Tag Archives: Cole Kaitz

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.

Class of 2018 Takes a Step Forward

The Class of 2018 has turned its tassels at Burbank and Burroughs highs.

Once again both schools graduated a number of fine student athletes, some of which will continue their athletic careers at the collegiate level.

The following is a sampling of what to expect in the immediate future for the now graduated Bulldogs and Indians.

Burbank

Leading the Bulldogs class is multi-sport star and class salutatorian Melissa Daniel, who will attend Stanford University and play beach volleyball.

Melissa Daniel goes for the kill. She will attend Stanford. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

Class valedictorian Jonathan Ragheb will attend Harvard University and may attempt to walk on the men’s volleyball team.

Lauren Ryan will attend Hawaii Pacific University, where she will compete in cheer. Nikki Howell will also compete in cheer, but stay a little closer to home by attending Cal Lutheran in Thousand Oaks. Anna Leonetti will be attending Riverside City College, where she plans to continue in cheer and stunt.

Softball player Bene Snyder will continue her career at Trinity University in Texas.

Fellow softball player Anysia Gonzalez will continue her career at La Sierra University in Riverside.

Bulldog baseball player Abiezer Delgado will continue his career at Hope International University in Fullerton.

Burbank will be represented once again by the presence of a number of football players going to the community college route.

Moorpark College is getting Drew Pendleton, Kaydon Spens and Andrew Rovira. Anthony Lira will attend Los Angeles Valley College. Christian Fajardo is going to Pasadena City College and Darnell Williams will continue his career at College of the Canyons.

Drew Pendleton will play football at Moorpark College. Photo By: Edward Tovmassian

Jessie Czarneki will continue her track and cross country career at the University of Antelope Valley.

Noemi Apreza and Phoebe Forsyth will both continue their distance running careers at Glendale Community College.

Brandon Wilson will continue his water polo career at L.A. Valley College. Lexi Lyneis will continue her water polo career at L.A. Valley College.

Rory Rickey will hope to continue his volleyball career as a walk on at UC San Diego.

Burroughs

The Indians have several athletes who will play major college athletics, led by senior volleyball player Marin Grote.

The 6-foot-5 outside hitter will continue her career at the University of Washington.

Marin Grote will wear purple in college as a member of the Washington Huskies.

Distance running star Jagdeep Chahal, who recently won the CIF Southern Section Division 1 title in the 1,600 meters, will continue his cross country and track career at UC Santa Barbara.

Emily Virtue, who was a cross country national finalist as a sophomore, will continue her career on the opposite coast at Columbia University.

Pole vaulter Elizabeth Switzer is undecided, as she also has the option of going back to gymnastics, which has her first sport.

Also from the girls’ volleyball team, Lauren Zedlar will attend Washington College in Maryland. Sabrina Sullivan will continue her volleyball career at the University of La Verne. Lizzy Jessen will play volleyball at Wellesley College and Ricki Patenaude at College of the Canyons.  Mia Staub, the class salutatorian, will play volleyball at Wheaton College in Chicago.

Jagdeep Chahal will run for UC Santa Barbara.

From the football team, Jacob Real will continue at Glendale Community College.

Basketball player Amir Montgomery is undecided but may be leaning toward Glendale Community College, per coach Allan Ellis.

Volleyball player Diego Rosal will walk on the men’s volleyball team at Pepperdine, where he will join former Indian Max Chamberlain and coach David Hunt, who grew up in the Glendale-Burbank area.

Fellow volleyball player and Pacific League MVP Cole Kaitz will attend Cal State Northridge, but has not decided if he will attempt to walk on or not.

Star distance runner Alex Hirsch will attend Harvey Mudd and run for Claremont-Mudd-Scripps.

Softball pitcher Presley Miraglia plans to continue her career at Cal State Long Beach.

Fellow softball player Jessica Amaya is considering continuing her career Mission College in Sylmar.

 

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 Top Santa Monica in CIF Opening Round

By Rick Assad

 

You could say the relatively easy match for the Burroughs High boys’ volleyball team came when it hammered visiting Santa Monica 25-18, 29-27, 25-12 in a CIF Southern Section Division I opening-round clash on Tuesday.

Now the hard part comes when the Indians, who have captured the Pacific League title nine straight seasons and were the regional state champions in 2016, have to face Loyola in the second round on Thursday.

Senior outside hitter Diego Rosal, shown in a recent match with Burbank, had nine kills in a CIF opening-round sweep of Santa Monica. Photo By: Edward Tovmassian

“It was huge. We didn’t play our best,” Burroughs coach Joel Brinton said of the middle set. “The season now boils down to winning three sets.”

The second game could have swung either way after being knotted 15 times including 23-23 on a kill from sophomore middle blocker Connor Burroughs.

At this point, each team had difficulty getting its serve over the net as it became 25-25 when Santa Monica’s Ryan Logan’s serve found the net and 27-27 on Burroughs senior outside hitter Diego Rosal’s service miscue.

“We were fortunate tonight. We’re going to have to play our best match,” Brinton said of this encounter which will likely be much easier than facing the Cubs.

In the end, the Indians took command on a tapper from senior opposite hitter Cole Kaitz that made it 28-27.

When Kaitz (match-best 18 kills) delivered a spike, Burroughs (19-8 and 12-0 in league) led two games to none.

The Indians, including Cole Kaitz (#32), Sam Tipton (#1) and Jose Solano, shown in a win at Burbank, played well against the Vikings. Photo By: Edward Tovmassian

The Indians evened the second game at 3-3 on a bullet from junior outside hitter Michael Rumfola and 8-8 on Burroughs’ blast.

Santa Monica’s Ryan Rooke leveled it 14-14 with a kill and it was deadlocked at 18-18 on Kaitz’s winner.

Though the match-clinching set was tight in the early stages after being tied 2-2, 3-3, 4-4, 5-5, and 6-6,  a winner from Rosal (nine kills) made it 7-6.

Junior libero Sam Tipton, who contributed 10 digs, then served three straight aces to make it 10-6.

What followed was a 5-3 mini-blitz that pushed the advantage to 15-9 and included a tapper from Kaitz.

When Kaitz served an ace, the Indians’ lead swelled to 19-11 which prompted the Vikings (15-10-2) to call for time.

The Indians went on another patented run, this time 6-1 that included Kaitz’s dagger for a 20-12 edge and a block from Burroughs that made it 22-12. The next three points came on Viking hitting errors.

Brinton said that the expectations are high, but that’s a good thing. “Now it’s on them to continue that,” he said of the current squad. “I hope these guys like being the hunted during league. The pressure’s on them [Loyola]. Let’s see if they [Burroughs] can do it.”

The initial game saw the Vikings jump off to a 4-2 lead when George Felstiner tossed in a kill, but the Indians tied it at 6-6 on an ace from freshman outside hitter Kade McGovern.

Felstiner’s dagger evened it at 11-11 and 12-12, only to see the Indians pull ahead 18-16 on Kaitz’s bomb.

When Kaitz added a kill the Indians trotted ahead 21-16 and then led 23-18 on Rosal’s winner and 24-18 on another rocket from Rosal.

Senior outside hitter/opposite hitter Azael Estrada’s winner gave the Indians the set.

For good measure, senior setter Jose Solano added a match-best 28 assists for the Indians.

Burroughs Boys Volleyball Needs Four Sets To Defeat Host Burbank

By Rick Assad

 

It wasn’t as lopsided as the first time the Burroughs High boys’ volleyball team faced Burbank.

Still the end result was the same, but instead of a three-game sweep, the Indians needed four games in order to stifle the host Bulldogs on Thursday night.

Behind the overall play of Cole Kaitz, who had a match-best 21 kills, the Indians prevailed 25-15, 20-25, 27-25, 25-22, in a Pacific League match and remain undefeated.

“We just try to look at every game like it’s the same game,” Kaitz said. “Every game is the same to me. So just because it’s the crosstown rivalry, it doesn’t really mean much to us. It’s just another game. Another opponent. I’ve played these guys already four years in a row.”

Diego Rosal (#4) rises up and unloads a winner for the Indians, who defeated the host Bulldogs in four sets. Photo By: Edward Tovmassian

Burroughs won its ninth consecutive league banner, stretched its league match streak to 64 victories and has knocked off Burbank 14 matches in a row.

“Last time we got lucky because they couldn’t pass. We knew it wasn’t going to be the same thing,” Burroughs coach Joel Brinton said. “Trying to convince a group of teenagers of that is hard at times.”

Brinton said the Bulldogs put up a good fight.

“Losing that set probably was a really good thing to wake us up,” he noted. “Getting the battle that we got. It’s what we want our league to become. A slugfest. Burbank made us do that. They passed really well. They played great defense all night.”

The third set was tied on 12 occasions including 24-24 on a kill from Burbank’s senior outside hitter Jonathan Ragheb, who finished with nine kills.

Burbank’s Ryan Rickey (#27) passes during Thursday’s match against Burroughs. Photo By: Edward Tovmassian

Senior setter Brian Valmonte (41 assists) served an ace for the Bulldogs that made it 25-24, but his net serve evened it at 25-25.

After a net violation gave the Indians (17-8 and 11-0 in league) a 26-25 cushion, Azael Estrada’s block secured the game for Burroughs.

Valmonte’s spike evened it at 4-4, but the Indians’ Connor Burroughs’ winner made it 8-8.

The Indians, who took out the Bulldogs 25-5, 25-11, 25-18 on March 30, moved in front 14-11 on Kaitz’s hammer and it became 17-15 on another bullet from Kaitz, who added three blocks.

The Bulldogs (15-6 and 9-2 in league) then went on a 6-2 run that made it 21-19 and included a kill from junior outside hitter Ryan Rickey (five kills).

“I wanted them to go out there and be aggressive,” Burbank coach Karl Rojo said. “Not be so timid and shy at the service line or when you’re out there swinging. I think we did a pretty good job of staying aggressive in our attacks and service.”

Burroughs and Burbank passed the ball well in a Pacific League match. Photo By: Edward Tovmassian

Despite the setback, Rojo liked what he saw.

“There’s definitely been a lot of improvement shown since we last played them,” he said. “We were able to get more hitters involved.”

The deciding set was tied 16 times including 22-22 on a dagger by Kaitz.

A kill from Kaitz made it 23-22 as the Bulldogs asked for time out.

Kaitz’s stuff pushed the Indians’ advantage to 24-22 and Kaitz then topped off his evening with a smash for the set and match.

Burroughs darted ahead 5-4 on a service ace from Jose Solano (33 assists and 16 digs) and leveled it at 10-10 on Kaitz’s spike.

A block from Jagger Green pushed the Indians’ lead to 12-10, but the Bulldogs outscored Burroughs 5-3 and tied it at 15-15 on Ragheb’s rocket.

The initial set was a bit more one-sided as the Indians took control 3-0 on an ace from Michael Rumfola and were never headed.

Michael Rumfola (#16) and Jagger Green (#20) ready for a block. Photo By: Edward Tovmassian

The advantage became 8-4 on Rumfola’s kill and 14-7 on Diego Rosal’s winner.

Burbank came within 16-10 on a kill from senior middle blocker Rory Rickey (14 kills).

Burroughs seized control 22-13 on Kaitz’s bomb and snatched the set on a spike from Rumfola.

Burbank’s best set was the second as it led 5-2 on an ace from Ryan Rickey.

The Indians evened it at 10-10 on a blast from Rosal (10 kills), but the Bulldogs darted ahead 12-11 on junior opposite hitter Luca Bily’s bomb.

The Indians drew within 16-14 on a service winner from Rosal, but the Bulldogs went on a 5-4 spurt and led 21-18 on a kill from Ryan Rickey as Burroughs asked for a time out.

A 4-2 explosion by the Bulldogs and a kill from Ryan Rickey evened the match at one game apiece.

Sam Tipton contributed 16 digs for the Indians, while senior libero Eddie Curren tossed in 12 digs for the Bulldogs.

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.

 

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 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.