Tag Archives: Burroughs boys volleyball

Burroughs, Burbank Boys Volleyball Look to Continue Winning Ways

By Nareg Atteukenian

Success in volleyball isn’t something new to Burroughs and Burbank highs.

Last season Burroughs accomplished the greatest feat in program history when it advanced to the CIF Southern Section championship match.

Although the Indians fell short against Oak Park, Burroughs got revenge by beating the same team to win the CIF Southern California Regional title.

But much of that 31-6 Burroughs team has graduated as stars Ryan Van Loo, Andrew D’Almada and  Cameron Capili graduated.

Burbank has a new coach in Gaby Gallardo, who previously coached  league rival Hoover High. She replaces Patrick McMenamin, who is now a full-time athletic director.

The Bulldogs finished second league a year ago, going 20-13. They lost in the first round of the playoffs to Lakewood.


The Indians graduated five seniors last year, but also have some returning talent. With starters Conner Ludlum and Skyler Bercini returning to the scene and coach Joel Britton at the helm, Burroughs seems to be in shape to make a run at an eighth straight Pacific League title.

“I feel like the pressure shouldn’t be on the guys, the pressure should on the coaching staff. It’s our job to teach them,” Britton said.

But Burroughs also has a returning group, and one that will help push the team further.

“They kind of naturally have that leadership, the returning starters from last year,” said coach Britton about the starters returning to varsity. “We had sophomores on the court that found ways to contribute and play and now they’re juniors and they’re major contributors and they’re going to do a great job.”

Juniors Jose Solano and Levi Benitez, both of which are 5-foot-10, will try to fill the void left by Van Loo, who is now playing for Lewis University, at setter.

Bercini (5-8) will be backed up at libero by senior Everett Kanoho (5-9), who could also see time as a setter, and sophomore Sam Tipton (5-8) .

At middle blocker, Burroughs has a number of candidates led by juniors Diego Rosal (6-4), Billy Singleton (6-4) and senior Andrew Abrahamian (6-2).

Playing in the opposite role will be junior Cole Kaitz (6-5), junior Drew Gorsuch (6-0), and sophomore Sammy Solis (5-10).

Along with Ludlum, senior Jarrett Malone (6-4), senior Anton Prather (6-1), and sophomore Michael Rumfola (6-1) could see time.  Defensive specialist Khalil Johnson (5-11), who is a junior, could also see time as an outside hitter.


With a new head coach and three seniors, Burbank will look to dethrone the Indians as Pacific League Champions.

“We’ve been doing a lot of hard work, and they’ve made adjustments to what I expect from them,” said Gallardo said.

Gallardo said her group has put in the effort and is hoping it will lead to success.

“Working hard is going to help us in playing against Burroughs,” Gallardo said. “They’re always a dominating team, they’re always a good program. All I can have them do is give me the best, and we train as hard as we can so that when we do play them it will be a good game.”

With several returning seniors, the Burbank team seems to have some role models to help the younger players on the team.

Senior setter Jonathan Tapan (5-7) returns as the starter. Junior Brian Valmonte (5-10) will serve as his backup.

Juniors Jonathan Ragheb (6-0) and  Eugene Uvarov (5-11) have been impressive early on in their roles as outside hitters.

Senior Adrian Rivera (6-1) and junior Jonthan Valmonte will hold down the opposite role.

Junior Edward Curren (5-8) and senior Pierre Simonian (5-8) will see time at libero.
Junior Rory Rickey (6-2) and sophomore Luca Bily (5-11) will compete for playing time at middle blocker.
Gallardo added that the seniors on the team expect the younger players to step up their level of play.
“You’re playing on varsity and you need to play at a varsity level,” Gallardo said of her young team.


2016 Was a Year to Remember in Sports for Burbank and Burroughs

If there is one thing most people in Burbank will agree on it is that 2016 was the best year on record for sports at Burroughs and Burbank highs.

Three teams appeared in CIF Southern Section championship games or matches and that isn’t counting Burroughs boys’ cross country team, which also put together a solid season.

Myburbank.com takes a look at the top 10 teams of the 2016 calendar year.

10. Burbank boys’ basketball

Photo By: Edward Tovmassian

The young Bulldogs’ squad put together an impressive season going 20-11 overall, 8-6 in league. But it was postseason play that earned this team on this list. Led by junior Michael Woods, Burbank reached the quarterfinals of the Division 2-AA playoffs.  Burbank won on the road at Garden Grove and then defeated El Toro. Both opponents came in having won more than 20 games. In the quarterfinals, the Bulldogs hung tough for a long time before falling to Loyola of Los Angeles.

9. Burroughs baseball

Photo By: Edward Tovmassian

The Indians (19-7) started the season as hot as any team, winning the prestigious Easton Tournament by defeating eventual CIF Southern Section Division 1 finalist Harvard-Westlake in the final. The Indians went on to earn a share of a second consecutive Pacific League crown, despite losing virtually its entire starting lineup to graduation from the previous year. It was the first time in school history that Burroughs won league titles in consecutive years. Burroughs’ season ended in the first round of the CIF playoffs with a loss to Rancho Cucamonga. Highlights included pitcher Kyle Nicol signing a letter of intent with Cal State Northridge. Teammate Shaine Leonard signed with the University of Antelope Valley.

8. Burroughs boys’ basketball

Photo By: Edward Tovmassian

The Indians put together a 22-8 season and reached the semifinals of the CIF Southern Section Division 1-A playoffs for the first time since 1990, when Burroughs was knocked out by an Artesia team that featured future-NBA players Ed and Charles O’Bannon. In 2016, Burroughs lost to Santa Monica, the eventual CIF champion. Junior Tristen Hull earned All-CIF honors. Guard Steven Hubbell signed with California Lutheran University. Coach Adam Hochberg stepped down after the season to spend more time with his family.

7. Burbank boys’ track

The Bulldogs won a league title in boys’ track and field for the first time in 31 years. Burbank also did it without relying too much on its distance runners, which have traditionally been the strength of the program. Hurdler Martin Swan, jumper Noah Powell and sprinters Josh Cantong and Joey Miller were the leaders of the team. All four qualified for the CIF finals as a 1,600 meter relay team.

6. Burroughs boys’ cross country

(Photo by © Ross A. Benson)

This is a team that going into the season looked like a strong contender to win its second CIF title in three years and one that could have very easily been the top team in the city. The Indians shared the Pacific League title with Arcadia even though Burroughs won two of the three league meets and only lost on a sixth man tie-breaker in the league final. Burroughs ran very well in CIF preliminaries and looked like a serious contender to win in the finals. But this team fell well short and surprisingly missed qualifying for the state meet. This team should be motivated for next season after this season’s disappointing finish. Several key runners return next season led by Alexander Hirsch, Jagdeep Chahal and Jacob Calderon. A CIF title is within reach in 2017.

5. Burroughs girls’ basketball

Photo By: Edward Tovmassian

The Indians dominated league by going 14-0, 24-8 overall and reaching the semifinals of the CIF Southern Section Division 1-A playoffs.  Ironically, Burroughs lost on the road in the semifinals at Mira Costa of Manhattan Beach. Mira Costa then lost in the final to Crescenta Valley, a team Burroughs defeated twice in winning the Pacific League. Jordan Meltzer led the Indians as she shared the Pacific League Player of the Year honor with Crescenta Valley’s Alissa Shin.

4. Burroughs softball

The Indians had an outstanding season led by sophomore pitcher Presley Miraglia, who was named the Pacific League Player of the Year and earned All-CIF honors for a second time. Burroughs went 24-5 on the season and lost 7-0 in the semifinals of the CIF Southern Section Division 3 playoffs to Grand Terrace, the eventual champion and one of the top rated teams in the nation. Coach Doug Nicol stepped down after the season so he could spend more time watching his kids play sports in college.

3. Burroughs boys’ water polo

A CIF champion in the third spot some might say? Yes, Burroughs had an outstanding season in winning the CIF Southern Section Division 5 title. However, one must remember the Indians did not win the Pacific League title. Their opposition in the playoffs was certainly not elite. There are also some questions marks around this team as several key players have not been students at Burroughs throughout their entire high school careers. In fact, several are transfers from Burbank High. But this team will almost certainly be higher up on the list next year as the main core of players return for their senior seasons, led by CIF MVP David Arakelyan, J.J. Ambartsumyan and Marko Vucetic.

2. Burbank football

The Bulldogs captured the hearts of many of the city. For the first time in 30 years a local football team played for a CIF Southern Section title.

Photo By: Edward Tovmassian

After finishing second in the Pacific League, the Bulldogs were clearly a different team in the playoffs, dominating most of their opponents until the final when it was bothered by an unexpected call of Mother Nature. Still nobody will forget this group that grew up together led by Guy Gibbs, Nick Warren, Forest Fajardo and Jake Kelley. These kids should all be in the Burbank High Sports Hall of Fame one day.  Coach Richard Broussard stepped down at the end of the season.

1. Burroughs boys’ volleyball

Photo By: Edward Tovmassian

The Indians won their seventh consecutive Pacific League title and were clearly the most talented team in the city. Led by a veteran group that included setter Ryan Van Loo and outside hitters Andrew D’Almada and Cameron Capili, the Indians overcame a loss to Oak Park in the CIF Southern Section championship by defeating that same team a week later in CIF Southern California State Regional tournament.


In closing, it was very hard to make a top-10 list. There were a couple of teams that were very good that did not make the list but deserve honorable mention. Those were the Burbank and Burroughs girls’ soccer teams. The Burroughs boys’ soccer team also had a solid season as did the Burbank girls’ tennis team, the Burbank girls’ basketball team and Burroughs girls’ golf team and volleyball teams.

We want to wish the best of luck to all Burbank and Burroughs teams in 2017.


No. 4 Burroughs Boys Volleyball Upsets No. 1 Oak Park

Burroughs celebrates its incredible comeback victory (Photo by Dick Dornan)

Burroughs celebrates its incredible comeback victory (Photo by Dick Dornan)

By Dick Dornan
MyBurbank Sports Editor

It was a victory for the ages but in the grand scheme of things, it was simply another victory in the win column for the Burroughs boys volleyball team. But it wasn’t just your everyday victory. It was more than that.

Behind an enthusiastic crowd that included a boisterous junior varsity team and a tough-minded group of talented volleyball players, the Burroughs Indians came away with a hard-fought 3-2 win on the road against Oak Park (17-25, 21-25, 25-23, 25-23, 15-9) despite trailing 2-0.

The Indians pulled off an astonishing comeback (Photo by Dick Dornan)

The Indians pulled off an astonishing comeback (Photo by Dick Dornan)

With the triumphant win, Burroughs (11-1) can expect to jump over Oak Park from No. 4 in the CIF Division II polls to possibly No. 1 early next week.

It was a comeback victory that will serve as a reminder to every one of Burroughs present and future players that anything is possible. Facing the No.1 ranked team in CIF Division II on their home court was a challenging task. Falling behind 2-0 and trailing 20-18 in the third set made the situation even more daunting.

“They (Oak Park) have been a team that we’ve had nothing but trouble with,” Burroughs coach Joel Brinton said. “We lost to them twice last year and we just didn’t lose to them, they kicked our butt. And they walloped us in a couple pre-season scrimmages this year. For our guys to dig deep and come back and win shows their character.”

And boy did they ever.

Coach Joel Brinton speaks to his team prior to the pivotal third set (Photo by Dick Dornan)

Coach Joel Brinton speaks to his team prior to the pivotal third set (Photo by Dick Dornan)

Oak Park (9-3) imposed its will early taking the first two sets 25-17 and 25-21. They led 20-18 and were on the verge of a 3-0 sweep when the Indians rose to the occasion and claimed five straight points to take a 23-20 lead.

Back came the Eagles with three consecutive points to tie the set at 23 apiece. After the Indians made it 24-23, Oak Park called timeout when they had no timeouts left. A penalty point was awarded to Burroughs giving them a 25-23 win and plenty of momentum heading into the fourth set.

Burroughs trailed 8-5 early in the fourth but rallied to take a 13-9 lead. The two teams were tied at 19, 20, 21 and 22 before the Indians took control late and pulled out another 25-23 set win.

Bailey Carter (left) and Andrew Dalmada go for a block (Photo by Dick Dornan)

Bailey Carter (left) and Andrew Dalmada go for a block (Photo by Dick Dornan)

In the fifth and decisive set, Burroughs never trailed en route to the 15-9 win and capturing the match, 3-2.

Andrew Dalmada had four kills in the fifth set including three straight to give JBHS an 11-5 advantage. Ryan Van Loo had a block, Max Chamberlain added a kill and Cameron Capili had an ace and a kill during the convincing fifth set win.

“It says a lot about our young team. It’s crazy to see us rise like this,” said Dalmada, who ended the match with 14 kills and 12 digs. “At the beginning we were playing like individuals. Then we started playing as a team. We did our jobs for our teammates. This is real nice to see.”

“We knew it was going to be tough. The first two sets were really rocky but we came out strong in the third,” Chamberlain added. “We were getting into our own heads and that was killing us. But for us to comeback from that mentally was amazing for us. We believed. The bench and the crowd had a role in that too.”

Pepperdine-bound Max Chamberlain serves against the Eagles (Photo by Dick Dornan)

Chamberlain, who has committed to Pepperdine University, had a strong match with15 kills and four blocks.

Van Loo (43 assists, two blocks), Capili (16 kills, nine digs, three blocks, two aces), Matt Kim (14 digs, two aces) and Bailey Carter all played significant roles in the Indians’ resurgence from two sets down.

“We came together as a team and had each other’s back. It was a huge win for us,” said Van Loo. “We are a brotherhood and we all stay together. We have a great team and we keep prevailing. It showed here.”

Cameron Capili records a kill against Oak Park (Photo by Dick Dornan)

Cameron Capili records a kill against Oak Park (Photo by Dick Dornan)

The scintillating win came on the heels of Burroughs winning the inaugural Pacific League Invitational Tournament last week. The Indians have won five straight Pacific League titles and embark on their quest for number six beginning on March 27 against Hoover.

“For the early part of the season, we are right where we want to be,” Brinton said. “I don’t think this team is going to peak until late April. People are still learning new positions. We are trying to become more consistent in what we are doing.”

If Wednesday night’s inspiring comeback victory versus Oak Park is any indication, this Burroughs team might be in the midst of something special this season.







Burroughs “4-Peats” in Boys Volleyball

Burroughs Indians, Pacific League champions (Photo courtesy of John Burroughs High School)

Burroughs Indians, Pacific League champions (Photo courtesy of John Burroughs High School)

By Dick Dornan
MyBurbank Sports Editor

It was simply a do or die situation. Faced with the daunting task of having to win a match on the road to claim another league title, Burroughs stepped up and proved itself worthy as a champion. Behind 24 kills and four aces from senior Daniel Jacobs, the Indians won their four consecutive league championship with a 17-25, 27-25, 25-22, 25-17 victory over Claremont on Tuesday.

The teams will share the title virtue of splitting their season series this year.

“Being able to win the match at their place was an amazing accomplishment because it is one of the most hostile environments you can be in. Their crowd is always having an influence on the game, they do a great job, but our guys were aware of what they were walking into and did a great job of tuning it all out,” Burroughs coach Joel Brinton said. “The guys deserve a ton of credit for being able to band together and realize that they all they need are each other and they could survive that environment and be successful in it.”

Shayne Beamer and Daniel Marbach had 11 and 10 kills, respectively. Danny Casillas recorded 23 digs while BJ Lagmay added 41 assists in the triumphant effort.

Burroughs (18-6, 11-1) fought back from a one-game deficit and willed itself to win the next three games. Claremont (24-5, 11-1) had defeated JBHS back on March 29 in a five-game thriller 25-23, 23-25, 25-23, 20-25, 17-15.

“It feels amazing to be able to win the league title again. It’s an honor to share it with Claremont, as their team is great and our battles this year have been epic,” Brinton said. “But the most important I feel is that these guys were able to achieve what they set out working for in August when school first started. Their hard work paid off and I am glad that they were able to see that.”

CIF playoff seeding will be announced Saturday afternoon. The Indians are expected to host a first-round Division II match on Tuesday. Burroughs lost in the CIF Division III championship match in 2011 and in the semifinals a year ago.

“This will obviously help with playoffs because we will be going into some similar environments and these guys now have the experience of knowing what it takes to be successful in it,” Brinton said. “Now we move on to our second goal and focus on making a deep run in CIF and trying to get back to the championship game.”

In a “must-win” situation, the Indians prevailed with the league title on the line. That experience should prove valuable as they move on to the playoffs.