LA CRESCENTA — Already holding the No. 1 ranking in CIF Southern Section Division III, the Burroughs High boys' volleyball team took down the sixth-ranked team in Division II on Saturday to claim its second championship in the Crescenta Valley Varsity Tournament in as many years and keep a full head of steam going into the upcoming CIF playoffs.
"It's nice to continue the success," said Burroughs Coach Joel Brinton, whose team (22-3) defeated Oaks Christian, 25-17, 25-17, in the championship round. "It's good to play a team like [Oaks Christian] that would definitely be a playoff team just to measure ourselves to see where it is that we need to improve and get our mindset straightened out for the playoffs."
Both games against Oaks Christian followed a near identical course, with the Indians establishing early leads and pulling away down the stretch. Lucas Yanez and Daniel Jacobs each registered six kills for the Indians against the Lions to garner all-tournament honors. Burroughs setter Tyler Yanez was named tournament most valuable player.
Things didn't start out quite as well for the Indians, who lost the first game of their Gold Division playoff opener to Pacific League rival Crescenta Valley, 26-24, before regrouping to pull out 25-18 and 15-8 wins in the next two games.
"We just didn't play very well and we knew that we could play better," said Tyler Yanez, whose team then beat Village Christian, 25-23, 25-13, to advance to the finals.
Crescenta Valley (7-12) went on to lose to South Pasadena in its next playoff match, 25-21, 25-23, to fall into the seventh-place match, where it defeated Quartz Hill, 28-26, 25-19. Wesley Cormier led the Falcons with 11 kills in the win over Quartz Hill.
"There's a reason [the Indians] are ranked No. 1 in their division, they're good," Falcons Coach John Nelson said. "We played pretty darn good there. The South Pas match, we were just out of gas. It was the emotional letdown from not beating Burroughs and then we have to play South Pas and they're all fired up."
St. Francis (7-6) continued to try and get through the tournament with less than half its roster available, but pulled out of its final Silver Division playoff match on Saturday when its numbers dwindled down to just five players. The Golden Knights lost to Montebello, 25-21, 25-17 and Garey, 25-20, 15-25, 15-10, on Saturday.
After leaving the CV gym with another fresh haul of hardware, Burroughs will now get back to the pursuit of an even bigger prize — the Division III crown.
"I don't know if it was early morning jitters or what, but there's not really an excuse for [the slow start]," Brinton said. "They came out flat this morning [against CV and Village Christian].