Burroughs falls to Claremont in 5 set thriller

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The John Burroughs Bears suffered a heartbreaking 5-set loss to the Claremont Wolfpack (17-25, 25-13, 25-22, 25-27, 17-19) with Caleb Sapp recording the game-winning kill to propel the Wolfpack to a 2-1 start. Claremont entered fresh off a split with Laguna Beach and Pacifica Christian at the Portola Tournament while Burroughs kicked off the 2024 season with apparent first-game jitters.

Sapp recorded two kills in the opening set, while Charlie Geerard got the first kill of the game for the Bears following 3 side-outs by both teams. Copper Longyear recorded the final kill of the opening set which won the Wolfpack the first set 25-17 over Burroughs.

Going into the 2nd set both teams gave away free points on side outs until Henry Carlin recorded 3 straight aces to give the Bears a 5-2 lead. Carlin also recorded a kill in that set to give the Bears a 12-8 lead. Benji Ly secured a set-ending kill to give the Bears the victory in set 2.

The 3rd set was filled with net and tapping violations with Marci Reyes recording 2 aces with Ly having 3 kills to help Burroughs to a set victory and a 2-1 advantage. The 4th set was all Claremont with Kaden Sapp having 3 kills to force a 5th set. The 5th set came down to the wire with Henry Carlin and Benji Ly having strong games in the final set with Sapp ending the game with a kill to give Claremont the win.

“I thought it was an exciting game, the boys did a great job dealing with adversity with Caden going down in the middle of the 3rd set and talked about after the game that this is what non-league games are for,” said Bears coach Joel Brinton. Brinton praised Ly Carlin and Gerard for playing great games in the loss and counted on them to lead the team in kills.

Burroughs drops their record to 0-1 to start the season. They will take on Newbury Park this evening, February 21st at 6:30 p.m. while Claremont will go up against Mission Viejo on Friday, February 23rd at 6 PM which will take place at the Foothill Tournament in Mission Viejo.

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