Tag Archives: Gabriella Damroze

Burbank, Burroughs Girls Volleyball Poised For Success

By Rick Assad

 

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

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

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

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

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

Longtime Burroughs Coach Edwin Real is optimistic.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Burbank Girls Volleyball Falls in Four Sets To Providence

By Rick Assad

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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