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Burroughs looks to continue volleyball dominance

Burbank, Providence and Bell-Jeff hope to put things together, nab playoff spots.

February 28, 2013|By Jeff Tully, jeff.tully@latimes.com
  • ARCHIVE PHOTO: Burroughs High School's Daniel Jacobs receives one during away game vs. Burbank High School at BHS in Burbank on Tuesday, March 13, 2012.
ARCHIVE PHOTO: Burroughs High School's Daniel… (Raul Roa )

For the past three years, Burroughs High has been the premier boys’ volleyball program in the city.

The Indians have won or shared the last three Pacific League championships. In addition, the team advanced to the CIF Southern Section Division III semifinals in 2012 and the championship contest in 2011.

With a solid group of returners this season, don’t look for the Indians to shoot for anything less than league and CIF crowns.

“The older guys who have been around are definitely into keeping the tradition going,” Burroughs Coach Joel Brinton said. “And what’s nice is that they’re teaching that to the younger guys.”

While Burroughs has been thriving, Burbank is continuing to build its program, as the Bulldogs embark on their third season of play. At Bellarmine-Jefferson, the Guards will field a small squad and Providence looks for success in a revamped league with a new-look squad.

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BURROUGHS

The Indians fell a bit short of their goal of making it back to the divisional championship last season, as they were eliminated in the semifinal round of the playoffs. The team also lost the final match of the regular season, forcing Burroughs to share the Pacific League crown with Claremont. It was the second time in three years the Indians ended up co-league champions with the Wolfpack.

Despite sharing the championship, Burroughs (21-5) again had a successful season.

The Indians did lose some talent to graduation, namely co-league player of the year Robby Rutecki (97 kills, 160 digs, 25 blocks and 31 aces) and first-team all-league player Ike Nwachie (217 kills and 65 blocks). But the team does have a wealth of quality players returning.

“If we can commit to the effort, and we can put in the work, the outlook for us looks very good,” Brinton said. “The returners know what is expected of them and they are aware of the standards that have been set.”

Leading the group of returners is senior all-league outside hitter Daniel Jacobs. Last season, Jacobs set a new school record for kills in a season with 264, besting his own mark of 253 set in 2011. In addition, he had 101 digs, 25 blocks and 47 aces.

“He is learning what he has to do to become more of a complete player,” Brinton said of Jacobs. “He has to really focus on his passing and other aspects of his game.”

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