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Indians seize state chance

Boys' volleyball: Burroughs gets berth in state playoffs and upsets Thousand Oaks in Division I match on the road.

May 25, 2011|By Jeff Tully, jeff.tully@latimes.com

THOUSAND OAKS — There was disappointment, frustration and some sorrow for members of the Burroughs High boys' volleyball team when they lost in the CIF Southern Section Division III championship match Saturday.

Many believed the loss marked the end of a successful season for the Indians. However, the program got a lift when it received a berth in the Southern California Volleyball Championships.

Unfortunately for Burroughs, it was moved up to Division I for the state tournament, spelling tougher competition than it faced in the Southern Section tournament.

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With new life, the No. 6-ranked Indians traveled to No. 3 Thousand Oaks on Tuesday for an opening-round match. Burroughs not only embraced its opportunity, but seized the chance to pull off an upset, rolling to a 25-22, 25-21, 23-25, 25-23 victory.

"It was all about redemption for us," Burroughs Coach Joel Brinton said. "That's what we talked about [Monday]. Everyone understood that we had a chance to redeem ourselves from our bad performance on Saturday."

The win puts the Indians (34-4) into the second round of the state playoffs. Burroughs will take on host No. 2 Otay Ranch (30-7) from the San Diego Section at 7 p.m. Thursday. Otay Ranch defeated Santa Monica, 23-25, 25-19, 25-19, 25-15, in its opener Tuesday.

Burroughs junior middle blocker Ike Nwachie said his team definitely had a specific approach for state competition.

"We just came out here to have fun," he said. "We really didn't know what to expect. But we started winning and just started having fun with the whole thing. We knew coming in that we had nothing to lose, and that really allowed us to play a lot better."

Senior setter Tyler Yanez did a fine job at continually getting the ball to his Burroughs teammates all match. He ended up with 41 assists. Junior middle blocker Robbie Rutecki led the team with 14 kills, while senior outside hitter Lucas Yanez and sophomore opposite Daniel Jacobs added 10 kills each, sophomore libero Derrick Nicandro had 14 digs and senior outside hitter Justin Llamas added 12 digs. Lucas Yanez also had 18 digs.

"One of the big keys for us is that we made it a goal to not let [Thousand Oaks] go on any big runs," Brinton said. "Other than in that third game, I think we were able to do that."

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