Area Girls’ Water Polo Preview: Burroughs Eyes More League Dominance

Bears aiming for another Pacific League championship; Bulldogs bring in new coach to oversee program.

(Photo by Austin Gebhardt)

For the past two seasons, the Burroughs High girls’ water polo team has enjoyed plenty of success in the Pacific League.

The Bears captured the league championship outright in 2022 before splitting it with Arcadia last season. A possible third straight league title might not be out of the question for the Bears.

Things will look a little different at Burbank. The Bulldogs will begin another chapter in the program’s history after they brought in a new coach.

Here’s a closer look at the teams.


Before competing in a match, Burroughs had most of its season goals, set forth by co-coaches Jacob Cook and Martin Ortega-Jennison, outlined.

Now, it’s up to the Bears to achieve them.

“There’s a target on our back and we want to win league again,” Cook said. “We also know that league will be good again and there are a lot of teams that can win it.

“We have a good amount of returners in the mix and there’s a lot of experience. We’ll also have to improve on our weaknesses and build on our strengths.”

Burroughs finished 14-9, 8-1 in league last season. Burroughs lost, 14-6, to Temple City in a CIF Southern Section Division III first-round match.

Burroughs will be paced by senior utility Ana Zubkoff, junior utility Ava Tomlinson and junior attacker Sarah Metry.

The Bears will remain in Division III.


The Bulldogs will seek a better campaign after they went 7-14, 1-8 in the Pacific League for seventh place last season.

In charge of steering Burbank in the right direction will be Hayk Minasyan, who served as the school’s boys’ junior varsity coach the past two seasons.

“I’m very excited to be able to coach the girls’ team and it’s a great opportunity to extend my coaching career,” Minasyan said. “I figured after coaching boys’ water polo, why not try and coach the girls’ team?

“Practices have been going well and I’m seeing a lot of effort, which leads to seeing progress being made. We want to finish in the top four in league and go to the playoffs. I think with the talent we have, we can do that.”

Looking to spark the Bulldogs will be senior hole/guard Natalie Bislamyan, junior hole/set Lizzie Bislamyan, junior utility Rose Ilangesyan, sophomore utility Melanie Hayrapetian and sophomore goalkeeper Angela Khachikyan.

Burbank will be in Division V.