LA CRESCENTA — It may have taken the Burroughs High girls' volleyball team some time to warm up, but once the Indians hit their stride, Crescenta Valley was quickly left behind.
A relatively close first game between the two Pacific League foes at Crescenta Valley on Tuesday afternoon was merely the prelude to a second-game blowout and eventual 25-20, 25-4, 25-15 sweep.
"I think in the first game, we just kind of took it a little more light and played relaxed," Burroughs Coach Edwin Real said. "We talked in between games and reevaluated our goals for a minute and said if we play like this some more, our goal is out the window. They responded to that, which is nice to see."
Burroughs hit the reeling Falcons, who played without starting outside hitter Kira Guarino (illness), hard with a 41-9 run that began when the first game was tied at 16 and endured until early in the third game, when the Indians held a 7-1 lead.
"We started off with energy, but once we get in a funk, and once we start losing points, it just snowballs," first-year Falcons Coach Jen Ku Lee said. "Hopefully, they gain experience from this game and come back even stronger."
Crescenta Valley (2-2, 1-1 in league) started out strong and kept pace with Burroughs for most of the first game, even tying the game at 14 on one of three first-game kills from Allison Reik and taking a 15-14 lead on the next point.
But Burroughs (6-3, 2-0) finished off the first game and took complete control of the match in the second, where it got off to an 11-1 lead early.
Megan Stephenson, who led Burroughs with 16 kills, had four kills during the second game and also had back-to-back aces to bring the Indians' lead to an insurmountable 17-3.
"I think the ball control really helped out," said Real, whose team finished runner-up in league last season behind Arcadia. "We were serving well. We were able to run it kind of fast and had our defense set up."
Angelique Rojas notched two kills in the last three points of the game to give the Indians a 2-0 lead in games and for a short while Burroughs appeared headed to another quick blowout in the third game.
But Crescenta Valley rallied from a 7-1 hole to tie the game at 7 on a six-point service run by Payton Wheeler that included a pair of aces and after Burroughs surged back ahead, the Falcons once again battled back to force a tie at 11.
"That was a positive sign for our team," Lee said.