LA CRESCENTA — Looking to go into the spring break on a wave of momentum, the Crescenta Valley High boys' volleyball team mounted a late comeback in Friday's third game against Burbank.
The victory in the tightly contested finale earned the Falcons a home sweep over the Bulldogs in Pacific League action for the second time this year, 25-14, 25-14, 25-22.
Vincent Van Hoek, who finished with a match-high 19 kills for Crescenta Valley, said it was important to not let the match go four games.
"We wanted a good way to go into the break," Van Hoek said. "It'll be nice, we'll have some time to relax and practice and that's pretty much it."
Burbank (5-12, 1-5 in league) had a knack for keeping the first two games close early, but was eventually overcome by Crescenta Valley's firepower each time.
The Bulldogs weren't going to go away quietly, though.
"They did a great job, they are one of the most improved teams I've seen," CV Coach John Nelson said of Burbank. "We've got a little more experience, though. I have more seniors and they're a little bigger and a little stronger."
Burbank Coach Patrick McMenamin was happy the Bulldogs improved on their previous defeat to the Falcons on March 6, 25-8, 25-2, 25-15.
"The last time we played them, they gave us a pretty good beating, so we had some attainable goals set for today and we achieved them," McMenamin said. "This is one of the matches this season where we improved as the game went on and that's a good thing to see."
The Bulldogs fell into a 6-1 hole to start the third game but battled back to tie the game at 15.
Both teams traded points down the stretch, forcing ties at 16, 17, 18, 19 and 21.
Burbank took its first lead at 18-17 and held a two-point lead, 21-19, before the Falcons soared out to a game and match-clinching 6-1 run, which featured two kills from Van Hoek, including the game winner.
CV (11-5, 5-2) pulled away in the first game with the score tied at 6 with a 13-1 run. Van Hoek tallied seven kills in the opener.
Ian Paprocki and Wesley Cormier finished with eight and seven kills, respectively, for CV.
Burbank got a team-high five kills from Elijah Cowart, four from Paolo Fabregar and two assists, two blocks and a kill from Armen Sargsyan.
The Bulldogs were down just two, 13-11, in the second game before the Falcons used a 12-3 run to distance themselves and take a 2-0 lead in games.
"We are going to try to not take too much of a break because we get Burroughs on Friday when we get back," Nelson said. "We are doing OK. If we can keep improving, we will be in the [league race] toward the end."
Said McMenamin: "I am very proud of my boys for playing hard and it looked like they were playing hard, too. We want to build on that for the rest season."