Tag Archives: boys volleyball

Burroughs Boys Volleyball Has Season End On Sweep By Mission Viejo

By Rick Assad

 

A mere six points separated the Burroughs High boys’ volleyball team from knocking off Mission Viejo in a CIF Southern Section Division II second-round playoff match on Thursday night.

But hitting errors and service miscues were simply too much to overcome as the visiting Diablos earned a 28-26, 28-26, 26-24 victory.

In the opening set, the Indians were ahead 13-7 which forced Mission Viejo, which now owns an 11-match winning streak, to ask for time.

This is the third consecutive year that Burroughs, which captured its 10th straight Pacific League title, has fallen in the second round.

Luke Kvarda rises to the occasion for Burroughs, which fell to Mission Viejo in a CIF second-round match. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

The Indians committed 19 service errors across three sets and had 17 service mistakes and hitting errors in the opening set which helped their undoing.

“We preach learning and we didn’t learn,” Burroughs coach Joel Brinton said. “So all year we’ve had an issue with finishing sets. So when we’re up 24-22, you better finish the set, especially in a playoff game.”

Burroughs’ lead swelled to 16-9 when junior middle blocker Troy Outwater and sophomore opposite hitter Kade McGovern teamed up on a block.

The Indians darted in front 17-10 on a kill from junior outside hitter Connor Burroughs.

Mission Viejo (24-5 and 8-0 in the Sea View League) outscored the Indians 9-2 and evened it at 19-19.

But the Indians (20-13 and 11-1 in league) bulled ahead 20-19 on a winner from Burroughs.

Kade McGovern tallied eight kills for the Indians, who lost to the Diablos in three sets. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

Mission Viejo knotted it at 20-20 on a spike from senior opposite hitter Andrew Kim, who led the way for the Diablos with 19 kills, five digs and two blocks.

A tapper from Burroughs put the Indians in front 23-22 as Mission Viejo asked for a stoppage in play.

Another blast from Burroughs, who had a match-best 22 kills, handed the Indians a 24-22 edge.

One more point would secure the first set, but Kim’s kill sliced the lead to 24-23 and when Burroughs delivered a mishit, it was tied at 24-24.

The Indians weren’t done as they led 25-24 on a kill from McGovern (eight kills) only to see the Diablos level it at 25-25 on a service error by Burroughs.

After Mission Viejo moved in front 26-25 on McGovern’s mishit, the Indians tied it at 26-26 on a service error by senior setter Everado Castillo, who had three aces and three digs.

When sophomore libero Cole Kvarda’s serve hit the net it became 27-26 and Kim’s winner sewed up the game for Mission Viejo.

Connor Burroughs finished with a match-high 22 kills for the Indians. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

“We’re a team and whether we’re up by seven or down by seven we have confidence that we can always come through,” Mission Viejo coach Ryan Thurlow said. “There’s 10 seniors here. This is our year to do it. We just started to settle in and pass the volleyball. It’s a very tough place to play. Especially initially. This is a great, great program that they [Burroughs] run.”

The second game was knotted at 2-2 on an ace from senior Caleb Parham (five kills and one block).

It was tied at 4-4 on senior Chad Carter’s errant serve and 6-6 when Burroughs hit the net.

Mission Viejo settled in and led 11-7 on back-to-back winners from Kim. The Diablos moved ahead 13-9 on a tapper from Carter (two digs and two kills).

The Indians then outscored the Diablos 5-1 and tied it at 14-14 on a kill from Burroughs.

A service ace from sophomore setter Carter Cottrell made it 15-14, but it was deadlocked at 15-15 on a mishit from Cottrell.

Mission Viejo dashed in front 20-18 as the Indians, who swept Notre Dame in the opening round on Tuesday, asked for a break in the action.

Sam Tipton, who had 16 digs, makes a valiant effort to save the ball. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

It was knotted at 22-22 on a kill from Kim and when senior Colin O’Brien (six kills and five blocks) tossed in a stuff, the Diablos moved ahead 23-22.

It was tied at 23-23 on McGovern’s spike.

It was even at 24-24 on a kill from Burroughs and level at 25-25 on a tapper from senior outside hitter Luke Kvarda.

Kim’s laser made it 26-25, Kim’s winner pushed Mission Viejo’s advantage to 27-26 and when Kim added one final dagger, the Diablos grabbed the second set.

“There are two words that I tell my guys and everything in life and that’s clutch up,” Thurlow said. “You gotta know that you want the ball. The difference tonight was we wanted the ball when it was 25-25. We wanted to pass it. We wanted to serve it and we wanted to spike it.”

The Diablos seized control 4-1 in the third frame when a hit from Burroughs went out of bounds as the Indians asked for time.

Mission Viejo forged ahead 9-5 on a block from Parham and it became 10-6 on Kim’s kill. The Indians inched within 12-9 on a blast from Burroughs and 14-11 on McGovern’s dagger.

When Kim’s rocket sailed out of bounds, the Indians drew within 14-13 as the Diablos requested time.

O’Brien’s tapper gave Mission Viejo a 15-13 cushion, but the Indians then raced ahead 20-18 on Kim’s mishit.

Kim had consecutive winners that evened it at 20-20, but a hammer from senior middle blocker Jagger Green (seven kills) leveled it at 21-21.

“I think we beat ourselves up a lot,” said senior libero Sam Tipton, who had 16 digs. “Even when we’re up by one, up by two, I think we’re always in control, but it’s either we don’t make a pass for ourselves or that our sets are too far out. I think it’s the errors. We had about 45 unforced errors. A lot of those came later in the games.”

Tipton, who will attend Grand Canyon University and try to walk-on, added: “I think it comes down to self discipline,” he said. “Especially later in the game, I think we played out of character. We preach high, hard and deep and then we saw them swinging really low.”

Kim’s blast made it 22-21 and Outwater’s winner leveled it at 23-23. The Indians squared it at 24-24 on a kill from Burroughs.

The final two points came on a tapper from Parham and a kill from Kim that sealed the game and match.

Senior setter Steven Grandinetti finished with 24 assists for the Indians.

Burroughs, Burbank Boys Volleyball Reaching For Big Prize

By Rick Assad

 

Expectations are usually high for the Burroughs High and Burbank boys’ volleyball teams when it comes to the Pacific League race and beyond.

The Indians have captured the league title nine straight seasons, so naturally a 10th is a goal along with advancing far in the CIF Southern Section tournament.

“I think we have a good group of learners,” longtime Burroughs coach Joel Brinton said. “They show up to practice every day. They work hard. They’re open to the feedback. They want to be critiqued. They want to be coached.”

Brinton knows that nothing is ever given, but can rely on two strengths. “Even though we have a lot of seniors, we also have a lot of youth,” he noted. “I hope it will be our serving and our passing. I want our serving and passing to be our rocks.”

Junior outside hitter Connor Burroughs is a leader and offensive weapon for the Indians. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

The Bulldogs made the playoffs and despite not winning the league title, also have serious designs on the prize.

Burroughs opened its season with a sweep of visiting South Pasadena, but lost at Palos Verdes.

The Indians bounced back with a sweep over Culver City in the Redondo Tournament, but dropped matches to Newbury Park, Redondo Union, Peninsula and Loyola.

“The guys have to understand that there’s nothing ever given. Everything is earned,” Brinton said of being the defending league champion.

Burroughs began its league season on Wednesday with a three-game shutout at Glendale and will play at Burbank on March 29 and then host the Bulldogs on April 23.

Senior middle hitter Dawson Koerper, shown in a recent match, will be a steady contributor for the Bulldogs. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

In any given match, the Burroughs’ offensive leaders will vary, but one that will always be at or near the top, is junior outside hitter Connor Burroughs.

Senior libero Sam Tipton will also have eyes on him and though a sophomore, setter Carter Cottrell is also vital.

There are eight seniors and aside from Tipton, includes outside hitter Luke Kvarda, outside/opposite hitter Evan Troncoso, middle/outside hitter Rickey Kahlon, setter Steven Grandinetti, outside hitter Caleb Reyes, middle hitter Jagger Green and middle hitter Louis Zekowski.

Sophomore setter Carter Cottrell will be a key cog for the Indians. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

Other members includes junior middle hitter Ellington Simmons, junior outside hitter Malek Sadi and junior middle hitter Troy Outwater.

The rest are sophomore libero/outside hitter Cole Kvarda, sophomore middle hitter Shay Thornton and sophomore outside/opposite hitter Kade McGovern.

The Bulldogs, who began their campaign with a loss at Harvard-Westlake, rebounded with victories over Hart and Viewpoint, are primed for a successful season with senior outside/opposite hitter Chase Marcy leading the way.

Karl Rojo, the Burbank coach, likes what he has to work with. “Take it day-by-day and make sure we improve by two percent every day,” he said. “They need to focus on the effort and not worry about results.”

Senior setter Brandon Villaflor gets the Bulldogs’ offense in motion. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

Rojo then continued: “They need to play with maximum effort every time. Their goals are playing well consistently, trying to knock off the big three [Burroughs, Crescenta Valley and Arcadia] and go as far as we can in the CIF,” he noted.

Senior opposite hitter Jack Raytis will also be asked to lead while senior setter Brandon Villaflor will get the ball to the hitters.

Senior middle blocker Kalam Park will have a key role as will senior Ryan Rickey for the Bulldogs, who begin their league trek with a match against visiting Hoover on Feb. 28.

The other seniors include opposite/middle blocker Luca Bily, middle hitter Dawson Koerper, setter Jason Kwon, libero Ryan Mehta, defensive specialist Minkyu Shin, middle blocker Kalam Park, opposite/outside hitter Dylan Vigar and outside hitter Nathan Mehta.

Also on the squad are junior defensive specialist Joe Gomez, junior outside hitter Kourosh Dolatshahi, junior middle blocker Eric Galoustian and sophomore outside/opposite hitter Jonathan Coleman.

Burbank High Boys Volleyball Extended Four Sets By Hart

By Rick Assad

 

Only two matches have been played and the Burbank High boys’ volleyball team has balanced its books after defeating Hart on Thursday afternoon.

The nonleague battle was extended to four sets and claimed by the Bulldogs, 25-19, 25-20, 23-25, 25-22.

Burbank senior opposite hitter/middle blocker Luca Bily goes for a point in a match against Hart. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

Burbank was swept in its season opener on Tuesday by host Harvard-Westlake, but two of the three sets were close, having been decided by two and four points.

“I think our energy was very good in the first two sets. We were passing well. The hitters were expressing themselves really well,” Burbank coach Karl Rojo said. “I think the setter was being dynamic with where he was going.”

There was a slight dip in the third frame.

“Maybe in the third we let up a little bit,” Rojo noted. “Getting my guys opportunities to figure it out. I’m glad these guys figured it out in the fourth. It was staying level-headed. They stayed tough-minded.”

The host Bulldogs came out in the fourth set and led 7-4 on a kill from senior outside hitter/opposite hitter Chase Marcy (match-best 12 kills) as the Indians called for a time out.

Joe Gomez delivered 16 digs and two aces as the Bulldogs fended off the Indians in four sets. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

The lead became 9-4 on another spike from Marcy, but Hart evened it at 10-10 on an ace from Darin Dietz, as the Bulldogs requested time.

“In game three we just kinda clicked. I kind of let the game come to them,” Hart coach Loy Mueller said. “In game one and two, we were fighting against each other. I just let them play.”

Mueller is in his first season at Hart.

“I’m happy with what I saw at the end of game two to about halfway through game four,” he said.

Burbank evened it at 13-13 on a kill from Marcy (five digs and two aces), but Hart’s Jake Meyers leveled it at 14-14.

Jack Raytis had eight kills and two blocks for Burbank. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

When senior setter Brandon Villaflor (41 assists and four digs) hit a tapper, the Bulldogs scurried ahead 17-16.

A kill from Hart’s Ezra Moore evened it at 17-17, but Marcy’s spike forced a stoppage as the Bulldogs charged ahead 20-18.

Burbank vaulted in front 24-21 on consecutive kills from senior middle blocker Kalam Park (five kills) and the set and match was secured on a serving error by Meyers.

The first set saw the Bulldogs (1-1) race ahead 4-0 on a hitting error from Moore. A kill from senior opposite hitter Jack Raytis (eight kills and two blocks) gave the Bulldogs a 7-4 edge.

Burbank’s lead swelled to 8-4 on a block from Villaflor and an ace from Raytis made it a 9-4 as the Indians (0-2) requested time out.

Chase Marcy paced Burbank with a match-high 12 kills and five digs and two aces. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

Marcy’s dagger made it 11-6 and a blast from Raytis pushed the lead to 14-8.

A kill from Raytis gave Burbank a 15-9 cushion and it became 16-10 on Park’s bullet.

A winner from Raytis pushed it to 18-14 and when Marcy added back-to-back winners, Burbank’s lead swelled to 21-16 as the Indians, who were swept by Alemany in their initial match, asked for a stoppage.

Marcy’s kill saw the Bulldogs surge ahead 23-19, a tapper from Park made it 24-19 and an ace from junior middle blocker Eric Galoustian capped the set.

The second game was tied at 1-1 and 4-4, but Galoustian’s block gave the Bulldogs a 6-4 margin. A spike from Marcy made it 9-6 and Burbank seized control at 10-8 on a kill from Park.

Villaflor’s service ace made it 11-8 and a tap from Raytis pushed it to 12-8. A hitting error by Meyers made it 14-9 as the Indians asked for time.

Crisp and accurate passing is always crucial as Chase Marcy shows. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

Consecutive service aces from junior libero Joe Gomez (match-best 16 digs and two aces) pushed the lead to 18-10, as the visitors asked for a stoppage.

Villaflor’s kill made it 21-13, but when Marcy’s attempt sailed out of bounds, the Indians came within 21-17 as Burbank requested time out.

A combined stuff by senior outside hitter/opposite hitter Ryan Rickey (seven kills and 11 digs) and Villaflor extended the lead to 22-18, and Marcy’s kill saw the Bulldogs dash ahead two games to none.

The third set was level at 1-1, 3-3 and 7-7 before Rickey’s winner made it 9-7 as Hart needed a time out.

When Villaflor and senior middle hitter Dawson Koerper combined on a block, the Bulldogs powered in front 15-11.

Hart rallied and outscored Burbank 7-2 and led 18-17 as Rickey hit a ball out of bounds. A kill from Raytis evened it at 18-18, but the Indians moved ahead 21-19 on Rickey’s service error.

Alex Schmidt’s kill handed Hart a 23-21 edge and Schmidt’s smash gave the Indians the set.

Burroughs Boys Volleyball Eases By South Pasadena In Season Opener

By Rick Assad

 

Sometimes a season opener can go sideways and turn out poorly, which isn’t the way to commence a campaign.

This didn’t happen for the Burroughs High boys’ volleyball team which needed only 68 minutes in order to sweep visiting South Pasadena in a nonleague battle.

The Indians have been the gold standard in the Pacific League, winning nine straight banners, and though not in midseason form, they were good enough to emerge with a win, 25-18, 25-13, 25-17 over the Tigers on Wednesday afternoon.

Louis Zekowski rises high off the floor and is about to smash the ball in a three-game sweep of South Pasadena. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

Junior outside hitter Connor Burroughs laid the ground work after tallying a match-high 16 kills with four of the Indians’ 11 aces.

“I thought there were some good things in that first set that were crisp, but there were kind of the usual first game of the year things that we have to get out of the way,” Burroughs coach Joel Brinton said. “I thought we set the tone in the first game in what we wanted to do and it was nice in the second set that our serving took over the game.”

Brinton then went on: “We’ve got a lot of good guys out there,” he noted. “So they’re going to approach it the right way. There weren’t a lot of learning opportunities out there, hence the time out.”

Brinton asked for stoppage when the Tigers came within 21-15 in the first set, but the Indians rallied and held their ground and captured the initial frame.

Sophomore setter Carter Cottrell is about to pass the ball against the Tigers. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

The third set was knotted at 2-2 before the Indians steamed ahead 7-4 on an ace from sophomore outside hitter/opposite hitter Kade McGovern (nine kills).

McGovern added a spike to make it 8-6 and senior middle hitter Jagger Green collected two blocks that gave the Indians a 10-6 margin.

A stuff from Burroughs handed the Indians a 13-8 advantage and when McGovern added a winner, the lead stretched to 14-8.

McGovern’s kill extended the lead to 16-10 and a spike from junior middle hitter Ellington Simmons pushed the cushion to 16-11.

When Burroughs added a kill, the Indians surged ahead 20-13 and an ace from sophomore setter Carter Cottrell (31 assists) made it 22-14 as South Pasadena asked for a time.

Kade McGovern delivered nine kills for the Indians in a season-opening win. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

Junior outside hitter Malek Sadi’s rocket made it 23-14 and when senior outside hitter/opposite hitter Evan Trancoso tossed in a kill, the set and match was over.

In the opening game, the Indians dashed ahead 4-2 on a blast from junior middle hitter Troy Outwater and when Cottrell contributed an ace, the lead expanded to 5-2. A service winner from Burroughs pushed the advantage to 8-3 for the Indians.

Senior outside hitter Luke Kvarda’s kill extended the lead to 9-4 and back-to-back service aces from Outwater made it 11-4.

McGovern’s dagger and a tapper from Burroughs supplied the Indians with a 14-6 lead as the Tigers requested a stoppage in play.

Connor Burroughs set the tone offensively for the Indians with a match-high 16 kills. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

Consecutive kills from Burroughs saw the Indians dash in front 16-9 and when Outwater added a laser and senior libero Sam Tipton (six digs) contributed an ace, the lead swelled to 18-9.

A block and a kill from Burroughs then handed the Indians a 21-11 cushion and a kill from senior middle hitter/outside hitter Ricky Kahlon made it 21-15 as the Tigers asked for time.

Burroughs then outscored South Pasadena 4-3, including the clinching kill by McGovern.

The middle game saw the Indians burst ahead 5-3 on a service winner from Cottrell. An Outwater kill made it 8-6 and a spike from Burroughs gave the Indians a 9-7 cushion.

McGovern’s ace put the Indians in front 10-7 and another service winner by Kvarda pushed the lead to 13-9.

A taper from Burroughs gave the Indians a 15-10 edge, McGovern’s dagger extended it to 17-11 and a Burroughs bullet saw the Indians glide ahead 18-12.

Consecutive service aces by Burroughs saw the Indians draw ahead 22-12. A combined block by Outwater and Sadi made it 23-12, a Burroughs kill stretched the Indians’ edge to 24-12 and Sadi’s winner made it a two games to none lead.

Burbank Boys Volleyball Sweeps Arcadia

By Rick Assad

 

Short and sweet was the Burbank High boys’ volleyball triumph over visiting Arcadia in a Pacific League match on Thursday.

In two previous nonleague setbacks to Hart and El Camino Real, the Bulldogs were extended to five games.

Burbank senior outside hitter Jonathan Ragheb had a match-high 35 kills in a three-set win over Arcadia. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

Not this time as the Bulldogs prevailed 25-22, 25-22, 25-23 and the tone was established early in the first set when the Bulldogs led 5-2 on a kill from junior outside hitter/opposite hitter Ryan Rickey, who finished with 10 winners.

“Today was a lot better. I feel like we were mentally tougher then we were the first two matches that we played,” Burbank coach Karl Rojo said. “We stayed mentally tough. I thought their effort was sound on defense. The effort was there on defense.”

The Apaches (4-3 and 1-1 in league) moved ahead 10-8 on a stuff from Jason Wang only to see the Bulldogs (1-2 and 1-0 in league) power in front 18-14 on a tapper from Rickey that caused Arcadia to ask for time out.

“I was happy with the effort, but there’s always room for improvement,” Rojo said. “The next time we go to Arcadia, it’s going to be tougher.”

This was the ninth consecutive match that the Bulldogs have taken from the Apaches.

“We got a little lackadaisical,” Rojo added. “You can’t take your foot off the pedal.”

Middle blocker Ryan Rickey delivered 10 kills in a three-set sweep of Arcadia. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

Burbank then eased ahead 21-19 on a kill from senior outside hitter Jonathan Ragheb (match-high 35 kills) and closed the set on Rickey’s spike.

“We have a lot of older players and I think we’re all realizing now that we’ve had talent on the team for years, but something we’ve lacked is that grit,” Ragheb said. “We’re all maturing as players and we realize it’s going to take more than two sets.”

Ragheb then spoke about the importance of league wins including one over perennial power Arcadia.

“Every single league game we’re going to come out with the same mentality,” he noted. “It doesn’t matter who we’re playing.”

Ragheb then addressed being a senior. “About leadership, I don’t want to take too much credit,” he said. “Obviously I’m a senior and I’ve been here longer, but everybody has something to contribute.”

The second set proceeded smoothly as the Bulldogs marched in front 4-0 on a winner from Ragheb.

Digging the ball was critical during Burbank’s win over Arcadia. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

Arcadia drew within 6-5 when Ragheb’s rocket sailed out of bounds. It was tied at 10-10 on a kill from Arcadia’s William Wang.

Senior middle blocker/opposite hitter Rory Rickey’s smash leveled it at 12-12, but the Apaches came alive and pulled ahead 16-13 on a spike from William Cheung.

From this juncture the Bulldogs took control and led 20-17 on Ragheb’s dagger. Burbank then led 23-19 on a bullet from junior middle blocker/opposite hitter Luca Bily and came within one point of the set on Rory Rickey’s kill that made it 24-20.

The Apaches drew within 24-22 on Wesley Kam’s service ace, but the Bulldogs took a two games to none advantage when Kam’s serve found the net.

Passing the ball is important and the Bulldogs did a fine job in their Pacific League victory over the Apaches. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

The match-clinching game was tied at 2-2 when a serve from Burbank senior libero Eddie Curren (20 digs) drifted out of bounds.

Arcadia darted ahead 6-3 on a kill from Cheung, but it was even at 6-6 on Rory Rickey’s block.

It was deadlocked at 10-10 on Bily’s stuff, however, the Apaches gained control at 13-11 when Ryan Rickey’s smash went astray.

Burbank then outscored Arcadia 4-1 and powered ahead 15-14 on Ragheb’s winner.

A kill from Arcadia’s Savvas Andreou tied it at 15-15, only to see the Bulldogs pull ahead 19-16 on Ragheb’s rocket.

The Apaches scored three consecutive points that evened it at 19-19, but the Bulldogs waltzed ahead 23-19 on an ace from Rory Rickey (four kills).

Ragheb’s kill made it 24-21, but Arcadia was not done as it climbed within 24-23 on a block from Bryan Liu, who had 11 kills.

The set and match was concluded on a winner from Bily (eight kills) as the team rejoiced in its initial victory of the season.

Senior setter Brian Valmonte had an outstanding afternoon with a match-best 40 assists and freshman outside hitter/opposite hitter Jonathan Coleman added 20 digs.

 

Burroughs Boys Volleyball Sweeps Burbank To Remain Perfect

By Rick Assad

 

Despite the Pacific League banner already having been secured, the Burroughs High boys’ volleyball team still wanted to play with tenacity and determination in Tuesday night’s match with rival Burbank, and it showed after sweeping, 25-18, 25-18, 25-8.

Though the Bulldogs lost both league meetings to the Indians, each team qualified for the upcoming CIF Southern Section playoffs.

Burbank’s Adrian Rivera shown during Tuesday’s three-set loss against Burroughs. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

After taking the first two sets, the host Indians trailed 2-1 in the third game, but then scored the next 12 points and led 13-2 when Burbank senior setter Jonathan Tapan’s attempt sailed out of bounds.

“It’s an avalanche,” Burroughs coach Joel Brinton said of the run. “They had to be praying for a service error.”

In quick order, the Indians (16-13 and 10-0 in league) waltzed ahead 18-3 on a tapper from junior middle blocker Cole Kaitz, who tossed in six kills.

From this point, Burroughs outscored Burbank, which finished in third place, 7-5, including two winners from senior middle blocker Jarrett Malone (seven kills with seven digs and four blocks) and the match-clincher on senior opposite hitter Kurt Miller’s dagger.

Defense is the name of the game for the Indians. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

“I was really impressed with the third game,” Brinton said. “The guys stayed hungry during every point.”

Brinton went on: “Our goal was to be laser focused for the whole match,” he said. “That’s the best focus we’ve had in a match.”

The first set saw the Indians burst in front 5-1 on junior middle blocker William Singleton’s tip.

Burroughs then moved in front 9-4 when Burbank junior outside hitter Jonathan Ragheb’s shot missed the target.

Slowly but surely, the Indians led 14-9 on a kill from Kaitz, 17-10 on an ace from senior outside hitter Conner Ludlum (nine kills) and 18-10 on Ludlum’s tapper.

The Bulldogs (22-13 and 6-4 in league) were able to get within 21-14 on a service winner from Ragheb, but the Indians were still in control as they moved ahead 23-16 on Ludlum’s smash.

Burbank senior opposite hitter Adrian Rivera played with immense skill, passion and poise, but his effort simply wasn’t enough.

“The first two sets we couldn’t make our serves,” Rivera said. “We all tried really hard and we gave 100 percent on the court.”

The Bulldogs made it close in the first two sets but faltered in the third versus the Indians. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

Knowing that he’s one of the leaders, Rivera wanted to show the way.

“It starts with one person,” he said. “I give 130 percent on the court, but everyone gave everything they had.”

Rivera’s winners closed the gap to 6-3, 7-4, 13-9 and 18-11 in the first set and 18-4, 18-5 and 21-8 in the third set.

Burroughs took the opening frame by taking two of the last three points including a kill from Ludlum that made it 24-17 and senior libero Everett Kanoho’s bullet for the clincher.

Early in the second set it was a back-and-forth affair with Burbank taking a 6-4 lead on junior middle blocker Jonathan Valmonte’s kill.

The tide then shifted in favor of the Indians, who forged ahead 15-9 on Malone’s tapper.

The Bulldogs closed to within 18-13 on Ragheb’s smash, but the Indians righted the ship and moved in front 20-14 on a combined block from Singleton and Kaitz.

The Indians then took five of the next nine points including the game-winner on Malone’s service ace.

Burroughs junior outside hitter Diego Rosal finished with six kills and three aces while junior setter Jose Levi Benitez contributed 25 assists.

Burroughs Boys Volleyball Needs Four Sets To Down Crescenta Valley

By Rick Assad

 

Mental toughness isn’t easy to quantify, but it’s an important ingredient when it comes to winning.

On Tuesday night, the Burroughs High boys’ volleyball squad was clearly tested and countered that with skill and mental sturdiness, capturing the last two games and disposing of host Crescenta Valley, 25-16, 23-25, 25-16, 25-23, in a Pacific League showdown.

Burroughs, shown in a CIF Southern Section playoff match from last season, took out host Crescenta Valley in four sets on Tuesday. (Photo by © Ross A Benson)

For now, the Indians, who own a 51-match league winning streak and a potential eighth straight banner, can win the title with a victory over Hoover on Thursday.

“We maintained our poise,” Burroughs coach Joel Brinton said. “The first time we met this season, some weird things happened. But tonight we won the side-out battle and our passing was really good.”

The score of the initial meeting between these two powerhouses was 25-19, 21-25, 17-25, 25-12, 15-12.

Four players had double-digit kills and was led by Burroughs senior outside hitter Conner Ludlum with a match-best 20, followed by senior middle blocker Jarrett Malone with 15.

Junior middle blocker Cole Kaitz tossed in 12 winners and three blocks, junior outside hitter Diego Rosal contributed 11 kills, junior setter Jose Levi Benitez had 56 assists and senior libero Skyler Bercini finished with 16 digs.

“I know that this is a different team, but I’m really proud of these guys,” Brinton said. “They’ve really put in the work since August and it’s paying off.”

The match-clincher was knotted at 2-2, but the Indians (12-8 and 8-0 in league) then pulled ahead 7-3 on Malone’s winner.

Burroughs eased in front 13-9 on Rosal’s block and it became 17-12 on another Malone smash.

The Falcons (17-4-1 and 6-2 in league) then came within 19-18 on a dagger from senior middle hitter Brett Dunkin and led 22-21 when Malone’s attempt found the net.

Remaining calm and cool, the Indians then cruised ahead 23-22 on Malone’s dagger and closed the set with a 2-1 spurt including Kaitz’s kill for the win.

In the third game, Burroughs controlled the early action and forged an 8-2 advantage on a kill from Malone and led 10-6 on Ludlum’s rocket.

In fact, at this point, Ludlum tallied four consecutive winners that made it 13-6 and when Malone contributed a kill it became 14-6.

At tapper from Ludlum pushed the advantage to 21-12 and it swelled to 24-16 on Rosal’s winner.

The early portion of the first game saw Burroughs lead 5-2 on Malone’s kill and 12-7 and 19-12 on Ludlum winners.

Malone’s ace made it 22-13 and later 24-16 on Ludlum’s smash. Rosal’s stuff gave the Indians the set.

The second game was deadlocked at 5-5 on Ludlum’s kill, but the Falcons moved in front 13-9 on Dunkin’s ace.

Crescenta Valley continued to play well and led 17-13 on junior outside hitter Garo Barsemian’s service ace.

Dunkin’s winner made it 21-16, however, the Indians outscored the Falcons 7-2 and evened it at 23-23.

Crescenta Valley then scored the final two points on a kill and a block from senior middle hitter Anders Johnson (nine kills).

The Falcons were paced by Jonathan Lee’s 11 kills while senior outside hitter Ben Allen added 10 and senior setter Gene Kim finished with 35 assists.

Burbank Boys Volleyball Falls In Five Sets To Crescenta Valley

By Rick Assad

 

When the Burbank High boys’ volleyball team took the floor to face Crescenta Valley in a Pacific League encounter on Wednesday, the squad had to feel extremely confident.

This notion was well-founded as the Bulldogs forced a fifth and deciding set after falling behind two sets to one.

Burbank’s Adrian Rivera goes up for a kill while Crescenta Valley’s Anders Johnson tries to block the shot. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

A rally wasn’t in the cards  despite playing with skill and determination, losing to the visiting Falcons, 21-25, 25-13, 25-20, 17-25, 15-11.

The star was senior middle hitter Anders Johnson, who finished with 15 kills along with six blocks for the Falcons (14-2-2 and 2-0 in league).

Teammate and senior setter Eugene Shin contributed 44 assists and senior setter Gene Kim added 23 assists with seven digs.

Meanwhile, senior opposite hitter Adrian Rivera had a tremendous outing, but even with his talent, the Bulldogs (13-8 and 1-1 in league) came up just short.

“I really think that we were ready to play and

The Falcons’ Ben Allen (#9) goes for a winner at the net. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

even though we lost, we’re going to get them the next time,” Rivera said. “We expected to come out on top.”

Rivera added: “We were getting in their heads. We’re going to work harder.”

The fifth set began with the Bulldogs forging ahead 2-0 on a kill from junior middle blocker Rory Rickey.

It was even at 3-3 on a winner from Falcon senior outside hitter Ben Allen (eight kills).

Slowly Crescenta Valley moved ahead 10-6 on a block from Johnson, but the Bulldogs came within 12-10 on Rickey’s winner only to see the Falcons score three of the final four points, including the clincher from senior middle hitter Brett Dunkin (seven kills).

Fierce net play helped determine Wednesday’s Pacific League match between Burbank and Crescenta Valley. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

“This was a pretty darn close match,” Crescenta Valley coach John Nelson said. “It came down to four points.”

Nelson continued: “We showed character and mental toughness. It’s hard to rattle them. We knew what was coming. We had some inconsistency, but we’re getting better. I told them, we can do this, we’re good,” he said.

The fourth set was tied 1-1, 2-2 and 3-3 until Burbank moved in front 7-3 on Rivera’s service ace.

The Falcons even it at 8-8 on Johnson’s smash, but a 7-3 explosion by the Bulldogs saw them dash ahead 15-11 on junior libero Edward Curren’s tapper.

The crowd was on its feet and the noise level rose significantly after Burbank freshman defensive specialist Vincent Vang’s block gave the hosts a 20-13 advantage.

The Bulldogs and Falcons were defensive-minded as Brett Dunkin (#15) and Spencer Lunt (#4) show off their skill. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

The set was made official after an emphatic winner from Rivera that even the match at two sets apiece.

The third set was controlled by the Bulldogs in the early stages as they took a 6-3 edge on sophomore middle blocker Luca Bily’s stuff.

Crescenta Valley rallied and even it at 11-11 when Rickey’s attempt found the net and it became 13-13 on Allen’s rocket.

The Falcons took control 19-17 on junior outside hitter Matthew Gardner’s kill and closed it out with a 6-3 spurt that was capped off on Allen’s kill.

Burbank’s Jonathan Valmonte (#10) readies himself while Vincent Vang sets play. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

Burbank led 4-0 in the second set on a tapper from Rivera, but the Falcons went on an 8-4 run and evened it at 8-8 on Johnson’s kill.

Another Falcon run followed, this time 8-1 as Crescenta Valley led 16-9 on Kim’s winner.

Crescenta Valley leveled it at a set apiece after a 9-4 burst that was finalized on Johnson’s stuff.

Burbank was sharp in the initial set and skirted ahead 8-3 on a winner from junior middle blocker Jonathan Valmonte.

The lead was extended to 14-10 on Rivera’s kill and it became 18-15 on a Valmonte’s bullet.

The Bulldogs moved in front 21-17 on senior setter Jonathan Tapan’s dagger and then closed out the set on Rivera’s winner.