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Burroughs again leads boys' volleyball pack

Volleyball: All four teams lost key players from last year, but have talent to hopefully fill the vacated spots.

March 03, 2014|By Jeff Tully, jeff.tully@latimes.com
(File Photo )

Recently in the Pacific League, the Burroughs High and Claremont boys' volleyball teams have engaged in some epic battles for league supremacy.

The last two years, Indians' Daniel Jacobs and the Wolfpacks' Stephen Zetterberg paced their respective squads, putting up big numbers and enjoying a wealth of success. In the 2013 campaign, Jacobs and Zetterberg shared the Pacific League Player of the Year honor. But Jacobs did graduate with up-upmanship bragging rights over his rival, as Burroughs won the league championship.

However, both players have graduated, and Burroughs and Claremont have had to move on.

"We did lose a lot from last year," Burroughs Coach Joel Brinton said. "And a big part of that was Daniel. But we don't look at it as a rebuilding year, but the guys kind if look at it as a reloading year."

Along with Burroughs, Burbank, Providence and Bellarmine-Jefferson also lost key players to graduation or transfer.

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Here is a look at how the teams are shaping up.

BURROUGHS

Jacobs accounted for a large portion of the Indians' offense last season. The Leader Male Athlete of the Year led the team with 219 kills and 36 aces, to go along with 110 digs and 15 blocks. He ended his career at Burroughs as the program's all-time kill leader with 729.

Jacobs helped the Indians to another prosperous season. Along with a 21-8 record and a share of the league crown — its fourth straight — Burroughs also advanced to the second round of the CIF Southern Section Division II playoffs.

"It takes two players to replace someone like Daniel," Brinton said.

In addition to Jacobs, the Indians also lost three first-team all-league players to graduation.

"With Claremont losing its big player, it will be interesting to see what is going to happen once league rolls around," Brinton said. "We have the horses for sure.

"We are going to have a different team this year. Obviously not having Daniel Jacobs is tough, but it's also nice because for us to be successful we are going to have to have a lot of guys step up for us this year. And all the guys have been working hard to replace that production. But I think we're going to be a lot more balanced."

Setting up that offense will be sophomore Ryan Van Loo, who learned last season under senior first-team all-league setter BJ Lagmay. Also returning is senior libero Danny Casillas (169 digs), a second-team all-league pick a year ago.

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