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Burroughs' historic run falls short

Volleyball: Indians boys' team plays well early but just can't stay with Valley Christian in four-game loss in CIF finals.

May 22, 2011|By Jeff Tully, jeff.tully@latimes.com

CYPRESS — The Burroughs High boys' volleyball team was definitely the newcomer in its CIF Southern Section Division III championship match Saturday.

The Indians' program has only been in existence for five years, and the team had never gotten past the second round of the playoffs before this season, let alone compete for a CIF title.

In contrast, opponent Cerritos Valley Christian is a veteran of deep postseason runs, having captured a championship in 2007. The Crusaders have also captured the Olympic League championship seven straight years.

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No. 1-seeded Burroughs battled in the first two games of the title contest, as the teams matched one another point for point, with neither being able to forge a substantial advantage.

However, the Indians were unable to neutralize No. 2 Valley Christian's firepower in the final two games, and as a result, fell in four games in the match at Cypress College, 27-25, 25-27, 25-18, 25-16.

The Indians (33-3) — the Pacific League champions — were attempting to become the first team in the 63-year history of Burroughs to capture a championship. They were, however, only the fifth squad to advance to a CIF title contest.

The Indians played well in the first two games, earning a 1-1 split. But the Indians weren't able to keep up the same high level of play over the course of the final two games, and the Crusaders took advantage.

Burroughs Coach Joel Brinton said although he gives Valley Christian (29-4) a lot of credit for its tough play and its ability to persevere and win the title, he believes his squad did not play at its best in Games 3 and 4.

"I honestly don't know what happened to us [in the final two games]," said Brinton, who has guided the program since its inception in 2007. "This is the first time in 37 matches that we've had this year that I've seen that team play like that in those two games.

"A lot of the credit goes to Valley Christian. I think that our guys started to get a little frustrated because there were used to getting some easy points that they didn't get today."

The loss marks the end of the high school careers of senior brothers Tyler and Lucas Yanez. The two have thrived under Brinton's tutelage for four years, breaking numerous school records and putting Burroughs boys' volleyball on the map.

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