Tag Archives: Eric Galoustian

Burroughs, Burbank Boys Volleyball Reaching For Big Prize

By Rick Assad

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Burbank High Boys Volleyball Extended Four Sets By Hart

By Rick Assad

 

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

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

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

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

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

There was a slight dip in the third frame.

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

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

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

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

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

Mueller is in his first season at Hart.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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