Tag Archives: Burroughs boys volleyball

A Look Back at the Best of 2018

The 2018 year in sports in Burbank was not the best, nor the worst on record. The best individual performances were in track and field, as Burroughs Jagdeep Chahal was the CIF Southern Section Division 1 champion in the boys 1,600 meters. Elizabeth Switzer led the Burroughs girls’ track team by qualifying for the state championships in the pole vault. Burroughs golfer Kiara Hernandez was also outstanding in being the best in the Pacific League. The following is a look back at the best teams that Burbank and Burroughs highs put forth in 2018.

10. Burroughs boys soccer
The Indians went 15-9-1 in 2018 and finished second in the Pacific League with a young core that was made up mostly of sophomores.
Carlos Rosales led the midfield and Carter Wells became the heart of the defense. Freshman Manny Gonzalez scored 16 goals, a program record under coach Mike Kodama. This group will get only better in 2019 and 2020.
9. Burroughs softball
The Indians finished runner-up to Crescenta Valley in the Pacific League standings. But Burroughs once again put together a solid season, finishing with a 14-5-1 record and advancing to the second round of the CIF Southern Section Division 3 playoffs. Pitcher Presley Miraglia moved to play at Cal State Long Beach.
8. Burroughs girls soccer
The Indians had a stellar season going 15-3-3 overall to place second in league. Burroughs won its first CIF Southern Section playoff game since 2009 with a wild-card victory over Brentwood School. Freshman Lauryn Bailey and junior Abbie Riggs were two of the Indians’ key offensive players. Olivia Cashman and Emily McHorney were two other top players.
7. Burroughs girls cross country
The Indians finished second in the Pacific League behind Burbank, ending a domination by Crescenta Valley and or Arcadia, that had won the league title every year for more than a quarter century. Burroughs also went on to advance to the CIF Southern Section finals. Sophomore Jordan Guzman and freshman Sophia Navarro led the way for a team that figures to have created arguably the most competitive rivalry with Burbank High of any in the city.
6. Burbank football
The Bulldogs turned in yet another fine season, even though they lost the league title to Arcadia. Burbank won every game it was expected to win and put together a fine 7-4 campaign. Seniors Matthew Porras, Erik Harutyunyan and Duncan Smith will definitely be remembered for the mark they left at the school and all are projected to play in college.
5. Burroughs girls basketball

(Photo by © Ross A. Benson)

The Indians turned in another fine season in 2018, finishing with a 23-8 record and a share of the Pacific League title. The team was blessed with a solid freshmen core who are now sophomores, led by Faith Boulanger and Kayla Wrobel. This has consistently been one of the top teams in the city under veteran coach Vicky Oganyan and that doesn’t appear to be changing any time soon.
4. Burbank boys track and field

The Bulldogs captured the Pacific League dual meet title in coach Darin Wolf’s final season. Burbank counted on hurdler Sergio Aguilar, as well as a solid sprint crew led by Cole Le’au, Oladele Hospidales and Bryan David. Victor Goli led a deep and young distance running core.
3. Burroughs girls volleyball

(Photo by © Ross A Benson)

The Indians had an outstanding season under coach Edwin Real. capturing the Pacific League title. Burroughs went 27-9 and reached the quarterfinals of the CIF Southern Section 3 playoffs, narrowly losing to eventual CIF champion Village Christian in five games. Juliana Van Loo went on to earn All-CIF honors. Burroughs figures to be strong again next year with Lydia Grote returning to lead the way.
2. Burroughs boys volleyball

Photo By: Edward Tovmassian

The Indians won their ninth consecutive Pacific League title under coach Joel Brinton. Burroughs also advanced to the second round of the CIF Southern Section Division 1 playoffs, only to be eliminated by national power Loyola of Los Angeles. Diego Rosal and Cole Kaitz were the leaders for Burroughs.

1. Burbank girls cross country

Sol Fernandez

The Bulldogs won their first league title outright since 1978 and advanced to the CIF Finals, finishing 10th in Division 1. Burbank was led by senior Shalom Mejia and junior Sol Fernandez. Although this was an experienced group that will lose several top runners to graduation, there is a great group coming up replace those that will depart. Expect Burbank to be very strong again in 2019.

Burroughs Boys Volleyball Falls to Loyola

The Burroughs High boys’ volleyball program has much to be proud of.

The Indians captured their ninth consecutive Pacific League title and advanced to the second round of the CIF Southern Section Division 1 playoffs for a second consecutive season.

(Photo by © Ross A Benson)

But like last season, the Indians’ season ended against one of the elite programs in the nation as Loyola of Los Angeles swept Burroughs 25-16, 25-17, 25-20 Thursday evening.

Burroughs was eliminated from the playoffs by Huntington Beach High last year.

Burroughs coach Joel Brinton drew the praise of Loyola coach Michael Boehle, who has won six CIF Southern Section titles and four Southern California Regional titles in his coaching career.

“These guys play hard all the way throughout. I give him credit for that and their staff. They are a class act,” Boehle said of Brinton. “We’ve been here and have the experience. Are we as big and as strong as we’ve been in the past, no? We’re still Loyola and it still freaks some people out sometimes and we’ll take advantage of it if we need to. I thought they fought and we were just a little bit better.”

(Photo by © Ross A Benson)

Loyola (23-2), which features Burbank resident and former St. Francis Xavier student Chris Mai, was never threatened.

“They had a handful of passes where they had three options to set,” Brinton said. “If you win the passing game, you win 70 percent of your matches. They passed better than we did; they served better than we did.”

Burroughs (19-9) was led by senior Cole Kaitz, who finished with 10 kills.

“We’ve been wanting to play a top-level Division 1 team all season,” said Kaitz, who is considering walking on at Cal State Northridge. “We finally got what we wanted and we knew it was going to be a battle. It didn’t out the way we wanted, but it was still a great experience.  I’m glad I got to play them.”

Burroughs also received six kills from Diego Rosal, who plans to walk on at Pepperdine. Jose Solano had 18 assists and Sam Tipton had 10 digs.

Loyola was led by sophomore Luke Turner, who had 11 kills. Matt Johnson and Wyatt Lewis each had eight kills for the Cubs. Sophomore setter Henry Wedbush had 22 assists and Andrew Bagnard added 12 assists.

(Photo by © Ross A Benson)

Brinton praised his team for another fine season.

“The guys gave it their best shot. Our kids start playing volleyball in ninth grade,” he said. “I’m really proud of the group. They showed up and kept working every day.”

Burroughs Boys Volleyball Muscles Past Burbank

It was going to be a Good Friday for either the Burbank or Burroughs high boys’ volleyball team.

But both sides had to wait until the evening to find out who would come away victorious when the two sides met at Burroughs with first place in the Pacific League on the line.

(Photo by © Ross A Benson)

The eight-time defending league champion Indians made a statement early and virtually never looked back, winning 25-5, 25-11, 25-18.

“I thought we had all of the elements that a good team has and we discovered their weaknesses early on and exposed them,” Burroughs outside hitter Diego Rosal said. “We knew there was going to be a big crowd, but we didn’t let it get to us. We just treated it like any other game and executed well.”

Burroughs (9-5 overall, 5-0 in the league) clearly saw Burbank (10-4, 4-1) in perhaps its weakest performance of the season.

(Photo by © Ross A Benson)

“As much as we got lucky, I’m not surprised to see our performance like this because we had a great week of practice,” Burroughs Coach Joel Brinton said. “It’s nice to see when you work hard in practice and see the results on game day.”

Burbank coach Karl Rojo was frustrated to see his team lose as easily as it did to Burroughs.

“Everything was just off today. The serving was off, the hitting was off, the communication and the setter middle communication was off,” Rojo said. “We just couldn’t find our rhythm and when we did build some momentum we killed it by serving into the net or something else.”

After Burroughs breezed through the first two games, Burbank fought back in the third and looked more like the team people are accustomed to seeing.

“That third set was more of what we expected. For them to pick it up and bounce back, I don’t think any of us were surprised. That’s what expected the whole time,” Brinton said of Burbank.

Burbank took a 14-13 lead in the third game after a kill by Rory Rickey. He led Burbank with four kills.

(Photo by © Ross A Benson)

But Burroughs came back moments later led by Cole Kaitz, who had a team-high 17 kills.

Burroughs went on a 5-0 run after the two teams were tied at 16, making it 21-16.

Burbank was unable to answer back.

Burroughs received 10 kills from Rosal. Jose Solano had 27 assists, Sam Tipton had 16 digs and Michael Rumfola had three aces and 13 digs, all for Burroughs.

Burbank received three kills from Jonathan Ragheb.

Burroughs, Burbank Looking Strong Again in Boys Volleyball

Both Burroughs and Burbank highs have enjoyed success in recent years in boys’ volleyball. Change doesn’t appear to be on the cards this season as both teams are looking to keep those traditions going.

Burroughs

The eight-time defending Pacific League champions went 17-14 overall last year and 10-0 in the league. The Indians lost in the second round of the CIF Southern Section Division 1 playoffs to national power Huntington Beach.

Two starters and seven players overall are back from last season’s team as the Indians have just six seniors on an 18-player roster.

(Photo by© Ross A Benson)

Outside hitter Diego Rosal (6-5) and opposite hitter Cole Kaitz (6-5) are both back.

Senior Jose Solano (5-11) takes over at setter. Backing him up are junior Steven Grandenetti (6-2) and freshman Carter Cotrell (5-11).

Junior Sam Tipton (5-9) takes over the libero spot from the graduated Skyler Bercini. He is backed up junior Luke Kvarda (6-0) and senior Marcus Sta. Maria (5-6).

Junior Jagger Green (6-4) figures to be a key at middle blocker. Seniors Diego Borja (6-7) and Drew Gorsuch (6-0) as well as junior Jack Weerts (6-0), sophomore Conner Burroughs (6-1) could also see time at middle blocker.

Backing up Rosal are freshman Kade McGovern (6-3), as well as juniors Michael Rumfola (6-1), Caleb Reyes (5-11), and senior Azael Estrada (6-2).

Sophomore Sammy Solis (5-11) will back up Kaitz.

“(We’re) hoping for another successful year as we push ourselves thru our nonleague schedule to prepare ourselves for the league,” Coach Joel Brinton said. “We are still in Division 1 for CIF Playoffs and we understand the battle that lies ahead, but we have a great group of guys that are ready to work every day and do a great job of taking everything a day at a time.”

Burbank

The Bulldogs went 22-14 last year to finish third in the league. They lost in the first round of the CIF Southern Section Division 2 playoffs to Long Beach Wilson.

Karl Rojo, who has been the coach of the girls’ team, is now coaching the boys’ team as well.

Senior outside hitter Jonathan Ragheb (6-0) is a key returner and team captain.

 

(Photo by © Ross A Benson)

Senior Rory Rickey (6-2) also returns and will play middle blocker.  He is backed up by junior Dawson Koerper and senior Jonathan Valmonte.

Senior Edward Curren (5-8) is a team captain and the starting libero. Junior Ryan Mehta (5-5) is his backup.

Senior Brian Valmonte (5-10) is the setter and is backed up by junior Brian Villaflor.

Junior Luca Bily (5-11) is a returner who will hold down the opposite hitter position. Senior Paul Won and junior Dylan Vivar offer depth at the position.

Helping out in the outside hitter positions will be freshman Jonathan Coleman, junior Ryan Rickey (5-8), sophomore Kourosh Dolatshahi.

 

 

 

South Torrance Boys Volleyball Too Tough for Burroughs

The South Torrance and Burroughs High volleyball programs have one thing in common and that is that both dominate their respective leagues and have to look elsewhere to find quality competition.

So the two sides have made it a tradition in recent years to face one another.

(Photo by© Ross A Benson)

Friday evening Burroughs found out how tough the No. 5 rated team in the CIF Southern Section Division 1 poll is, as the visiting Spartans earned a 25-20, 25-21, 25-18 victory.

“I don’t think it’s a shame losing to a team that is ranked top 10 in Division 1,” Burroughs Coach Joel Brinton said. “I think we’re trying to do the right thing by trying to play these guys and challenge ourselves.”

South Torrance (10-0), which won the prestigious Redondo Tournament last weekend, was led by opposite hitter Luke Krzmarzick, who set the tone early on.

“We knew they would be a hard team coming in,” said Krzmarzick, who has signed with Concordia University in Irvine. “This was a really good game coming out here and playing them.”

Burroughs (5-4) had things tied at 16 in the first game before the Spartans pulled away thanks to some fine play from freshman Michael Faloona.

(Photo by© Ross A Benson)

Cole Kaitz, who led Burroughs with 10 kills, tried to help the Indians recover with one of his kills that made it 24-20.

Burroughs fell behind again in the second game, thanks to superb play from Krzmarzick.

Diego Rosal, who finished with 6 kills, helped mount a rally. However, it was not enough for the Indians to make a comeback.

The Indians struggled once again in the third game, before a kill from Krzmarzick, finished things off.

Connor Burroughs had six kills for the Indians.  Setter Jose Solano had 2o assists.  Sam Tipton had 10 digs for Burroughs, and Kaitz added eight.

The Indians will host St. John Bosco Tuesday at 6 p.m.

 

Looking Back at 2017 in Sports

A year after arguably the most successful year local sports teams have ever had, 2017 turned out to be almost equally as strong. A number of athletes and teams achieved many things to be proud. This is a review of the top 10 teams of 2017 from Burbank and Burroughs highs.

  1. Burbank Boys Basketball

(Photo by © Ross A. Benson)

The Bulldogs may have not won a Pacific League title, but their postseason run was nothing short of amazing. Burbank finished with a 25-10 record and came as close to winning as a CIF title as one could have, losing only by one point on an off-balance 3-pointer at the buzzer against Brentwood. In its playoff run, the Bulldogs defeated teams few gave them a chance of winning. Burbank defeated  La Sierra of Riverside, followed by second seeded Crean Lutheran and then Rancho Mirage, whose shortest starter was as tall as Burbank’s tallest. The Bulldogs also rallied from a 13-point deficit against Rancho Mirage. Michael Woods was the leader of the group of seniors who had played together for several years, ultimately resulting in arguably the best season in school history.

  1. Burbank Football

(Photo by Ross A. Benson)

A year after getting to the CIF championship game, Burbank was hit hard by losses to graduation. But the Bulldogs still had a small core that knew what it was like to win. This team, unlike the team a year ago, went on to win the Pacific League title under first-year coach Adam Colman. Burbank also knocked off top-seeded  South Hills during its playoff run before falling to Don Lugo in the CIF semifinals.  The Bulldogs have a lot of talent coming back for next season, so this team has lots to look forward to in 2018.

 

  1. Burroughs Boys Soccer

Photo courtesy Christina Quintero

The Indians put together a stellar season as longtime head coach Mike Kodama earned his 10th league title. Burroughs went 19-5-4 overall and 11-2-1 in league. The Indians won a pair of CIF Southern Section Division 3 playoff matches, including one on the road and in the rain against Paso Robles. Eventually Burroughs’ run was stopped by a fine Salesian side.

 

  1. Burroughs Boys Volleyball

The Indians continued their streak of eight consecutive Pacific League titles by finishing 16-13 overall and

10-0 in league. While the record may not look impressive, Burroughs was playing against the toughest competition out there, playing in Division 1 in the CIF playoffs. The Indians outlasted Newbury Park in the first round of the playoffs, before falling to national power Huntington Beach in the second round.

  1. Burbank Girls Tennis

Photo By: Edward Tovmassian

The Bulldogs finished 11-5 overall and third in the tough and deep Pacific League and had to win a wild card match just to make it into the main draw. They did that and went on to win two more CIF Southern Section Division 2 playoff matches before falling to top seeded Northwood of Irvine in the quarterfinals.

  1. Burroughs Girls Volleyball

Led by University of Washington bound outside hitter Marin Grote, the Indians went 28-7 and captured the Pacific League title. Burroughs advanced to the second round of the CIF Southern Section Division 3 playoffs before losing to Westridge of Pasadena.

 

  1. Burroughs Boys Water Polo

(Photo by Ross A. Benson)

The Indians went 15-9 and fought off Hoover to win the Pacific League title. A year after winning a CIF title, Burroughs moved up to Division 3, where it advanced to the second round of the playoffs before losing to Dos Pueblos of Goleta.

  1. Burroughs Softball

(Photo by Ross A. Benson)

The Indians were not as sharp as they have been in the past. Still they were able to earn a share of the Pacific League title, going 19-9 overall and 12-2 in league. Playing in Division 1, the Indians were not so fortunate in the playoffs, losing to Oaks Christian in the first round.

  1. Burroughs Boys Cross Country

Alexander Hirsch of Burroughs

This very talented veteran group actually struggled for much of the season, but came on strong in Pacific League Finals to top a fine Arcadia squad for second place on the Apaches’ home course. Arcadia had defeated Burroughs in the first two league meets. Jagdeep Chahal also took home honors as the league’s individual champion.

  1. Burbank Girls Cross Country

Shalom Mejia of Burbank

The Bulldogs went neck and neck with Burroughs all season, with Burbank taking the first league meet by a large margin. Burroughs bounced back and beat Burbank narrowly twice. But the Bulldogs make the cut here due to its qualification for CIF Finals, where Burbank finished 20th in Division 1.  It was just the third time in program history that the lady Bulldogs qualified for CIF Finals.

 

Burroughs Boys Volleyball Makes Incredible Rally Past Newbury Park

(Photo by © Ross A Benson)

(Photo by © Ross A Benson)

Being on the brink of elimination is not an easy spot to be in.
The Burroughs High boys’ volleyball team never took that into consideration Tuesday night when the Indians hosted Newbury Park in the first round of the CIF Southern Section Division 1 playoffs.
Burroughs rallied from being one point away from the end of its season seven times to come back and defeat the visiting Panthers 25-21, 26-28, 23-25, 31-29, 15-13.
“We don’t want to stress it being a stressful situation. We played it just like normal volleyball knowing that we have to play perfect,” said junior Cole Kaitz, who had a team-high 23 kills.
Burroughs (18-13) will move on to the second round Thursday at Huntington Beach, which defeated Canyon of Anaheim Hills 25-21, 26-24, 25-21.
Huntington Beach (24-10) is clearly not as strong as in recent years. A year ago, the Oilers saw their national-record winning streak end at 121 matches.
The Indians earned the right to play the Oilers after rallying from a 24-20 deficit in the fourth game to force a fifth game, where Burroughs won 15-13.
“The guys showed a lot of heart tonight. It was awesome, awesome to see,” Burroughs coach Joel Brinton said. ” That’s a really good team (Newbury Park).”
Kaitz agreed.
“They’re definitely one of the high-level teams we’ve played this year,” Kaitz said of Newbury Park. “We knew if we battled with them we’d pull it out. We needed to play how we know how to play.”
Senior Conner Ludlum helped ignite the rally as he had back-to-back kills to make 24-22 in the fourth game.
Junior Diego Rosal also came up with a big with one of his four blocks during the rally. Ludlum finished with 18 kills and 21 digs. Jarrett Malone had 21 kills for Burroughs.
Senior libero Skyler Bercini finished with 29 digs, a school record. Setter Levi Benitez had 58 assists.
Burroughs won the first game by breaking away following a 21-21 tie thanks to kills from Ludlum, Malone and Everett Kanoho.
In the fifth and final game, Burroughs broke a tie at 13 with a block by Billy Singleton. A Newbury Park error decided the final point of the match.

Burroughs Boys Volleyball Muscles Way Past Burbank

Being prepared for pressure situations is something the Burroughs High boys’ volleyball team is used to.
Senior Conner Ludlum experienced many tough situations a year ago when the Indians won the CIF Southern California Division 2 Regional title.
Ludlum took that experience to help lift his team Friday as the Indians defeated host Burbank High 25-23, 25-15, 27-25 in a Pacific League contest.

Photo By: Edward Tovmassian

“This game was really a focus on our ability to go re-set throughout the match,” Ludlum said. “I know there were a couple of times we were down eight or nine points. We found a way to come together as a team, to re-set and take one point at a time.”
Ludlum, who finished with a match-high 15 kills, helped Burroughs rally back from significant deficits in both the first and third games.
“It helps out a ton,” Ludlum said of last season’s playoff experience. “I’m one of the five seniors on the team. Knowing that I’ve been there and I know what to experience that helps me to lead the younger guys. Props to a lot of the younger guys. I think a lot of them stepped up. I know a lot of people on the bench came in and they had really crucial serves. It was a big team effort.”

Photo By: Edward Tovmassian

Burroughs (9-6, 5-0) trailed 15-8 at one point in the first game before climbing back to tie things at 19 on a kill by Ludlum.
“Sometimes I think we get carried away trying to do too much,” Burroughs coach Joel Brinton said. “We’re trying to get them to understand it’s a point, whether it is a tip or off a block. It doesn’t have to be a crush.”
Burbank (15-9, 3-2) gave Burroughs all it could handle, led by Adrian Rivera, who finished with 11 kills.
“We were definitely prepared,” Burbank coach Gaby Gallardo said. “We came out with good intensity and were fired up. Sometimes when we make a few mistakes we let the momentum go down. We just need to go back and work harder. I’m happy with how we fought. I’m happy with how they gave everything. That’s all I ever want from them.”

Photo By: Edward Tovmassian

Burroughs finished off the first game with a kill from Ludlum followed by a block by Billy Singleton.
The Indians had little trouble in the second game by building a big lead early and never looking back.
Burbank jumped out a big lead in the third game, going up 10-3 at one point. Burroughs also suffered the loss of Jarrett Malone, who went out with a hand injury.
Burroughs came close, but did not actually catch the Bulldogs until the teams were tied at 24.
An ace by Ludlum helped put the Indians up 26-25 with just one point needed to clinch the match.
Levi Benitez had 28 assists and five aces for Burroughs. Cole Kaitz had nine kills and Jarrett had eight. Skyler Bercini and Everett Kanoho each had 10 digs.
Burbank’s Jonathan Tapan had 20 assists. Rory Rickey had five kills for the Bulldogs.

 

Burroughs Boys Volleyball Rallies Past CV

With seven consecutive Pacific League titles, the Burroughs High boys’ volleyball team doesn’t get pushed to the limit too often.
Friday night the Indians had to fight their way back from a deficit before holding off visiting Crescenta Valley 25-19, 21-25, 17-25, 25-12, 15-12.

Photo By: Edward Tovmassian

“I’m discovering as you get those, it keeps getting harder and harder to get the next one,” Burroughs coach Joel Brinton said. “I don’t know how Alabama (football) does it.”

Burroughs (7-6, 3-0 in league) started the match on fire, opening up a 7-0 lead. The Indians, which have won 46 consecutive league matches, cruised to a 25-19 win.

 

For as well as Burroughs played in the first game, the Indians were equally as bad in the second and third.

Photo By: Edward Tovmassian

“We’ve been stressing that we need to do our job. In game two and game three we were not doing our job,” Brinton said. “We kind of took deep breaths.”

In a close second game, Burroughs made a few errors down the stetch that ended up being costly. CV continued the momentum in the third game, rolling to a 25-17 win.

“I feel like we got away from playing Burroughs volleyball and we got away from the basics,” Burroughs’ Jarrett Malone said. “We panicked a little bit. As soon as we re-set, we all said we’re winning this in five.”
Burroughs was re-focused in the fourth and played like it did in the first game, breezing to a 25-12 win.

Photo By: Edward Tovmassian

That momentum carried over to the fifth and decided game. CV took an early 2-0 lead, but Burroughs fought back. Malone’s kill to make it 11-8 put the Falcons in a tough position. He finished with 17 kills to lead Burroughs.
CV fought hard to make things close, but Burroughs won the match when the Falcons inadvertently hit the ball out of play.
“It was the fastest five-set match I’ve ever been a part of,” Brinton said. “I think there was inconsistent play on both sides. They deserve credit for making us play poorly. I hope we deserve credit for affecting them. I hope next time it’s cleaner on both sides.”

Photo By: Edward Tovmassian

Conner Ludlum had 13 kills and five aces for Burroughs. Cole Kaitz had nine kills and Levi Benitez had 40 assists. Skyler Bercini had 19 digs.

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.

Burroughs

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.

Burbank

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.