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Tribe finds stride

Girls' volleyball: Burroughs finishes league unbeaten after win against Burbank.

November 02, 2011|By Jeff Tully, jeff.tully@latimes.com

BURROUGHS HIGH — Final standing in the Pacific League for the Burroughs High and Burbank girls' volleyball teams was already determined when the teams meet in a regular-season finale Tuesday evening.

The Indians clinched their first league championship in four years last week and the Bulldogs had already locked up third place. But Burroughs was trying to achieve another goal with a win in the final cross-town rivalry contest of the year — finishing undefeated in league.

Using substantial runs in all three games, including staving off match-point in the second game, Burroughs achieved its goal, defeating visiting Burbank, 25-20, 26-24, 25-18, to finish a perfect 14-0 in the Pacific League.

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"It was important for us to go undefeated in league, and especially important for our seniors," Burroughs senior outside hitter Angie Rojas said. "It was a goal of ours as a team and we were able to achieve it."

As has been the case all season, the Indians (18-3) — ranked No. 4 in CIF Southern Section Division II-A — received a stellar performance from senior outside hitter Megan Stephenson. The Bulldogs (11-5, 10-4) had no answer for the Indians standout, as Stephenson tallied 20 kills to go along with 10 digs.

Burroughs also received six aces and six kills from Laura Howard, 17 assists from Catarina Emerson and 13 assists from Keana Figueroa.

The Bulldogs had leads in all three games, but let Burroughs go on big runs to wrestle control of the games back.

Burbank's best chance at winning a game came in the second. After the Indians went on an 8-1 run earlier in the stanza to take a six-point lead, the Bulldogs embarked on an 8-0 run of their own later to take a 22-20 lead.

Burbank maintained the lead and had Burroughs at match-point, 24-23, after a kill by Stephanie Eskander. But a Bulldogs hitting error gave the Indians new life and a kill by Stephenson allowed Burroughs to go up by one, 25-24. Stephenson ended things with a booming kill to give her team a 2-0 lead in games.

In the first game, Burroughs had a 16-3 run to build up a lead. In the third game, a 9-2 run helped keep the Bulldogs at bay.

"It's just very difficult to try and come back when you give up big runs like that," Burbank Coach Sarah Brown said. "You can't win games that way."

Eskander led Burbank with seven kills.

The Burroughs junior varsity team also defeated Burbank Tuesday to finish the league season undefeated at 14-0. It is the third straight championship for the Indians.

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