BURBANK — Despite losing some key players to graduation, the girls' volleyball teams at Burroughs High and Crescenta Valley went through their first two league matches this season without a hiccup.
With both teams hoping to return to top-four finishes in the Pacific League again during the 2010 campaign, the Indians and Falcons put their undefeated league marks on the line in a match Tuesday.
The contest was a homecoming for Burroughs, which was playing its first home match of the season after competing on the road for its first nine contests.
The Indians certainly enjoyed the confines of their home gym, as they received a fine effort from Kathy Henry to earn a sweep of Crescenta Valley, 25-22, 25-17, 25-16.
The Falcons (3-2, 2-1 in league) tried to fight their way back from deficits in all three games. However, the Indians (6-4, 3-0) were relentless, and they were able to stave off all of their opponent's threats.
Burroughs Coach Edwin Real said he thought his team's ability to win the first game, in which the Falcons held their only lead of the afternoon, was instrumental in ultimately winning the contest.
"I think winning that first game did a lot for our confidence," said Real, whose squad placed second in league last season behind Arcadia. "That really helped us carry over the momentum for the second game."
First-year Crescenta Valley Coach Steven Umemoto said his team didn't play its best Tuesday.
"We go through stretches where we're hot and cold," said Umemoto, who took over a program that finished fourth in league in 2009. "We just didn't do a good job at passing and we weren't able to keep rallies going like we should have. …It's very frustrating."
Crescenta Valley had no answer for Henry, a junior who had a match-high 16 kills — including six in the first game. Teammate Megan Stephenson added eight kills.
"Kathy is a real competitor, and she's very focused," said Real of the all-league first-teamer.
The Falcons played well at the net in the first game. Junior middle blocker Kira Guarino had four blocks in the game. Behind her play, Crescenta Valley battled back to take a 15-14 lead. However, the Indians clawed their way back to win the game.
That would be the closest game of the match.
Crescenta Valley got to within two points of the lead four times late in the second game, the last at 18-16. But the Indians again stepped on the accelerator and closed out the stanza on a 7-1 run.
"We didn't start off very well in that third game," said Umemoto, whose team fell behind, 8-0. "You just can't do that when you're already down by two games."
The closest Crescenta Valley would come to the Burroughs lead in the third game was six, 13-7.
The Falcons received seven kills from Leah Gagliardi and five from Guarino.