Tag Archives: Brandice Hibbard

Burbank Girls Volleyball Lose To Crescenta Valley In Four Sets

By Rick Assad

It was only the first set and there would be at least two more sets for the Burbank High girls’ volleyball team.

In retrospect, this set proved vital because it helped catapult visiting Crescenta Valley to a 27-25, 18-25, 25-14, 25-18 Pacific League victory on Tuesday.

Hoping to get out quickly, the Bulldogs dashed ahead 23-16 when junior opposite hitter Tamryn Betts (nine kills and five digs) collected a spike.

“It’s a tough one to swallow, but with the mental toughness that we have and the resiliency that we have, we’ll bounce back, go back in the lab and work hard again,” Burbank coach Karl Rojo said of his team’s tough loss.

The Falcons would get to within 23-17 on a winner from junior outside hitter Jamie Santos.

A spike from senior setter/opposite hitter Isabella Doom would make it 23-18, but Burbank would ease in front 24-18 on a stuff from junior middle blocker Bianca Hudson (six kills with five blocks).

Katie Treadway, shown in a match against Providence, had a team-best 11 kills in a four-set loss to Crescenta Valley. Photo by Ross A. Benson)

Crescenta Valley drew within 24-20 on an ace from Santos and 24-21 on a kill from Santos.

When Doom and senior middle blocker/opposite hitter Laine Stubbs combined on a jam, the Falcons were within 24-22.

A tapper from Stubbs saw the visitors get within 24-23 as the Bulldogs (7-9 and 3-2 in league) asked for time.

Doom’s spike evened it at 24-24 and a service winner from Santos pushed the Falcons ahead 25-24.

A kill from senior outside hitter Brandice Hibbard (10 kills and six digs with an ace) leveled it at 25-25.

Crescenta Valley (19-8 and 4-1 in league) would capture the next two points including the set-winner by Santos (15 kills and four aces).

The initial set was close early on and included five ties before a winner from senior middle blocker Leah Tawil (four kills and one block) handed the Bulldogs an 8-6 lead.

A kill from Betts evened it at 10-10 and a spike from Tawil tied it at 12-12.  It would be deadlocked at 14-14 on Doom’s blast.

The Bulldogs would go on a 10-4 spurt and lead 24-18 that included kills from Hudson that made it 16-14 as the Falcons asked for time, and senior outside hitter Katie Treadway’s dagger for a 19-15 edge.

Senior setter Ashley Eskander, shown in a recent nonleague match against Providence, had 40 assists and 22 digs in a loss to the Falcons. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

“The first set I thought we were doing good, but we were making little mistakes that kept adding up, so we kind of lost our momentum a little bit and we couldn’t get back into it. In the second set we did a lot better,” said Treadway, a senior outside hitter who had a team-high 11 kills with five aces and 25 digs. “We need to be calm and execute.”

Treadway then added: “For me, I need to remember this game and know what I did wrong and what we can do better,” she noted. “And what I notice that I can talk to the team about. And what we can do better for the next game. How we need to be on the same page mentally and our plays. But after this day, though, we forget about it.”

The second frame saw the Bulldogs bolt ahead 10-0 on a kill from Treadway. “If we lose a set, I try to get their energy up and try to get them excited,” she pointed out. “Me and Ashley [Eskander] try to calm each other down. We also need to know that we need to be more aggressive.”

Eskander is a senior setter and one of the team leaders who finished the match with 40 assists and 22 digs.

The Falcons answered with five straight points that cut the lead to 10-5, but Burbank still held a 14-7 lead when Hibbard added a kill.

A spike from Hudson gave the Bulldogs a 17-11 cushion and it became 19-11 on a service winner from Treadway as the Falcons asked for a halt in the action.

A kill from Betts made it 21-13, Treadway’s bullet pushed the advantage to 24-17 and a spike from Betts evened the match at one set each.

The third game was tied 3-3 on an ace from Burbank junior setter Kassandra Gonzalez, but the Falcons forged a 7-4 lead on a kill from senior middle blocker Ellie Song.

Crescenta Valley darted in front 10-7 on a kill from senior outside hitter Lizzy Kerman (match-best 17 kills with four aces) and 13-8 on a winner from junior libero Emily Boghozian.

“When we started out, we seemed a little rattled, a little nervous. We just kept telling the girls to stay calm. Stay calm. Take a deep breath,” Crescenta Valley coach Matt Simons said. “In that first game, the pressure came off because we were down so much. They stopped making silly mistakes. The girls played with a confidence that they didn’t play with earlier in the set.”

Simons went on: “When we were passing well, we were able to run our offense and the game is so much easier,” he said. “When we pass well, we’re able to run all aspects of the offense. It kind of stabilizes us.”

Doom’s kill made it 14-8 and when Doom (18 assists with four kills and four blocks) tossed in another spike, the Falcons were in front 18-8.

Back-to-back aces by Santos made it 23-11 as the Bulldogs needed time to regroup. A stuff from junior middle blocker Emma Glaza for the Falcons put them ahead 24-11 and a kill from Kerman salted the set.

An ace from junior libero Hannah Tanita handed the Falcons a 4-2 lead in the fourth set, but the Bulldogs rallied and moved ahead 7-5 on an ace from Gonzalez.

Crescenta Valley settled down and led 13-9 on a kill from Santos and 16-12 on an ace from Tanita.

“On any given day, a different girl can be the hero,” Simons said. “We don’t have one girl that we rely on. That we lean on. That balanced attack really helps.”

The Falcons darted ahead 19-15 on a kill from Kerman and 21-15 on a service winner from Kerman.

Crescenta Valley inched in front 23-16 on a kill from Santos and Doom’s rocket was the set and match winner.

Senior defensive specialist/libero Morgan Bolger added 25 digs for the Bulldogs, while junior setter Cadie Carlson had 15 assists and two blocks for the Falcons.

Burbank, Burroughs Girls Volleyball Poised For Success

By Rick Assad

 

Getting to and then advancing deep into the CIF Southern Section playoffs is always a top priority for any coach.

This being the case, it’s crucial for the team to do extremely well in the Pacific League because this is how the selection committee places seeds the squads in the postseason.

So for the Burroughs High and Burbank girls’ volleyball teams, each wants to finish as high as possible in the league standings.

The Burbank girls volleyball team in a recent practice. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

The Indians, who are coming off a 27-8 overall season and a 13-1 mark in league for a share of the title, always have high expectations.

Longtime Burroughs Coach Edwin Real is optimistic.

“We’re expecting to be competitive,” he said of the league season. “We have some kids who are somewhat younger and we lost several really good players to graduation and we’re trying to get better in those positions.”

A season ago, the Indians advanced to the Division III quarterfinals where they lost to eventual champion Village Christian in five tough sets.

This campaign, Burroughs is 2-1, having beaten Downey and Harvard-Westlake, but losing in five sets to Cypress, in tournament matches, which required three sets in order to determine a winner and not the customary two.

The Indians will pay a visit to Burbank on September 24 and then host the rival Bulldogs on October 17.

Spearheading the Indians will be senior outside hitter Lydia Grote, who has verbally committed to play volleyball for the University of California at Berkeley.

Grote’s older sister, Marin, is a sophomore on the University of Washington women’s volleyball team, and before that was a key cog and four-year starter for Burroughs.

Burroughs, which lost to Village Christian in a CIF quarterfinal match in 2018, is going to be one of the favorites to win the Pacific League. (Photo by © Ross A Benson)

Also key for the Indians will be junior defensive specialist Lily Rogers, who will be a floor leader and an important contributor.

Junior outside hitter Catie Virtue will also be asked to lead the troops, while senior middle blocker Camila Sanchez-Tellez as well as two sophomores, setter Meagan Lynch and defensive specialist Charlotte Hobson, will be vital if Burroughs is to go far, according to Real.

There are several other upperclassmen who will also have a significant hand in the team’s success and they are opposite hitter Joelle Burras, setter Milana Abrahamian and defensive specialist Natalie Hooper.

The rest of the team includes junior middle blocker Emily Caneday, junior outside hitter Camila Palma, junior outside hitter Mariah Bowman and junior defensive specialist Reese Coblentz.

Being in tip-top shape is always a key to winning. Here the Bulldog girls’ volleyball team is racing down the floor. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

Rounding out the Indians’ squad will be sophomore defensive specialist Kylie Colton and middle blocker Bella Lomet.

This is Karl Rojo’s fifth season as Burbank’s coach and in the four previous campaigns, saw his squad make the postseason.

“I believe it’s going to be a good season, almost similar to the one before and maybe better than that,” Rojo said. “With the core that we have, they’re pretty experienced and with the young core that we have, they’re learning a lot from the experienced players. It’s working out pretty fine. They’re working hard each day and that’s all I can ask from them.”

Rojo then added: “They’re improving. It could be small improvement. It could be big improvement, but they’re improving,” he said.

Rojo said he likes the attitude of this squad. “They’re all good teammates towards each other,” he said. “But I think it’s drama-free. Not as much drama. It’s going to be positive.”

Burbank posted a 14-16 record and a 9-5 mark in league, but Rojo would like to see definite improvement on those numbers.

Lydia Grote, a senior outside hitter for the Indians, will be one of many weapons. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

“I see us making a big statement in the Pacific League,” he said. “I think we should finish in the top three. But we have a lot of competitive teams. I think we’ll proceed past the first round this year.”

There is enough talent to reach the playoffs according to Rojo and several mainstays will have to play well.

The Bulldogs are 1-3 this season with a sweep over visiting Chatsworth and losses to visiting Providence in four sets, a four-game loss at Saugus and a three-set defeat at Calabasas.

Burbank was swept over three games in a Division IV wildcard match in 2018 against host Calabasas.

Burbank’s top-shelf players are senior outside hitter Katie Treadway, senior libero/defensive specialist Morgan Bolger, senior middle blocker Leah Tawil, senior setter Ashley Eskander, junior middle blocker Bianca Hudson and junior libero Mikayla Kim.

Also expected to contribute for the Bulldogs will be senior setter Kassandra Gonzalez, senior middle blocker/opposite hitter Ava Danesh, senior outside hitter Brandice Hibbard and senior opposite hitter/setter Andrea Paun.

The remainder of the team includes junior opposite hitter Tamryn Betts, sophomore outside hitter Alaina Melgar and sophomore middle blocker/opposite hitter Gabriella Damroze.

Burbank Girls Volleyball Falls in Four Sets To Providence

By Rick Assad

 

One set does not a match make, as the Burbank High girls’ volleyball team learned in its season opener, a nonleague affair against Burbank-based Providence on Monday afternoon.

After winning the initial set, the Bulldogs struggled over the next three as the visiting Pioneers earned a 14-25, 25-22, 25-20, 25-14 victory.

Was what happened to Burbank merely taking its foot off the gas pedal or merely taking Providence lightly after a relatively easy first-game win?

It may not have been either, but something happened after the first set as the Pioneers seized control and never let up.

Burbank’s Gabriella Damroze rises and spikes the ball in a four-set loss to Providence (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

The first game saw the Bulldogs dart ahead 5-3 on a kill from senior outside hitter Katie Treadway, who had a solid outing, per usual.

“I think we really lost our energy there and I think we just lost our momentum and with their serves, we couldn’t get back to it,” Treadway said of the struggles the Bulldogs encountered during the last three sets.

Treadway added: “After the first set, I think we did really good and we were just expecting to do the same thing, but it didn’t play out like that,” she noted. “Providence came out and they were scrappy.”

Treadway said the team felt good about itself after the initial set. “I think there was a little bit of overconfidence because in the first game we did really good,” she pointed out. “We need to have that confidence, but we need to stay with the game and don’t think too big. Just keep how we’re playing.”

Providence evened it at 6-6, but Burbank then moved ahead 11-8 on another winner from Treadway.

Getting the ball to the hitters is one key to winning. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

Back-to-back kills from Burbank sophomore opposite hitter/middle blocker Gabriella Damroze made it 15-8 and Damroze’s blast made it 19-9.

The Bulldogs drew within a point of the game on a rocket from senior setter Kassandra Gonzalez and then took the game on an ace.

Burbank actually led 6-2 on senior setter Ashley Eskander’s service ace in the second set and 10-3 on senior middle blocker Leah Tawil’s winner.

“I think we kind of just got in our heads,” said Eskander of the latter portion of the match. “I think maybe we got a little over confident. We thought it was going to be easier than it ended up being and kind of just fell apart. We weren’t very united.”

Eskander continued: “I think it’s more about the execution. Providence is kind of really scrappy and that’s what got to us. I think the game just got to us,” she said.

From there, the Pioneers cobbled together an 11-3 blitz as they moved in front 14-13 on a tandem block by senior outside hitter Liana Artunuan and sophomore middle hitter Sophia Guerrero.

The Bulldogs took the first set, but the Pioneers rallied and grabbed the next three. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

Burbank led 15-14 on Treadway’s kill, but the Pioneers retook the lead 18-15 on a mishit from Burbank senior libero/defensive specialist Morgan Bolger.

Providence led 22-17 on Artunian’s winner and 23-20 when Burbank senior outside hitter Brandice Hibbard’s hit sailed out of bounds.

The Bulldogs pulled within 23-21 on Damroze’s kill and 23-22.

The Pioneers evened the match at one game apiece when Damroze hammered the ball out of bounds.

Often times when a match is deadlocked at one game apiece, the third set is crucial and it was Monday.

Providence swiftly took control 6-3 on a mishit by Burbank junior opposite hitter Tamryn Betts. The Pioneers then led 9-4 on an ace from senior libero Isabella Mahan-Mesa, who had nine digs.

Burbank senior outside hitter Katie Treadway played well, despite the loss. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

Providence bolted in front 14-8 on a tapper from sophomore outside hitter Ashley Davis, who delivered 11 kills.

The Bulldogs then came within 14-13 on a spike from Damroze as the Pioneers asked for time out.

A kill from Davis made it 16-13, however, consecutive service aces from Tawil brought Burbank to within 18-16.

Providence forged ahead 20-18 on a smash from sophomore outside hitter Dolce Prieto (eight kills) and captured the game on Tawil’s hitting error.

“I just think we needed to just settle down after the first set. Once they remembered that they can play at a high level, that was it,” Providence Coach James Jimenez said of the final three sets. “Once we got our passes to our setters we were going to be fine because we have four hitters who can put the ball away.”

The set clincher saw the Pioneers lead 4-2 on a kill from sophomore libero Mia Madariaga and 8-4 on Prieto’s winner.

Prieto’s kill made it 15-9 and Providence dashed in front 19-9 on back-to-back hitting miscues by Damroze.

Prieto’s bullet made it 21-9, Hibbard’s winner trimmed the advantage to 23-11, but a clean spike from Prieto gave the Pioneers the set and match.

Senior setter Jennifer Tolentino, who had 11 assists, was a key contributor for the Pioneers.

Burbank Girls Volleyball Swept by Arcadia in Pacific League Match

By Rick Assad

Losing the first game by a mere two points likely set the stage for two more close setbacks as the Burbank High girls’ volleyball team was swept by visiting Arcadia 26-24, 25-19, 25-19 in a Pacific League match on Thursday afternoon.

“I felt like we got off to a good start,” Burbank coach Karl Rojo said. “We were moving the ball around well, but at the end of the first set we just started committing a lot of unforced errors. Those unforced errors didn’t help us out at all.”

Burbank’s Bianca Hudson goes up for the kill. Photo By: Edward Tovmassian

The initial game was deadlocked at 20-20 before the Bulldogs waltzed ahead 21-20 on a kill from senior outside hitter Amaya Broyls, who had a match-best 16 kills and seven digs.

The Apaches stayed poised and calm despite the fact that they trailed.

“I was really excited for the first match, but at the same time too, I don’t like the first matches because it’s just the first part of the game and it’s them getting used to one another,” Arcadia coach Jennifer Estrada said.

Burbank (1-5 and 1-1 in league) then bulled ahead 22-21 on junior outside hitter Katie Treadway’s bullet.

Treadway (eight kills and 15 digs) then saw her serve tickle the net that evened it at 22-22.

Arcadia senior outside hitter Haley Kennedy’s kill made it 23-22 only to see it knotted at 24-24 when Apache senior outside hitter Ayala Plummer’s hit sail out of bounds.

Carmen Camacho-Platas (#19) and Leah Tawil try to block Haley Kennedy’s shot. Photo By: Edward Tovmassian

The Apaches led 25-24 after Broyls drilled the net and the game was secured on a block from Plummer, who had 10 kills.

“My philosophy with them is when I call a time out, is for them to make a mistake if they do, but not make the same mistake twice,” Estrada said. “Move on to the next play. And then I’ll make the adjustment. They learn to move on to the next play instead of dwelling on that play that just happened.”

The early portion of the first set was tight including 4-4 on a kill from Broyls.

Kennedy’s kill gave the Apaches a 12-11 edge, but Burbank then evened it at 14-14 on Treadway’s strike.

The Apaches (5-0-1 and 2-0 in league) soared in front 18-16 on a dagger from sophomore outside hitter Alicia Tsao.

The middle game saw Arcadia push ahead 7-3 when senior opposite hitter Carmen Camacho-Platas walloped the ball out of bounds.

Katie Treadway about to set the ball against the Apaches. Photo By: Edward Tovmassian

A kill from Plummer gave the Apaches a 13-10 edge and it became 19-14 on a winner from senior middle hitter Katie Blastek.

Arcadia then went on a 5-3 spurt that included Kennedy’s service ace that made it 24-17.

The Apaches then took a two games to none advantage when Broyls’ serve ventured past the stripe.

Arcadia’s cushion swelled to 11-5 in the clinching set on Plummer’s kill.

The Bulldogs drew within 14-12 on back-to-back service aces from junior opposite hitter Brandice Hibbard (two kills and two digs).

In short order, the Apaches jetted in front 20-17 and 21-17 on consecutive kills from Kennedy, who led the Apaches with 12.

When Treadway’s liner hit the net, it was 23-18 and the game was captured on Kennedy’s spike.

Burbank junior setter Ashley Eskander had 34 assists and four digs, junior middle blocker Leah Tawil finished with three kills and senior libero Kayla Pino had eight digs.

Burroughs, Burbank Girls Volleyball Ready

By Rick Assad

 

Burroughs High and Burbank share not only proximity, but an unrelenting and fierce rivalry that goes back decades.

The two girls’ volleyball programs also share the proverbial hope of making the CIF Southern Section playoffs.

Both will be without key players lost to graduation like outside hitter Marin Grote, who is playing for the University of Washington and averaged 13 kills a match for the Indians, who went to the second round of the Division III playoffs.

The Bulldogs don’t have outside hitter Melissa Daniel, who will be attending Stanford University, middle blocker Erin Lashkari and opposite hitter Bene Snyder.

Burroughs will miss Marin Grote, but the Indians are stacked with talent. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

Still there is more than enough talent for both teams to compete for the Pacific League banner, according to the respective coaches.

Coach Edwin Real saw the Indians finish 24-7 and 13-1 in league play for the league crown.

The Indians, who are 1-1 this season and will host Burbank on Sept. 18 and visit the Bulldogs on Oct. 31, have claimed two of the last three league championships.

“The team expectations are to contend for the league title,” Real said. “I’m confident that we will make the playoffs.”

Leading the charge will be senior opposite hitter Juliana Van Loo, who was a first-team all-league pick after averaging nearly seven kills per match.

Junior outside hitter Lydia Grote, Marin’s younger sister, will also be counted upon as will senior opposite hitter Shea McGovern and sophomore outside hitter Catie Virtue.

Burbank’s Amaya Broyls is expected to be a leader. Photo By: Edward Tovmassian

Real likes the offense and the team’s closeness.

“We work together and have a lot of hitting options and we play good defense,” he said.

How does Real motivate his club? “We have to remind ourselves of our goals,” he pointed out. “Work to get better each day. Winning will take care of itself.”

Burbank Coach Karl Rojo is counting on senior outside hitter Amaya Broyls, junior setter Ashley Eskander and junior outside hitter Katie Treadway to set the pace for the Bulldogs, who went 17-7-1 and 10-4 for third place in league.

“Looking forward to the season,” said Rojo, whose team lost in the opening round of the Division IV playoffs. “We’ve got a great group of girls. They’ve all bought in this summer. They’re all working hard.”

Rojo added: “We graduated seven seniors,” he said. “Seven seniors again, so they kind of know the system we’ve put forth.”

Rojo said he feels the team, which is 0-4 this season, will be in contention for the league title. “We should be in the top three or the top four,” he said.

What does Rojo like about this group? “One of our main strengths could be our serving,” he said. “Our defensive transitioning is getting better as well. Our counter attacks are improving slightly.”

Other contributors include senior defensive specialist Izzy Sanchez, senior libero Kayla Pino, senior opposite hitter Carmen Camacho-Platas, senior middle blocker Ava Kuiper and junior setter Kassie Gonzalez.

The rest of the squad will be comprised of senior opposite hitter Olivia Price, senior libero Hannah Cericos, junior libero Morgan Bolger, junior middle blocker Leah Tawil and junior opposite hitter Brandice Hibbard.