Tag Archives: Anasheh Abedian

Burbank, Burroughs Girls Water Polo Looks To Improve

By Rick Assad

It’s not exactly beach weather in Southern California with low temperatures and occasional rain, but the Burroughs High and Burbank girls’ water polo season is already under way.

Each team will be looking to better the previous season record-wise and that means a run at the Pacific League crown.

The Indians are coming off a campaign in which they went 9-7 in all matches and 5-3 for third place in league.

Emanuella Nathan, who signed a letter of intent to play for the University of the Pacific, will be a presence for the Indians in goal. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

Burroughs coach Jacob Cook thinks this could be an exciting and a special season for the Indians.

“I have high expectations for the team and I expect them to do well in league and the playoffs,” he said.

A season ago, the Indians were knocked out of the CIF Southern Section Division IV playoffs after losing to El Segundo 10-0.

Defense is always essential and with senior Emanuella Nathan playing goalie, the Indians are going to have an extremely stingy defense, which will in turn allow Burroughs to be in many games.

Nathan, who has been a prep standout for several years, recently signed a letter of intent to play water polo for the University of the Pacific.

Cook will have three other seniors on the team and they include Mallory Thomas, Chloe Caneday and Madeline Lingad.

The trio will be asked to lead the team and also contribute points and defense, which is something each will gladly do.

Burbank senior Sera Shabhazian will be a major contributor and a key to the Bulldogs’ success. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

Five juniors are on the Burroughs squad and they are Angelina Lee, Bella Mucha, Jane Reyes, Chrissy Vlick and Charlotte Jennings.

Three sophomores are on the team and they include Emily Callahan, Kelly Long and Clarissa Robles.

Nancy Baylor is the lone freshman, but is extremely talented, having played for the prestigious Rose Bowl travel team.

“I would say Chrissy, Bella and Clarissa are the ones to look out for,” Cook said of his top players.

The Bulldogs went 7-14 overall and 4-4 in league play for fifth place, and didn’t qualify for the postseason.

Burbank has a first-year coach in Melani Aghazarian, who played water polo for Glendale High, wants to see improvement, even if it takes a little while.

“I just want the girls to work hard and come out at the end really proud of what they’ve accomplished,” she said of this season. “I hope to make CIF for playoffs, but I’m not too worried about it this year. It’s a rebuilding year.”

Aghazarian added: “They’re all trusting of each other and it’s a new experience. I want them to have a really good work ethic,” she pointed out.

Aghazarian also addressed her philosophy. “I think defense wins games. I think defense wins championships in the long run. I am very defense oriented,” she said. “Offense and defense, it’s all important. For offense, I just want the girls to move more, create more opportunities. I’m looking to build a chemistry, which is something they don’t have now.”

The Bulldogs will be paced by four seniors starters: Sera Shabhazian, Anasheh Abedian, Sophia Brice and Michele Mirzoyan.

Junior Jenny Stepanyan will be in the cage and her performance will be one indicator of whether the Bulldogs will post a better record than last season.

The other Bulldog starters include junior Yana Stepanyan and sophomore Julie Kim, and they are also going to have to play well in order for Burbank to make the playoffs.

The rest of the team will consist of Lauren Applebaum, Vana Matevosian, Ananya Katappagari, Galia Housepian, Gabriella Aghajanyan, Ania Simonian and Rachel Tomasek, Stepanyan’s backup in goal.

Burroughs, Burbank Girls Water Polo Eye CIF Playoffs

By Rick Assad

 

Sometimes goals are realized and sometimes they’re not. In the case of the Burroughs High and Burbank girls’ water polo teams, their objective is fairly simple and it’s to qualify for the CIF Southern Section playoffs.

Each team is fairly young, and both have skilled players, so reaching the postseason is a reality. The Bulldogs and Indians will meet on Jan. 23 at Burroughs.

Junior goalie Emmanuella Nathan will be a key for Burroughs. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

The Indians, who were 12-6 last season and 6-2 in the Pacific League for second place, will be led offensively by senior Aleah Orozco and junior goalie Emanuella Nathan.

Coach Jacob Cook is very optimistic about the team after reaching the quarterfinals a season ago.

“I’m looking forward to growing the team and improving as much as possible over the season,” Cook said. “The team is young in experience, but they are hard workers and eager to improve. I don’t know how the rest of the league is looking, but we are looking to progress as far as we can.”

Burbank has six quality players who can score at any moment. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

The team consists of 15 players including 11 seniors and they are Amy Berberyan, Leann Bermudez, Samantha Leano, Megan Sawyer, Brianna Meneses, Bianey Mendoza, Jaelynn Bijasa, Kathryn Vlick, Isabel Rosado and Camila Panozo.

There are four juniors on the squad and they include Madeline Lingad, Chloe Caneday and Mallory Thomas.

The Indians have played a few matches including a 5-4 win over Clairemont of San Diego in which Orozco had a match-best four goals and Berberyan the game-winner, while Nathan finished with 24 saves.

The Bulldogs, who were 7-13 last season, are also quite tender, but eager to learn and are getting better with time, according to interim coach Zack Card, who is filling in for Allyson Young, who gave birth to a bouncing baby girl a few months ago.

The Indians are coming off a season in which they went to the CIF Southern Section playoffs. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

There are 11 players on the team, with six players standing out according to Card.

There are three seniors and they are Patil Minassian, Camila Salas and Michelle Morlock.

“Patil is a very experienced player,” Card said. “She’s a four-year player. Incredible leadership in and out of the pool. A strong two-meter defender and a strong ball handler.”

Card spoke about Salas in glowing terms.

“She’s another four-year athlete. A strong swimmer and great on the counter attack,” Card noted.

The Bulldogs are gunning to finish high in the Pacific League. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

Card then addressed Morlock.

“She’s an incredibly gifted athlete,” he pointed out. “A strong swimmer. Her mental awareness. Her water polo IQ. It’s a gift, really. She never gives up and never makes any excuses.”

The other three standout performers are juniors, Sophia Brice, Michelle Morozian and Sera Shahbazian.

Card also praised Brice. “Sophia is a strong counter-attack player with strong fundamentals,” he said.

Card also likes Shahbazian. “She’s just relentless on defense. Always working away from the ball, helping her teammates,” he said.

Card spoke about Morozian and what she brings to the table. “Her ability to play defense is incredible,” he said.

The rest of the squad consists of juniors Angie Chavez, Grace Tomasek, Anasheh Abedian, Gabby Aghajanyan and Ashley Karazi.