams in league have gotten better from last year. That's why we can't take anybody lightly. We have to bring our 'A' game every match, and not have any letdowns."
Coming off getting swept by Crescenta Valley Tuesday, Glendale (2-4) has opened league with two consecutive losses. However, despite the setbacks, the Nitros players are not about to get down on themselves.
"Compared to the way we played in summer league, we have really improved," senior outside hitter and Glendale captain Trish Nubla said. "We just have to keep our confidence up and not get down on ourselves. We also have to make sure that we don't get frustrated and start getting down on each other."
Nubla and teammate Alyssa Ridad had three kills each.
Burroughs used a powerful dose of Kathy Henry and Megan Stephenson to drive its offense. Stephenson finished with 12 kills and Henry had 10.
The Indians controlled play at the net, as the much smaller Nitros had trouble stopping them.
"We know we're going to be shorter than a lot of teams," said Nubla, whose team will play a league match at Muir on Tuesday. "But we just have to take what height that we do have and make the most of it."
Glendale started off well in the first game, jumping out to a 5-2 lead. But the Indians quickly embarked on a 7-0 run to take control of the game at 9-5. The Nitros got to within one point of the lead, 10-9, but Burroughs wouldn't let the hosts get any closer.
That was the most competitive game of the afternoon.
Burroughs (5-4, 2-0) dominated the second game, leading the entire way. Stephenson had six kills in the game.
It was Glendale again getting off to a positive start at the beginning of the third game, leading 4-2. But once again the Indians answered the call, took the lead back at 5-4 and never looked back.
"I'm happy with the way we're playing now," Real said. "We had some tough competition in the Gahr Tournament, and we were able to get better. We just have to make sure we keep this up."
The Indians should have their first serious league test Tuesday when they host Crescenta Valley.