BURROUGHS HIGH — Down by five points — and five points away from elimination — in the decisive fifth game of his team's CIF Southern Section Division II-A second round girls’ volleyball match at home against Oxnard on Thursday, Burroughs High coach Edwin Real called a timeout.
“We can't give up,” Real said, relaying the message he gave to the Indians during that time out. “It's going to be over if we stop playing. We can fold and let the season be over, or we can play hard and come back. We've come back before.”
And come back they did. Burroughs rallied to win the match in five games, 19-25, 25-20, 25-22, 21-25, 15-13.
The Indians head to the quarterfinals Saturday, when they will take host Pasadena Poly, which defeated La Quinta in its second-round contest.
Coming out of the crucial timeout, Burroughs went on a 6-1 run to knot the score at 11, one of eight ties in the fifth game alone. Oxnard tied the score at 13, but the Indians won in dramatic fashion, 15-13.
Caitlin Cottrell finished with 14 kills and five blocks, Laura Howard had 15 kills and Katharine Rutecki added 23 assists for the Indians, which placed third in the Pacific League.
“He said we had to pick up and work as a team,” Cottrell said of the message sent while down five points in the final game. “We just pushed really hard and in the end we won.”
Oxnard — the Pacific View League champion — held Burroughs at bay in the first game, winning rather easily. But the Indians returned the favor to win the second game, as they came back to tie the match.
“We stopped making a lot of mistakes,” Real said of the difference between the first two games. “We made a lot of mistakes early.”
The Indians came out strong in the third, going up by as much as 14-9. However, with Burroughs holding a 22-18 advantage, Oxnard made a run to cut the deficit to 22-21. Real attempted to call a timeout to stop the momentum, but had none remaining. Burroughs fixed the issues on the court without the stoppage to win the third.
Real said that defeating Maranatha in the first round after falling behind two games helped his team keep its composure against Oxnard.
“I would say confidence, but as well, when you're winning you have fun,” Howard said. “When you have fun it brings confidence and determination to every ball.”
Oxnard took the fourth game, setting up the dramatic finish.
“The only way for us to win was if everyone turned their attitude into a positive on,” Howard said of the crucial timeout down five points in the fifth. “It was so intense; we needed to channel that energy toward the other team as opposed to ourselves.”