Pasadena overcomes a 2-0 deficit to beat Burbank in 5 sets in the 1st round of the battle of the Bulldogs

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The Pasadena Bulldogs overcame a 2 sets to 0 deficit on the road to beat the Burbank Bulldogs in 5 sets (23-25, 24-26, 25-14, 25-20, 15-8). This was the first meeting between the two Bulldogs teams this season, and Pasadena was led by the 15-kill performance of Peter Min. Entering the Pacific League showdown, Pasadena suffered a 4-set loss to league rival Arcadia (9-25, 25-21, 14-25, 12-25) on Thursday, March 21st. Burbank entered this contest following a 3-set win over Maranatha on Tuesday, March 26th.

The visiting Bulldogs got out to a quick start courtesy of 2 net errors by the host Bulldogs and a Peter Min kill to give Pasadena a 3-0 lead in the opening set. Burbank got on a board followed by Pasadena’s side-out error, and Sam Jurman got the host Bulldogs within 2 with a kill. Vince Ha tied the game at 7 with an ace and Min recorded another kill to give the visiting Bulldogs an 8-7 lead. Pasadena and Burbank traded points throughout the set, including Anthony Ohanian’s ace to tie the game at 9. Ryan Viar had 4 kills to help the host Bulldogs come out with a victory in the opening set by 2 points, 25-23.

Burbank carried the momentum in the 2nd set with Viar recording 2 kills to put the host Bulldogs on the board and tie the game at 3. Jordan Ribas had 5 kills in the 2nd set while Viar led Burbank with 7 kills in set 2. Ohanian recorded the set-sealing ace in the tie-break to give the host Bulldogs the set victory 26-24.

Pasadena was in danger of remaining winless in league play as they entered the 3rd set in a do-or-die situation. The visiting Bulldogs scored first for the third straight set, this one courtesy of another net violation. The teams were neck and neck in the early going before Pasadena began to pull away. The visiting Bulldogs built up a 7-19 lead and took the set from there. Min recorded the match-ending kill to give Pasadena a win in set 3, 14-25 to force a 4th set.

The visiting Bulldogs had momentum going into set 4, but were still in need of heroics. It was another back-and-forth start to a set that began with a Raygan Click ace to put Pasadena out in front once again. Ryan Viar recorded back-to-back kills to put Burbank out in front before Santaiago Gullon recorded a kill to tie the game at 2. Pasadena pulled away following a 4-4 tie, building a 7-point lead at 5-12. Burbank was not able to get closer than 3 points in the set and even found themselves down 14-22 late before a small rally. Ultimately, Pasadena prevailed 20-25 to force a decisive 5th set.

The final set between Pasadena and Burbank followed much of the same script as the previous three. Raygan Click recorded a kill to give the visiting Bulldogs a 1-0 lead. Ryan Viar tied the score at 1 with a kill, but Burbank was called for a tapping violation to give the lead right back to Pasadena. Gullon and Click had back-to-back kills to give Pasadena a 7-3 lead until Jordan Ribas got a clutch kill to put Burbank within 3 points. With the set still sitting at a 3-point differential at 8-11, Pasadena put the game away without much pushback. The game ended with a net violation by the host Bulldogs, 8-15. Pasadena overcame a 2-0 deficit to win the series 3-2 over Burbank.

“Coming out of the 2nd set we had a lack of mindfulness and got complacent. It serves as a wakeup call for future games and the need to recognize what we did wrong in terms of our mindset and use that to motivate us in the future games,” said Bulldogs senior captain Ryan Viyar. Viyar admitted he was super proud of Ian Villaflor and said he does a great job staying focused in a 5-set game.

“I thought our loss against Pasadena was tough. We got a bit complacent after the 2nd set, and couldn’t seem to find a sense of consistency anywhere,” said Bulldogs coach Brandon Villaflor. Villaflor stated that it was a lack of urgency to finish the game in 3 sets when asked about the letdown to close out the game in 3 sets.

Burbank drops to 3-8 overall and 1-3 in Pacific League play, while Pasadena improves to 12-4 overall and 1-4 in Pacific League play. Burbank followed this contest with a sweep by Arcadia on Friday, while Pasadena also got swept in their matchup against Glendale. Burbank will take on Crescenta Valley on Wednesday, April 3rd at 3:45 p.m., while Pasadena will return to action following their spring break to play Campbell Hall on Monday, April 8th at 4 p.m.

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