Tag Archives: Burroughs girls 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 Girls Volleyball Stopped by Village Christian

(Photo by © Ross A Benson)

Playing in the quarterfinals of the CIF Southern Section playoffs for the third time in four years, the Burroughs High girls’ volleyball team has certainly set the bar high as a program.

But getting to the semifinal is something the Indians have not done and were looking to do Wednesday night.

At times it looked like the Indians were ready for an upset. In the end, it didn’t happen as top-seeded Village Christian of Sun Valley outlasted the Indians 25-17, 21-25, 22-25, 25-15, 15-11 in a CIF Division 3 contest.

Burroughs coach Edwin Real said he didn’t want his players to have any pressure.

“At the end of the day we were just having fun,” Real said. “We didn’t even talk about that they were the number one seed.”

In the fifth and deciding game, Village Christian jumped out to an early lead.

Sophomore Catie Virtue had a kill to cut the deficit to 8-6.

(Photo by © Ross A Benson)

But the host Crusaders (33-9), which have four players who live in Burbank, would not be denied.

Village star Mackenzie Jensen had five kills in the final game alone.

“We played well in the third game. The ball control was good. We were aggressive with our swings,” Real said. “They (Village) served a little better. We were making too many saves. We were running all over the gym. We made some weird decisions that we don’t normally make.”

Burroughs (27-9) received a fine effort from Juliana Van Loo, who finished with 19 kills. Lydia Grote had 15 kills for the Indians.

(Photo by © Ross A Benson)

The duo helped Burroughs rally from an 11-6 deficit in the second game to turn the match around.

Van Loo had a pair of kills and Burroughs received a key ace from Caitlin Lim.

Burroughs fell behind 11-6 in the third, before storming back to take a 15-12 lead and eventually winning 25-22.

The Indians and Crusaders were tied at 10 in the fourth game when Burroughs went into a slump and was unable to recover.

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 Girls’ Volleyball Tops Burbank to Take Home Pacific League Title

(Photo by © Ross A. Benson)

Marin Grote has been a key figure for the Burroughs girls’ volleyball team the last four years. Tuesday night the 6-foot-4 outside hitter concluded the regular season of her career as the Indians defeated visiting Burbank High 25-15, 25-21, 19-25, 25-14.

In the process, Burroughs captured the Pacific League title outright, finishing with a 13-1 in league mark.

Both schools will learn of their playoff fate Thursday when the CIF Southern Section releases the volleyball pairings.

“I love these games. It’s confidence boosting and it is fun,” said Grote, who committed to the University of Washington as a sophomore. “It is a crosstown rivalry, how can it not be. It was a good match, a good rivalry game. Burbank put up a good competition but we were ready. We’ve been preparing for this.”

Burroughs (23-5 overall) received 17 kills from Grote, 10 from junior Juliana Van Loo and six from sophomore Lydia Grote.

“We played well early. We kind of put our guard down a little bit. We made a lot of errors in game three,” Burroughs Coach Edwin Real said.

Despite the league title and a guaranteed first round match in the CIF playoffs next week, Real said his team isn’t where he expected it would be.

(Photo by © Ross A. Benson)

“Not quite. We have some things we want to take care of,” he said.  “Once we iron some things out and re-focus (we’ll be okay).”

Burbank coach Karl Rojo praised his team for remaining tough. The Bulldogs finish the regular season 10-4 in league to finish in third place.

“They hung in there. They kept fighting and they kept believing in themselves,” Rojo said. “They were aggressive with the swing, they were aggressive with the service line, the passing was great that third set.”

Overall he was pleased to see the program going in the right direction.

“We told our players to keep their minds on track for CIF. We did a great job this year in league finishing third. It is better than the last two years,” he said.

Burroughs broke away from Burbank in the first game after the two teams were tied at 9.

Burbank put up a tougher fight in the second game, keeping it tied until 13.

A kill by Jewel Musich clinched the second game for the Indians.

Burbank dominated the third game after Burroughs closed the gap to 9-8.

A pair of aces from Erin Lashkari and a pair of kills from Melissa Daniel helped Burbank during the run that saw the Bulldogs go on a 7-0 run.

(Photo by © Ross A. Benson)

A kill by Daniel forced a fourth game.

Burroughs took the early lead in the fourth and didn’t have too much trouble. A pair of back-to-back kills from Burbank’s Suzy Torosyan gave Burbank some brief momentum.

Burroughs finished things off with a kill from Ricki Patenaude.

Burroughs Girls’ Volleyball Finish Season With Loss To Serrano

By Rick Assad
Sports Editor

 

A season with enormous potential and promise fell short of its intended goal as the Burroughs High girls’ volleyball squad lost to host Serrano in a CIF Southern Section II-A quarterfinal match on Saturday.

It took five games to decide as the Indians came out strong in the first two, but couldn’t maintain the momentum as the Diamondbacks prevailed, 19-25, 19-25, 25-18, 25-21, 15-9.

The Indians were paced by senior outside hitter Danielle Ryan’s 19 kills and sophomore outside hitter Marin Grote’s 17 kills.

“In the third game they [Serrano] stepped up and put pressure on us,” Burroughs coach Edwin Real said. “They changed their offense. Their main players are seniors and they’re going to college. They’re gamers.”

Real added: “Our plan was to get off to a good start like we did in the last match [against Bonita]. We knew they had a good team and there was a big crowd. We were on the visitors side and it was cold. We keyed the right people in the first two games. But in the fourth game our confidence fell, and we got nervous and when the wheels fell off the wagon, we didn’t stick together.”

The fifth game was fairly one-sided as the Diamondbacks moved ahead 7-2. “We had a rough game five,” Real admitted.

Burroughs Coach Edwin Real speaks to his players at a recent practice (photo by Dick Dornan).

JB girls’ volleyball Coach Edwin Real was proud of his team’s effort in CIF quarterfinal five-game loss to Serrano on the road. (Photo by Dick Dornan).

Grote was pleased with the overall effort. “I believe that the match had its ups and downs. The first two sets were great. We played as a team, executed our plays, and most importantly, had fun with our teammates,” she said. “However once we started the third match we continued our streak of letting off the gas. We let them come back. Overall I believe the third set was the worst. Then in the third set we started to play harder. We competed the first two points and then fell behind. Once we hit the fifth set I think the shock of our season became a reality and we took a step back. Once the shock wore off we put up a good fight even though the opposing team was in the last few points of the match.”

The Indians, ranked No. 7, had previous playoff sweeps over Bonita in the second round and Pacifica Oxnard in the opening round, and finished 23-8 and went 14-0 in the Pacific League.

Grote was proud of the effort. “I thought that as a team we gave one heck of a fight,” he said. “We played hard and we left it all on the court. Aside from a few adjustments we all should have made, we played our hearts out.”

(Photo by © Ross A. Benson)

JB senior outside hitter Danielle Ryan led with 19 kills in CIF quarterfinal setback to the Diamondbacks. (Photo by © Ross A. Benson)

Grote said there was one swing of momentum against Serrano (24-1), the No. 2 seeded team.

“I think the biggest turning point in our favor was in the fifth game when we started to fight back,” she pointed out. “The other team looked scared that we might come back and win it.”

Looking back Grote felt the team gave everything it had. “Personally I think the entire team played rather well tonight,” she said. “We just had a few moments that caused us to get down. But we got over the bumps and fought back. Overall I think this was one of our hardest matches we played all season and we played together. That’s all any one could ask for.”

Senior opposite hitter Jessica Rury gave it her all. “Our team played with everything we had,” she said. “We knew that nothing could hit the floor, every ball had to come up, and every ball had to be put away. We left our hearts out on the floor and played the best game of the season.”

Rury went on: “I just tried to sell out for my teammates as much as possible and do my job playing offense and defense. After we won the first two games we were so excited and pumped up. But after losing the third game we let it get in our heads and we didn’t turn the page fast enough. Our determination was there and our fight was there, but we just couldn’t pull through with the win tonight.”

Burroughs Girls’ Volleyball Hammers Bonita

By Rick Assad
Sports Editor

 

A buzz saw in the form of the Burroughs High girls’ volleyball team was on the loose Thursday night as the Indians laid waste to visiting Bonita in a CIF Southern Section II-A second-round playoff match by the count of 25-10, 25-13, 25-21, and advanced to Saturday’s quarterfinal encounter which will be contested on the road at  Valencia or Serrano.

The Indians (23-7) raced to a 6-0 lead in the opening game when senior outside hitter Danielle Ryan (10 kills) collected four aces, which led the Bearcats (24-10) to call time out as the crowd became extremely loud.

The scoring spree began with a combined block from senior opposite hitter Jessica Rury and junior middle blocker Caleigh Paster. Sophomore outside hitter Marin Grote’s kill made it 4-0.

(Photo by © Ross A. Benson)

Burroughs setter Lauren Zedlar (#17) releases perfect pass in sweep of Bonita. (Photo by © Ross A. Benson)

“We worked on a lot of ball control,” Rury said. “We played well as a team. I didn’t know what to expect [from Bonita] because we put the focus on our team and what we do.”

Burroughs gathered even more steam as it outscored Bonita 9-2 to lead 15-2 as the Bearcats asked for another time out. During this run Grote (co-team high 10 kills) and Ryan each added two rockets.

The Indians’ lead expanded to 21-6 on points from Grote and Paster (five kills) and an ace from sophomore setter Lauren Zedlar.

“We came out fast. We came out strong,” Burroughs coach Edwin Real said. “We came out with a plan and we wanted to stay tough. We didn’t let go. We wanted to keep going and speed up the game a little bit.”

(Photo by © Ross A. Benson)

JB outside hitter Julianna Cottrell hammers a kill in sweep of the Bearcats in a CIF second-round playoff match. (Photo by © Ross A. Benson)

The middle stanza was close in the early stages as it was tied at 1-1, 2-2 and 3-3 before the Indians pulled ahead 10-3 which forced Bonita to ask for time as sophomore outside hitter Julianna Cottrell added two blocks, junior outside hitter Cesera Suarez tossed in two aces, Ryan’s two kills and junior opposite hitter Sophia Rizzotti’s smash.

Burroughs took charge and forged an 18-5 advantage with points coming from senior defensive specialist Katheryn Dominguez’s two kills, senior libero Samantha Sullivan’s three aces, Ryan’s kill and ace and Paster’s winner.

From this point the Indians went on a 5-2 blitz and surged ahead 23-7 with Paster contributing two kills, Ryan’s ace which forced a Bearcat time out at 20-6, Grote’s bomb and Rury’s slam.

(Photo by © Ross A. Benson)

Outside hitter Marin Grote finished with a co-team high 10 kills. (Photo by © Ross A. Benson)

Bonita made it somewhat interesting as it closed to within 23-10 when Rury’s shot sailed out of bounds, but the Indians put the icing on the cake and game with a kill from Rizzotti.

The Bearcats led 1-0 in the third stanza on a stuff from junior middle blocker Danielle Johnson, but the momentum shifted in favor of the Indians who led 5-1 on two kills from Grote and a combined stuff from Grote and Cottrell, along with two aces from Dominguez.

Bonita came within 5-4 when Cottrell’s shot went out of bounds, but the Indians then took command 14-6 on a combined jam from Ryan and Cottrell.

During this stretch Grote had a block, Suarez added an ace, Rizzotti and Cottrell combined on a block, Ryan chimed in with two kills and Ryan and Cottrell had a duo stuff.

“We played three ranked teams in the Top 10 in our division and we did pretty well,” Bonita coach Austin Meador said. “Stuff happens and it’s a loud gym. I don’t think it rattled us, but it was hard to communicate.”

Meader added: “We knew what we were walking into. We faltered in our game plan. We changed some of our matchups, but even that didn’t work as well as we hoped. We underperformed. They played to win and we played not to lose.”

(Photo by © Ross A. Benson)

Bonita’s Kellie Pichotta (#12) goes for a kill while Julianna Cottrell (#14) and Marin Grote (#44) rise for a stuff. (Photo by © Ross A. Benson)

The Indians moved in front 19-13 on a kill from Rury, and Ryan’s rocket made it 20-13. At this point the Bearcats asked for a time out and then closed within 22-17 on senior middle hitter Jennifer Argelander’s kill as Burroughs asked for a break in the action.

The Bearcats came within 22-20 on two aces from freshman libero Natalie Hartman and a block from Argelander, however, the Indians settled down and scored the final three points when Hartman’s serve went out of bounds, followed by junior opposite hitter Isabella Velasquez’s serve also sailing out of bounds, and Ryan’s dagger for the game.

 

 

 

Burroughs Volley Brushes Aside Pacifica

By Rick Assad
Sports Editor

 

Easy became somewhat difficult for the Burroughs High girls’ volleyball team during Tuesday night’s CIF Southern Section II-A opening-round playoff match against visiting Pacifica Oxnard.

The Indians needed only three games in order to dispatch the Tritons by scores of 25-8, 25-7, 27-25, but the third game was something to behold as it see-sawed with plenty of action.

“We were playing a little bit different,” Burroughs coach Edwin Real said. “We kind of relaxed [in the third game] and our ball control went out the window. We have expectations to play hard and to crank it up.”

With the victory, the Indians have a second-round home match against Bonita at 7 p.m. on Thursday.

Photo By: Edward Tovmassian

Burroughs opposite hitter Sophia Rizzotti (#6) and outside hitter Julianna Cottrell (#14) go up for a block in sweep of Pacifica during CIF opening-round match. Photo By: Edward Tovmassian

Burroughs (22-7 overall and 14-0 in the Pacific League) led 3-0 in the match-clincher on an ace from senior outside hitter Danielle Ryan, but the Tritons knotted it at 5-5 on junior outside hitter Victoria Carrillo’s smash.

“We were too comfortable when we took the two-game lead,” said Ryan, who finished with 10 kills. “But we did a good job of coming back.”

Ryan said this first-round encounter was meant to set the team in motion for a deep run in the playoffs. “This was a statement to play our best.”

It was even at 6-6 when Burroughs sophomore setter Mia Staub’s serve sailed out of bounds, and 10-10 when Pacifica Oxnard senior setter Diana Catapussan’s shot hit the net.

Pacifica Oxnard (14-8 overall), which closed the season with three consecutive losses, pulled ahead 15-11 when Burroughs junior middle blocker Caleigh Paster (match-best 11 kills) had a shot sail out of bounds.

Photo By: Edward Tovmassian

JB outside hitter Marin Grote had seven kills in win over Pacifica. Photo By: Edward Tovmassian

The Indians drew within 16-14 on senior defensive specialist Nicole Baer’s ace, but the Tritons led 21-16 on an ace from junior opposite hitter Jessica Grogg.

Pacifica Oxnard bolted ahead 23-19 when sophomore setter Payton Jensen’s serve went out of bounds, but the Indians came within 23-22 on a winner from Paster.

Burroughs evened it at 24-24 after an ace from Paster, but the Tritons pulled ahead 25-24 when senior opposite hitter Jessica Rury’s blast went out of bounds.

It was tied at 25-25 on kill from sophomore outside hitter Julianna Cottrell, and Ryan’s smash made it 26-25 as the Tritons called time out. The game and match was secured when junior middle blocker Lynelle Tinio’s shot landed out of bounds.

The Indians tallied the first six points of the initial game with points coming on Paster’s kill and combined block with Rury, Ryan’s ace, Rury’s winner and sophomore outside hitter Marin Grote’s kill.

“We were focused in the first two games, but not so much in the third game,” said Grote, who finished with seven kills. “We tried to pick it up in the third game. It’s not one person, it’s the whole team.”

Photo By: Edward Tovmassian

Burroughs libero Samantha Sullivan sets the pace. Photo By: Edward Tovmassian

The Indians went on a 13-4 run and received points from Grote on a kill, senior defensive specialist Katheryn Dominguez’s ace, two kills from Cottrell, Jensen’s ace, a pair of winners from Ryan, junior opposite hitter Sophia Rizzotti’s kill and senior libero Samantha Sullivan’s two aces.

The Indians then outscored the Tritons 6-4 as Ryan had a kill, Rury’s slam, two winners from Grote, Cottrell’s rocket and Dominguez’s service ace.

Burroughs jumped in front 3-1 in the middle game and then went on a 17-5 roll with points generated on Jensen’s ace, Grote’s two winners, Ryan’s five kills, junior outside hitter Cesera Suarez’s ace, Sullivan’s ace and sophomore setter Lauren Zedlar’s ace.

The game was secured on two service aces from Ryan.

Burroughs Upsets No. 3 Oxnard; Advances to Quarterfinals

Laura Howard goes high for a spike in the upset win against Oxnard (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

By Dick Dornan
BurbankNBeyond Sports Editor

Revenge is a wonderful thing. Advancing to the next round in playoffs is even better. Winning in dramatic style on your home court is pure elation.

Caitlin Cottrell rises to block a shot in the Indians win (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

The Burroughs girls volleyball team upset No. 3 Oxnard in five sets, 19-25, 25-20, 25-22, 21-25, 15-13, to advance to the CIF Division II-A quarterfinals. The Indians will play at Pasadena Poly on Saturday at 7 p.m. with the winner moving on to the semifinals.

A year ago, Oxnard ended the amazing season for JBHS who went 21-6 and 14-0 in league in 2011. A year later at the same location and in the same second round, Burroughs prevailed this time against the Yellowjackets. Oxnard went into the match undefeated in league and on an 11-game winning streak.

Down 10-5 in the fifth set and five points away from their season ending, the Indians dug deep and rallied to tie the match at 11 apiece. Riding a wave of confidence, Burroughs broke a 13-13 tie and won 15-13 setting off a wild celebration in the JBHS gym. It was a comeback that sent Oxnard packing and Burroughs into the elite eight of the Div. II-A playoffs.

Burroughs exacted revenge on Oxnard a year later (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

Laura Howard led Burroughs with 16 kills while Caitlin Cottrell added 14 kills and four blocks. Katherine Rutecki had 25 assists for the Indians. Danielle Gonzalez contributed with 13 kills and 12 digs.

Burroughs (12-6) will now face a Pasadena Poly team that finished 6-6 and in third place in the Prep League.

 

 

 

Burroughs Girls Volleyball Set to Defend League Title

By Dick Dornan
BurbankNBeyond Sports Editor

As the season begins for the Burroughs girls volleyball team, two immediate questions pop to mind. Will the Indians repeat as Pacific League champions and can JBHS replace the talent of Megan Stephenson, last year’s All-CIF and Pacific League Player of the Year?

Only time will tell when answering those questions. What we do know is that Burroughs returns six lettermen including four starters off a squad that went 19-4 and undefeated (14-0) in Pacific League action.

Burroughs Coach Edwin Real speaks to his players at a recent practice (photo by Dick Dornan).

“We have more than just one weapon so teams can’t sit on one player. This year we are versatile,” Burroughs Coach Edwin Real said. “Teams have to play defense against all our kids and not just against one. We have the nucleus but we just need a little bit more intensity each day in practice and in each match. The team gets along well which is very important.”

Opponents keyed on Stephenson last year but had little success against a strong Indian squad who advanced to the second round of the California Interscholastic Federation playoffs. This year’s team, ranked No. 5 in CIF Division II-A, will rely on multiple players in their quest to win back-to-back league titles for the first time since 1978-79.

Senior middle Laura Howard returns as a three-year starter and the catalyst for the team.

“Laura does everything well,” Real said. “She blocks real well; her jump serve is hard to return and her passing is excellent.”

Joining Howard as the other middle will be junior Caitlin Cottrell who became stronger over the summer and a more consistent player.

“Our middle blockers hit and block well,” Real said. “We need to establish our other hitters even more. If we do, then we will be even better. Defensively we are pretty solid.”

Seniors Autim Kanoho and Tori Adams will be looked upon to step up in those roles.

Keana Figueroa, a three-year letterman, returns as the Indians setter. Real describes the junior as “a competitor who has a fierce serve and is a consistent setter.”

Burroughs brings back junior Dani Gonzalez, a back row specialist who came off the bench last year. This season she moves to libero in a starting role. Gonzalez worked on her passing a lot in the off-season in an effort to solidify a vital area for JBHS.

Keep an eye out for freshman Danielle Ryan, an outside hitter with lots of potential.

“She does everything,” Real said. “She can play defense, she can swing and she can block.”

After a highly successful season last year, Burroughs has set the bar high and is intent on being committed to excellence.

“We want to instill in our players to be excellent in all aspects of life not just volleyball,” said Real, who begins his 10th season at the helm. “They are in the classroom all day but when they step on the court they have to commit themselves to being focused. Being excellent on every single play. Everything they do must be committed to excellence in order to be successful. This fall we made significant improvements.”

The Pacific League title is up for grabs with Burroughs, Arcadia and Burbank expected to be in the mix.

“Arcadia and Burbank both should be good. We will be ready for them when the time comes,” Real said. “I think Pasadena is a team that could sneak in there. They are tall and return a lot of players.”

Burroughs plays its home opener on September 13 vs. Hoover at 3:30 p.m.