Burbank steps up to win in five

Girls' volleyball: Bulldogs regroup and come on to earn league victory against CV.

October 01, 2010|By Jeff Tully,

LA CRESCENTA — The Crescenta Valley High girls' volleyball team had the tough task of running through the gauntlet of Burbank-area schools in Pacific League contests this week.

The Falcons started the week on somewhat of a sour note, falling to host Burroughs in three games Tuesday.

Crescenta Valley was hoping to use its home court to its advantage Thursday when it hosted Burbank.

The Falcons definitely had the momentum after winning the fourth game and forcing a deciding fifth. However, the Bulldogs — paced by their serving — jumped out to a lead in the fifth game, closing out the match to win, 25-23, 20-25, 25-19, 19-25, 15-7.

Burbank Coach Sarah Brown said it wasn't a matter of pumping her team up for the fifth game. Instead, she took the opposite approach.


"It was a matter of calming them down and reminding them that they had to do the things they needed to do to win," said Brown, whose team is 5-2, 3-1 in league. "I definitely didn't want to get them too excited."

The Falcons (3-3, 2-2) had trouble returning serve in the fifth game, a game in which the Bulldogs tallied five aces. When sophomore middle blocker Jessica Murphy notched her third ace in the early going, the Falcons had already dug themselves into a 7-1 hole.

"We just kind of lost our focus in that fifth game," first-year Crescenta Valley Coach Steven Uememoto said. "We didn't pass the ball very well and we didn't handle their serve all that well either. You just can't play that way in a fifth game like that."

Behind two kills by senior outside hitter Leah Gagliardi, combined with a Burbank hitting error, the Falcons were able to battle back in the fifth and trailed, 9-5. But Burbank was able to grab back the momentum and stave off any potential comeback.

The Falcons were able to win the fourth game largely due to the play of Gagliardi. She had seven of her match-high 19 kills in the stanza, and continually kept Crescenta Valley in the game with her solid play.

"Her play was really important for us," Uememoto said. "She really came up big on some plays, and we needed that."

While Gagliardi was big on offense for the Falcons, the Bulldogs received a considerable defensive boost from junior outside hitter Nia Treadwell, who didn't play in the program last season. Treadwell was a force at the net, as she ended with 13 blocks and eight kills.

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