Burroughs sweeps Burbank in Pacific League opener

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The John Burroughs Bears bounced back from a 5-set loss to St Francis on Wednesday, March 6th (25-18, 16-25, 16-25, 25-12, 12-15) to sweep the Burbank Bulldogs on Thursday behind a 13-kill performance by Benji Ly. Burbank is coming off a 3-set loss to Canyon on Tuesday. This was the Pacific League opener for both cross-town rivals.

In the opening set, Nathan Spratt recorded the game’s first kill while Theo Thorssian responded with a game-tying following Spratt’s kill. Ryan Viyar gave Burbank a brief 1-point lead with an ace before Burroughs regained the lead with 2 scores via the side out and net error. Burroughs went on multiple runs before the Bears put the first set away via the side out to take it 25-11.

In the 2nd set, Burroughs got a gift point until Viyar tied the game with a kill. Burbank jumped into a 3-score lead with an ace by Rilen Ixtlahuac and a kill by Jordan Ribas. The Bears got 2 more points with a kill by Ly and a side-out error to tie the game at 4 and looked to put the set away as they built multiple leads of 7 or more points. Burbank continued to fight and almost overcame a 23-15 deficit to cut the lead to 24-22, but Burroughs survived set 2 on a net error for a 2-0 lead with the 25-22 win.

Burbank was looking for answers to force a decisive 4th set but the Bears were determined to complete the sweep. They built a lead, and never let it slip less than 3 before pulling away for a 25-16 win for the 3-0 sweep. Ryder Tafoya recorded the game-winning kill to secure the victory for the Bears over the Bulldogs.

“It was nice to see the guys respond from a 5-set loss to St Francis last night,” said Bears coach Joel Brinton. Brinton admitted that Gerrard and Ly played well in the win.

“I thought our overall performance for our team was there. Our efforts and level of urgency could be better and it showed in the 2nd set,” said Bulldogs head coach Brandon Villaflor. Villaflor admitted that he’s seeing progress in the team even if it’s not reflected in the results that the team wants.

Burroughs improves to 6-4 overall, and 1-0 in Pacific League play, while Burbank falls to 1-6 overall, and 0-1 in Pacific League play. Both teams will continue Pacific League play on Tuesday, March 12th as Burbank will take on Glendale on the road at 3:45 p.m. and Burroughs will host Arcadia on the same day and time.

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