Tag Archives: Girls Volleyball

Grote And Jensen Verbally Commit To Play Volleyball At UC Berkeley

By Rick Assad

 

Who would have thought that two longtime friends, living in the same city, playing the same sport, but for different high schools, would both verbally commit to the same university?

It’s a longshot, for sure, but that’s exactly what happened to Lydia Grote, who attends Burroughs High and Kendall Jensen, who is at Village Christian School, as the pair will play volleyball for UC Berkeley.

Of course when these two first met they weren’t thinking about which college they would attend.

They were buddies, having fun and enjoying their childhood. Now that’s in the past as both will be seniors in the fall.

How did these two meet? Sometimes stories differ greatly, some slightly, but not this time.

Lydia Grote (on the left) and Kendall Jensen are longtime friends and have committed verbally to play volleyball at UC Berkeley. (Photo courtesy of Paul Grote).

“I was six years old when I met Kendall,” said Grote, a 6-foot-2 middle hitter/outside hitter. “I met Kendall at Roosevelt Elementary School at my sister Marin’s first basketball practice for her team the Fireballs. Kendall was sitting in a tree, and I remember thinking that I had never climbed a tree before, and then she climbed down and showed me how to climb a tree.”

Grote went on: “Then once I finally got up into the tree, she introduced herself, and then about a month later I joined her softball team, the Fireflies, and from then on we played on all the same softball, volleyball and basketball Parks and Rec teams,” she said.

Here’s Jensen’s version. “Lydia met me when we were in the second grade at our older sisters’ basketball practice,” said the 5-8 setter. “At that age I was very adventurous and decided to climb a tree out of boredom and soon after I did, Lydia saw me and decided to join me.”

Jensen continued: “After that we started going to all their practices and games to hang out and we’ve been friends ever since. We’ve also been playing sports together since second grade through the City of Burbank. We’ve played basketball, softball and volleyball together for a long time.”

Grote’s older sister, Marin, was a two-sport standout for Burroughs where she played basketball and volleyball.

“Both Lydia and Kendall are phenomenal athletes and girls who have grown up playing together on and off the court,” she said. “Seeing these two girls, my sister and my best friend’s sister, work hard to get to be such high level athletes on a top volleyball team in the nation and then both were considered underdogs for recruiting and both go to a Division I and Pacific 12 school is truly an inspirational story.”

Kendall’s older sister, Payton, attended Burroughs for two years and played volleyball before transferring to Village Christian.

Grote just concluded her freshman year playing on the women’s volleyball team at the University of Washington in Seattle.

Grote rises to score a point while Jensen tries to block the attempt in a CIF Southern Section playoff match. (Photo courtesy of Paul Grote)

Are Lydia and Kendall alike on the floor? “On the volleyball court, Kendall and I have very similar personalities,” said Grote, who plans on majoring in biology or biochemistry. “We both are going to work our hardest and we are both always going to do whatever we can to help our team.”

Jensen, who may major in art, would agree. “I like to think I’m similar on the court and off the court,” she said. “I’ve always been pretty competitive growing up with three other sisters who all play sports which is evident on the court. I also like to think that I’m energetic on the court and I think my friends would agree that I’m pretty energetic off the court as well. However, during games I can get pretty into it and pretty intense. I like to think I’m not that intense off the court.”

Burroughs and Village Christian both have excellent girls’ volleyball programs and are perennial powers in their respective leagues.

Was there ever a thought of the two playing on the same prep team?

“It would have been a ton of fun to play on the same high school team, but I do not want to leave Burroughs, and she does not want to leave Village Christian,” said Grote, who has helped the Indians qualify for the playoffs all three seasons she’s been there.

Jensen thinks it would have been exciting, but it didn’t work out. “I wish Lydia played for Village so bad,” she said. “I’ve been trying to get her to come to Village for a while now and I’m still trying. We have such a good connection on and off the court and she would be a huge asset to the team if she transferred.”

Last season the Indians and Crusaders actually met in the CIF Southern Section quarterfinals.

Jensen is about to set for a teammate while Grote skies to stuff the point. (Photo by © Ross A Benson)

As expected, the match went five sets with Village Christian, which has also qualified for the postseason all three campaigns that Jensen’s been on the team, pulled out the victory.

“The highlight of my career was definitely the CIF volleyball game against Village Christian because Burroughs played better than we ever had before and every person on our team had the same goal and mindset and we were all so passionate about the game,” Grote said.

Jensen remembers that match fondly. “We played this past season in the CIF quarterfinals. We won in five, but it was so fun,” she said. “We had so many people come out and they brought so many people as well so the energy in the gym was just insane. That win was one of the best wins ever especially because that was probably one of toughest matches.”

Jensen and Grote in their soccer attire are ready for a match. (Photo courtesy of Paul Grote).

What makes volleyball so much fun? “The thing I love most about volleyball is the competition, the constant fight in the game and the team camaraderie,” Grote said. “I love that everyone always works hard to be the best they can be and that volleyball is a very clean sport, meaning teams are always respectful to each other and nobody tries to undermine the game and everyone is always honest about calls.”

Jensen likes volleyball’s intensity and high energy.

“Volleyball is such a fast and intellectual sport that always keeps you engaged,” she noted. “I also love the team aspect of it and being able to play with some of my best friends.”

Grote and Jensen have both been team leaders for their teams.

“I like being considered a leader because it means that your teammates trust you and that you are a reliable player, on and off the court,” Grote said.

Jensen also likes the honor. “I’m the captain for high school and also captain for my club team,” she said.

Grote and Jensen are very good athletes with the potential to excel at multiple sports, but each has chosen to stick with volleyball.

“I liked playing multiple sports when I was younger, and I have had the opportunity to play basketball at Burroughs,” Grote said. “but volleyball is my passion and it is where I want to be.”

Jensen echoed the same sentiment. “I don’t play any other sports other than beach volleyball which is pretty similar though,” she said. “I grew up playing softball, basketball and swimming. I do wish I never stopped playing some of them around the seventh and eighth grade. I decided that I really wanted to pursue volleyball and play in college. It just got hard juggling so many sports.”

Everyone needs assistance, and Grote and Jensen both received their share in order to get to this position.

“The most helpful people in my volleyball career have been my parents, my sister Marin and my club director and my current club coach, Kenji Mukai,” Grote said. “My parents have always supported me in volleyball and have made it possible for me to be who I am today. My sister Marin always made me a better player and she is also my best friend. My club director, Kenji Mukai, has always believed in what I can do and has always given me opportunities and chances to get better.”

Jensen also has support. “My parents, who got me into the sport have helped me so much and I’m so grateful for that, but also my coaches,” Jensen said. “Brent Asuka has helped me so much as well as Jimmy Lo. I also want to thank Lisa Steenport who was my coach from 11s-13s. She was the one who encouraged me to try setting in 13s and without that encouragement and insight I wouldn’t be where I am today.”

Burroughs Girls Volleyball Reaches CIF Quarterfinals After Sweep

By Rick Assad

 

Crisp passing and solid sets to capable hitters has made the Burroughs High girls’ volleyball team so potent this season.

All were on display Saturday night when the Indians took on Notre Dame Academy in a CIF Southern Section Division III second-round playoff match at Crescenta Valley High’s gym.

The result was a sparkling 25-18, 25-13, 25-20 sweep and with it a trip to the quarterfinals on Wednesday at Village Christian.

Lydia Grote is high off the floor during a CIF second-round sweep of Notre Dame Academy. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

“We didn’t play up to our potential in the first round,” Burroughs coach Edwin Real said of a four-set win over University on Thursday. “When we get the ball to the setter, we did a pretty good job. Shea [McGovern] did a good job tonight of getting the ball to the hitters.”

The game-winning set began with Notre Dame Academy jumping out to a 3-0 lead on an ace from Katy Escun.

But the margin evaporated when Burroughs (26-8 and 13-1 in the Pacific League for a first-place tie with Arcadia) evened it at 5-5 on a service ace from freshman libero/defensive specialist Charlotte Hobson.

It became 10-6 on back-to-back kills from senior opposite hitter Juliana Van Loo, who had 16 kills, 14-10 on McGovern’s quick-push and 16-11 on junior outside hitter Lydia Grote’s winner.

“I feel like I felt more pumped up for this game because it was the second round and we keep going,” said McGovern, a senior setter. “I think we’re really good and I think this team is going far. That’s our goal to win the CIF, for sure.”

Burroughs senior Shea McGovern is a master setter. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

Notre Dame Academy bounced back and drew within 16-13 on a kill from Lucia Folsey.

“They’re a good team, but we got on them quickly,” Real said. “We were in a tournament [with Notre Dame Academy]. It was a different atmosphere. It was a Saturday tournament. I wasn’t worried about losing to them the first time. We’re a better team now.”

Consecutive spikes from Grote made it 18-13.

Grote’s smash put the Indians, who have won 14 of their last 17 matches, ahead 21-18 and when senior opposite hitter/defensive specialist Jolene Soliman sent in a service winner, the set and match was concluded.

After the Regal Gryphons took a 2-0 lead on Escun’s ace in the opening set, Van Loo’s kill shoved the Indians in front 8-6.

Catie Virtue pumped in eight kills in a sweep of the Regal Gryphons. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

Soliman’s ace made it 11-7 as Notre Dame Academy (18-14 and 6-2 in the Sunset League for second place) called for time out.

Grote’s kill made it 15-9, Grote’s laser pushed the advantage to 17-10 and Van Loo’s bullet made it 18-10.

“Our team is very consistent and we all know that consistency is the way that we get to a play,” said Grote, who dropped in 16 kills. “We can’t get to a play without a good serve. Get the ball in the court and we can handle the rest. We just have to start with a good serve and we work on that in practice.”

The Regal Gryphons outscored the Indians 5-2 and came within 20-15, which was capped on an ace from Jasmine Lucas.

Net play is always crucial and it was during Saturday’s sweep. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

Burroughs muscled its way in front 22-16 on Van Loo’s kill and darted ahead 23-17 on a kill from sophomore designated specialist Lily Rogers.

The frame came to an end when Folsey hit a serve that spilled out of bounds.

In the second game the Indians led 4-1 on Grote’s tapper. A kill by Van Loo had the Indians ahead 8-4.

“I think if you look from the start of the season till now, I think we’ve had the most growth of any team that Burroughs volleyball has ever had,” Grote said. “Even these past two weeks, we’ve all been working so hard on what we call sell-out plays which is going for the ball you can’t get, but get a touch on.”

Burroughs led 15-6 when Grote added another kill, but the Regal Gryphons battled back and cut the deficit to 16-10 on a kill from Melissa George.

Sophomore outside hitter Catie Virtue’s tapper made it 18-10 and when Folsey’s attempt tickled the net, it was 20-12 as Notre Dame Academy asked for time.

A Virtue (eight kills) tapper put the Indians in front 23-13 and when Grote rifled a clean winner, Burroughs pulled ahead two sets to none.

Burroughs Girls Volleyball CIF Playoff Run Starts Off Well

By Rick Assad

 

For roughly three quarters of Thursday night’s CIF Southern Section Division III first-round playoff match, the Burroughs High girls’ volleyball team pretty much dominated visiting University.

The four-setter was claimed by the Indians 25-17, 22-25, 25-18, 27-25, but it could easily have spilled over to a fifth game.

The fourth set was a classic and knotted at 25-25, and it eventually boiled down to the final two points.

“We had trouble getting the ball to the setter. Once we got the ball to the setter, our hitters are pretty hard to stop,” Burroughs coach Edwin Real said.

Lydia Grote serves in a four-set CIF playoff win over University. Photo By: Edward Tovmassian

Junior outside hitter Lydia Grote collected both points to secure the win and a second-round match against Notre Dame Academy on Saturday.

The Indians played Notre Dame Academy and lost in five sets in August.

It will be played at 6 p.m. and the Indians will be the host, but it will be played at Crescenta Valley High because their gym is being used for homecoming.

“We’ve got one day to practice,” Real said of the turnaround. “We’ve played them before in a tournament [Molten Classic] and we’re going to look at that tape.”

The Indians surged ahead 6-1 in the fourth game and led 10-5 on a kill from senior opposite hitter Juliana Van Loo.

Grote’s spike made it 15-10, but consecutive aces from Trojans sophomore outside hitter Kiana Zarghalami cut the lead to 15-14 and Grote’s hitting error evened it at 15-15.

“In the first set I thought we were all there,” said Grote, who had a match-best 25 kills. “We were all ready. In the second set we kind of let that drop. Took it for granted. In the third set we pulled it back together again.”

Shea McGovern is about to deliver a set in a CIF match against the Trojans. Photo By: Edward Tovmassian

Grote’s spike tied it at 16-16 and an ace from senior setter Shea McGovern made it 17-16.

Van Loo’s tapper put the Indians in front 18-16 and Grote’s softie pushed it to 19-16.

“We’re definitely happy that we won, but I know and we know that we can play a lot better,” said Van Loo, who added 11 kills. “Going into Saturday we’re going to have to step up our game.”

Van Loo expected the first-rounder to be tough.

“I knew that it would go a fourth or a fifth because they’re a good team,” she said.

Van Loo’s kill shoved Burroughs (25-8 and 13-1 and a tie for first in league) ahead 22-21, but a kill from Trojans junior outside hitter Lily Krongold evened it at 22-22.

It was tied 3-3 in the opening set on Grote’s winner, but the Indians then moved ahead 7-4 on a spike from senior middle blocker Maggie Harris.

“I think we were able to hold it together,” Grote said of the match. “We came together and played together and played like a team. We have to play as one unit.”

Junior middle blocker Camila Sanchez-Tellez returns one across the net against University. Photo By: Edward Tovmassian

It became 8-8 on Van Loo’s dagger and 15-10 on a tapper from sophomore outside hitter Catie Virtue.

Grote’s kill made it 17-12 and 20-14 on an ace from senior libero Caitlin Lim.

A service ace from Virtue made it 23-17 and a bullet from Grote gave the Indians the set.

Grote’s kill leveled it at 3-3 in the third frame and Van Loo’s spike evened it at 5-5.

Grote’s dagger made it 9-6 and an ace from sophomore defensive specialist Lily Rogers supplied the Indians with a 13-10 cushion.

Back-to-back aces from McGovern extended the lead to 18-11 and Grote’s kill handed the Indians a 19-14 lead.

A kill from Burroughs sophomore defensive specialist Reese Coblentz made it 20-14 and the Indians sealed it when senior opposite hitter/defensive specialist Jolene Soliman served up an ace.

The Indians jumped to a 3-1 lead in the second set when Van Loo and Harris combined on a block.

An ace from Soliman pushed Burroughs’ lead to 10-5 and an ace from Rogers made it 13-7. A kill from Van Loo made it 15-11 and later 17-17 on a tapper from Van Loo.

University (15-16 and 6-4 for third place in the Pacific Coast League), which is located in Irvine, captured eight of the next 13 points as junior opposite hitter Serena Choi’s kill won the set.

“The experience as far as Burroughs goes, they’ve made the playoffs,” University coach Garry Currier said. “These girls have never been to the playoffs. It’s been nine years and this would have been 10 years. It [the match] could have gone either way.

Burroughs Girls Volleyball Needs Four Sets Against Rival Burbank

By Rick Assad

 

Prior to the Burbank High girls’ volleyball team facing visiting Burroughs on Thursday night in the Pacific League regular-season finale, each had played splendidly over the course of many matches.

The Bulldogs had captured six of seven while the Indians won 11 of 14, so the showdown was expected to be tight.

Though Burroughs prevailed 25-16, 25-21, 21-25, 25-13, Burbank played with enthusiasm, grit and determination, but simply couldn’t overcome Juliana Van Loo and Lydia Grote, who paced the Indians.

Both squads will have its season continue in the CIF Southern Section playoffs which begin next week.

Burbank huddles during a time out in Thursday’s clash with visiting Burroughs. The Indians won in four sets. (Photo by Francesca LaFratta)

Grote opened the fourth set for the Indians, who tied for the league title with Arcadia, by scoring the first four points and the lead then swelled to 7-2 on Van Loo’s spike.

“I tried to make myself really calm,” said Grote, a junior outside hitter who had 14 kills. “I try not to get too over-excited. You don’t engage in the crowd. You don’t engage in other team’s stuff. You just have to focus on your team, your side of the court.”

Another winner from Van Loo made it 11-4 as the Bulldogs (14-15 and 9-5 in league) asked for time out.

Sophomore outside hitter Catie Virtue’s back-to-back spikes then pushed the Indians’ advantage to 13-4.

Van Loo and junior middle blocker Camila Sanchez-Tellez later combined on a block for a 14-4 edge.

Virtue’s dagger made it 16-4 and Van Loo’s winner gave the Indians (23-7 and 13-1 in league) an 18-5 cushion.

Sophomore defensive specialist Lily Rogers added a kill for the Indians, who surged ahead 18-8 and when Grote tossed in a spike, it was 21-10.

“Our motto this year has been road to rings because we want that CIF ring,” Grote said. “I think this is the best team that Burroughs volleyball has ever had. If we play Burroughs volleyball, I think we can do it.”

Senior defensive specialist Ava Cannon’s winner made it 24-13 and Van Loo’s bullet gave the Indians the set and match.

The opening frame was tied at 1-1, 2-2, 5-5, 6-6 and 7-7 before the Indians pulled ahead 14-9 Virtue’s service ace which forced Burbank to ask for time.

Virtue then added an ace that made it 15-9 and Rogers contributed a service winner for a 17-11 cushion.

“We had trouble with the service. Just couldn’t get the ball to the hitters,” Burroughs coach Edwin Real said of the third set. “Shea really started to set a little bit better. I told her to focus on her setting and not so much on her blocking. Just worry about your setting.”

McGovern is a senior setter and the quarterback or point guard on the floor for the Indians.

Senior outside hitter Amaya Broyls (seven kills and 11 digs) then cut the lead to 21-16 with a kill for the Bulldogs.

The Indians claimed the next four points as Virtue added a kill and an ace, Sanchez-Tellez a spike and Broyls hit the ball out of bounds for the set.

“Overall I’m pleased with how the season went,” Real said. “Just that one match against Arcadia was a little dip. We’re a lot better than that now.”

That initial meeting with the Apaches took place on Sept. 11 as the Indians lost in four sets.

Burroughs then bounded ahead 5-2 in the second set after Grote and senior middle blocker Maggie Harris had a combined stuff.

The Bulldogs came within 8-5 on a kill from junior outside hitter Katie Treadway (match-high 17 kills with four aces and 10 digs), but Virtue’s tapper gave the Indians a 9-5 lead.

Burbank moved ahead 13-10 on Treadway’s winner, but it was tied at 13-13 when Rogers served an ace.

Grote’s laser made it 17-14 in favor of the Indians as the Bulldogs asked for play to be halted. An ace from junior middle blocker/opposite hitter Leah Tawil (two kills and two aces) leveled it at 17-17 and then 21-21 on a kill from Broyls.

“We had some good momentum going in,” Burbank coach Karl Rojo said. “I thought our passing was a little bit better. We started executing in the slots we were giving them.”

Rojo said the start in the fourth set made it difficult. “The fourth was tough,” he noted. “They came out with a lot of firepower. We just couldn’t respond back. We need to capitalize on the chances we have, especially our hitters.”

Virtue’s smash made it 22-21 and Van Loo’s kill pushed the lead to 23-21 as the Bulldogs asked for time.

“After Arcadia we knew we had two more games to go,” said senior opposite hitter Van Loo, who finished with a team-best 16 kills. “We’re just going to push for the win. That showed in the first, second and fourth set.”

Van Loo’s service winner made it 24-21 and a mishit from Treadway handed the set to the Indians.

“I think this team is really great,” Van Loo said. “Our passing. Our setting and hitting is consistent. I think we can be even better and we can do well in the playoffs.”

The third game was tied 2-2 on an ace from Treadway and 4-4 on a kill from senior defensive specialist Izzy Sanchez.

Senior middle blocker/opposite hitter Olivia Price (five kills) had a spike that evened it at 6-6, but the Indians dashed ahead 9-6 on a blast from Van Loo.

An ace from senior opposite hitter Jolene Soliman handed the Indians a 12-8 lead as the Bulldogs called for time.

But the Bulldogs outscored the Indians 8-4 and evened it at 16-16 on a kill from junior setter Ashley Eskander (33 assists with seven digs and three aces) as the Indians asked for a stoppage.

Burbank then scooted ahead 18-16 and 19-16 on consecutive service aces from Treadway.

Grote’s tapper cut Burbank’s lead to 19-17, however, the Bulldogs waltzed ahead 24-20 on Treadway’s kill.

Senior libero/defensive specialist Hannah Cericos added eight digs for the Bulldogs.

Burbank Girls Volleyball Earns Victory Over Crescenta Valley

By Rick Assad

 

Two fruitful sets were followed by two that weren’t which made a fifth game necessary on Tuesday night when Burbank High hosted Crescenta Valley in a Pacific League girls’ volleyball match.

The clincher was truly gratifying as the Bulldogs prevailed 25-23, 25-22, 17-25, 20-25, 15-11.

Paced by Katie Treadway’s 30 kills, the Bulldogs played arguably their match of the season according to Karl Rojo.

The Bulldogs needed five sets in order to beat the Falcons. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

“This is probably one of the best volleyball matches that we’ve played up until this season,” coach Rojo said. “We had high intensity. We were pretty dynamic with our sets and our swings. Our service team was pretty consistent.”

The fifth set was claimed on a kill from Treadway, who may have played her best match ever.

“I was a little nervous because of the third and fourth sets,” said Treadway, a junior outside hitter who also contributed nine digs and two aces. “I just think we had to keep a good mentality and we all stuck together. It was good that we came back.”

Treadway then added: “I think we kept our energy up and our mentality was the same throughout,” she said. “They were setting me up really well.”

The Falcons pulled ahead 5-2 in the fifth game before the Bulldogs evened it at 6-6 and led 7-6 on a hitting error by senior opposite hitter Teny Noordermeer.

Kayla Pino about to serve for Burbank, which defeated Crescenta Valley. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

Burbank leveled it at 8-8 on a kill from sophomore middle blocker Bianca Hudson (six kills) and it was even at 9-9 on Treadway’s spike.

The Falcons came within 11-10 on a kill from senior outside hitter Kaitlyn Karsten, but the Bulldogs then outscored Crescenta Valley 4-1 with Treadway getting back-to-back winners that made it 12-11 and 13-11.

When Noordermeer’s smash hit the net it became 14-11 and Treadway’s spike gave the Bulldogs (12-14 and 7-4 in league) the set and match.

Burbank nabbed the first set, but it wasn’t easy. Tied at 7-7, 8-8, 9-9, 13-13, 15-15 and 16-16, the Falcons (16-10 and 7-4 in league) eased ahead 20-17 when senior outside hitter Amaya Broyls’ shot drilled the net.

Burbank roared back and came within 21-19 on a kill from Hudson and evened it at 23-23 on consecutive service aces from junior setter Ashley Eskander.

Carmen Camacho-Platas setting up a teammate. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

When Eskander (53 assists, eight aces, 16 digs and three kills) added a third straight ace the Bulldogs raced ahead 24-23 and then captured the game on Treadway’s kill.

The second set was another tight one, as it saw the Bulldogs lead 9-3 on Eskander’s dagger and three straight service aces.

The Falcons, who came in with a five-match winning streak, evened it at 14-14 on an ace from freshman setter Sydney Postelwaite.

Crescenta Valley forged ahead 18-16 on a hitting error by senior opposite hitter Carmen Camacho-Platas (six kills).

Burbank outscored Crescenta Valley 5-1 with Broyls getting a kill. From there, the Bulldogs moved ahead 23-20 on an ace from senior defensive specialist Izzy Sanchez and Treadway’s kill captured the set.

Crescenta Valley pretty much had its way in the third game after bolting to a 12-5 lead on a kill from Noordermeer.

A tapper from Noordermeer made it 15-8 and the cushion was 19-10 on a kill from senior opposite hitter Grace Holland.

Karsten and sophomore middle blocker Emma Glaza combined on a block for the Falcons that made it 22-14 and Holland’s kill saw Crescenta Valley claim the set.

Burbank led the fourth game 5-2 on a kill from Treadway and 8-4 on a spike from Treadway.

The Falcons rallied and moved in front 13-10 on a kill from Karsten, but an ace from Burbank senior libero Kayla Pino (23 digs and three aces) tied it at 14-14.

Crescenta Valley darted ahead 21-19 on junior outside hitter Lizzy Kerman’s ace, pulled in front 24-20 on an service winner from Postelwaite and grabbed the set on Holland’s kill.

Senior middle blocker/opposite hitter Olivia Price added two kills and junior middle blocker/opposite hitter Leah Tawil had three kills with two digs for the Bulldogs.

Burroughs Girls Volleyball Gets by Crescenta Valley in Pacific League Match

By Rick Assad

 

Juliana Van Loo and Lydia Grote are generally the top scorers for the Burroughs High girls’ volleyball team.

On Tuesday afternoon, the pair were just that and combined for 47 kills to help pace the Indians to a 25-13, 24-26, 25-23, 25-16 triumph over visiting Crescenta Valley in a Pacific League match.

In the first and fourth sets the Indians passed the ball extremely well and in the process located their key offensive threats, Van Loo, who had a match-best 26 kills and Grote, who tallied 21.

Catie Virtue finished with seven kills in a four-set win over Crescenta Valley. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

In the clincher, after it was tied 2-2, the Indians pulled ahead 8-4 on a kill from Grote, a junior outside hitter.

The Falcons (6-6 and 2-1 in league) evened it at 8-8.

Another scoring spree followed as Burroughs (4-1 and 3-0 in league) darted in front 14-8 on a spike from Van Loo, a senior opposite hitter.

“For the first three sets, obviously, we were really trying to push to get those leads in the beginning and then by that fourth set we were really determined to get the win,” said Van Loo, a first-team all-league pick.

Consecutive winners from Van Loo made it 16-11 and 17-11, a tapper from sophomore outside hitter Catie Virtue (seven kills) had the Indians ahead 19-13 and two kills from Grote made it 21-14 and 22-14.

Senior libero Caitlin Lim about to set up a teammate. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

A service ace from senior setter Shea McGovern gave the Indians a 24-15 edge and Grote’s spike handed the Indians the set and match.

Burroughs came out in the opening frame and bulled its way ahead 6-2 on Van Loo’s dagger and 11-3 on another spike from Van Loo.

The Indians bolted in front 15-6 on a kill from junior middle blocker Camila Sanchez-Tellez and Grote’s winner pushed it to 19-10.

Van Loo then unloaded two kills as Burroughs extended its advantage to 21-12 and 22-13.

“We talked about being consistent in game three and game four,” Burroughs coach Edwin Real said. “We cut down on some errors. The first game we passed it very, very well. We just had our way. Early in the fourth it was a little suspect, but then we cleaned it up pretty quick.”

Burroughs junior middle blocker Joelle Burras hammers one. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

Burroughs senior defensive specialist Jolene Soliman delivered two straight aces that made it 24-13 and Virtue’s tapper gave the Indians a one-game lead.

The Indians led 8-4 in the second frame on Van loo’s kill.

It became 10-7 on an ace from Burroughs senior libero Caitlin Kim.

Virtue’s kill supplied the Indians with a 14-9 edge, but the Falcons drew within 14-11 on an ace from junior outside hitter Lizzy Kerman, who had nine kills.

It was deadlocked at 16-16 before Crescenta Valley took an 18-16 lead when Grote’s shot hit the net.

The Indians passed the ball especially well in the first and fourth sets against the Falcons. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

The Indians came within 20-18 on Grote’s blast, but the Falcons inched ahead 22-21 on Kerman’s tapper.

It was level at 22-22 on Van Loo’s kill and 24-24 on another Van Loo spike.

The Falcons claimed the final two points on tappers from Kerman and senior opposite hitter Teny Noordemeer.

The Falcons led the third set 5-2 on an ace from sophomore defensive specialist Jamie Santos.

“In game four their big hitters executed,” Crescenta Valley first-year coach Matt Simons said. “They took care of business. Great hitters make great plays. Those two carried them. I don’t think we lost that match. They won that match.”

Crescenta Valley then moved in front 10-6 on a service ace from senior defensive specialist Cathy Dong, however, the Indians came within 13-10 on a kill and two aces from Van Loo.

Junior outside hitter Lydia Grote chipped in with 21 kills for the Indians. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

The Falcons marched in front 17-14 on a rocket from senior outside hitter Kaitlin Karsten (team-high 11 kills), but the Indians took over 21-18 on Van Loo’s kill.

“I’m proud of the way the girls played. We had several close matches in the preseason against good teams. In losses you can learn more than in wins because you’re open to learning,” Simons said.

Virtue’s spike evened it at 21-21 and it was tied at 23-23 on Van Loo’s kill.

A mishit by senior setter Madison Blohm made it 24-23 in favor of Burroughs and Kerman’s shot hit the net for the set.

Burbank Girls Volleyball Swept by Arcadia in Pacific League Match

By Rick Assad

Losing the first game by a mere two points likely set the stage for two more close setbacks as the Burbank High girls’ volleyball team was swept by visiting Arcadia 26-24, 25-19, 25-19 in a Pacific League match on Thursday afternoon.

“I felt like we got off to a good start,” Burbank coach Karl Rojo said. “We were moving the ball around well, but at the end of the first set we just started committing a lot of unforced errors. Those unforced errors didn’t help us out at all.”

Burbank’s Bianca Hudson goes up for the kill. Photo By: Edward Tovmassian

The initial game was deadlocked at 20-20 before the Bulldogs waltzed ahead 21-20 on a kill from senior outside hitter Amaya Broyls, who had a match-best 16 kills and seven digs.

The Apaches stayed poised and calm despite the fact that they trailed.

“I was really excited for the first match, but at the same time too, I don’t like the first matches because it’s just the first part of the game and it’s them getting used to one another,” Arcadia coach Jennifer Estrada said.

Burbank (1-5 and 1-1 in league) then bulled ahead 22-21 on junior outside hitter Katie Treadway’s bullet.

Treadway (eight kills and 15 digs) then saw her serve tickle the net that evened it at 22-22.

Arcadia senior outside hitter Haley Kennedy’s kill made it 23-22 only to see it knotted at 24-24 when Apache senior outside hitter Ayala Plummer’s hit sail out of bounds.

Carmen Camacho-Platas (#19) and Leah Tawil try to block Haley Kennedy’s shot. Photo By: Edward Tovmassian

The Apaches led 25-24 after Broyls drilled the net and the game was secured on a block from Plummer, who had 10 kills.

“My philosophy with them is when I call a time out, is for them to make a mistake if they do, but not make the same mistake twice,” Estrada said. “Move on to the next play. And then I’ll make the adjustment. They learn to move on to the next play instead of dwelling on that play that just happened.”

The early portion of the first set was tight including 4-4 on a kill from Broyls.

Kennedy’s kill gave the Apaches a 12-11 edge, but Burbank then evened it at 14-14 on Treadway’s strike.

The Apaches (5-0-1 and 2-0 in league) soared in front 18-16 on a dagger from sophomore outside hitter Alicia Tsao.

The middle game saw Arcadia push ahead 7-3 when senior opposite hitter Carmen Camacho-Platas walloped the ball out of bounds.

Katie Treadway about to set the ball against the Apaches. Photo By: Edward Tovmassian

A kill from Plummer gave the Apaches a 13-10 edge and it became 19-14 on a winner from senior middle hitter Katie Blastek.

Arcadia then went on a 5-3 spurt that included Kennedy’s service ace that made it 24-17.

The Apaches then took a two games to none advantage when Broyls’ serve ventured past the stripe.

Arcadia’s cushion swelled to 11-5 in the clinching set on Plummer’s kill.

The Bulldogs drew within 14-12 on back-to-back service aces from junior opposite hitter Brandice Hibbard (two kills and two digs).

In short order, the Apaches jetted in front 20-17 and 21-17 on consecutive kills from Kennedy, who led the Apaches with 12.

When Treadway’s liner hit the net, it was 23-18 and the game was captured on Kennedy’s spike.

Burbank junior setter Ashley Eskander had 34 assists and four digs, junior middle blocker Leah Tawil finished with three kills and senior libero Kayla Pino had eight digs.

Burroughs, Burbank Girls Volleyball Ready

By Rick Assad

 

Burroughs High and Burbank share not only proximity, but an unrelenting and fierce rivalry that goes back decades.

The two girls’ volleyball programs also share the proverbial hope of making the CIF Southern Section playoffs.

Both will be without key players lost to graduation like outside hitter Marin Grote, who is playing for the University of Washington and averaged 13 kills a match for the Indians, who went to the second round of the Division III playoffs.

The Bulldogs don’t have outside hitter Melissa Daniel, who will be attending Stanford University, middle blocker Erin Lashkari and opposite hitter Bene Snyder.

Burroughs will miss Marin Grote, but the Indians are stacked with talent. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

Still there is more than enough talent for both teams to compete for the Pacific League banner, according to the respective coaches.

Coach Edwin Real saw the Indians finish 24-7 and 13-1 in league play for the league crown.

The Indians, who are 1-1 this season and will host Burbank on Sept. 18 and visit the Bulldogs on Oct. 31, have claimed two of the last three league championships.

“The team expectations are to contend for the league title,” Real said. “I’m confident that we will make the playoffs.”

Leading the charge will be senior opposite hitter Juliana Van Loo, who was a first-team all-league pick after averaging nearly seven kills per match.

Junior outside hitter Lydia Grote, Marin’s younger sister, will also be counted upon as will senior opposite hitter Shea McGovern and sophomore outside hitter Catie Virtue.

Burbank’s Amaya Broyls is expected to be a leader. Photo By: Edward Tovmassian

Real likes the offense and the team’s closeness.

“We work together and have a lot of hitting options and we play good defense,” he said.

How does Real motivate his club? “We have to remind ourselves of our goals,” he pointed out. “Work to get better each day. Winning will take care of itself.”

Burbank Coach Karl Rojo is counting on senior outside hitter Amaya Broyls, junior setter Ashley Eskander and junior outside hitter Katie Treadway to set the pace for the Bulldogs, who went 17-7-1 and 10-4 for third place in league.

“Looking forward to the season,” said Rojo, whose team lost in the opening round of the Division IV playoffs. “We’ve got a great group of girls. They’ve all bought in this summer. They’re all working hard.”

Rojo added: “We graduated seven seniors,” he said. “Seven seniors again, so they kind of know the system we’ve put forth.”

Rojo said he feels the team, which is 0-4 this season, will be in contention for the league title. “We should be in the top three or the top four,” he said.

What does Rojo like about this group? “One of our main strengths could be our serving,” he said. “Our defensive transitioning is getting better as well. Our counter attacks are improving slightly.”

Other contributors include senior defensive specialist Izzy Sanchez, senior libero Kayla Pino, senior opposite hitter Carmen Camacho-Platas, senior middle blocker Ava Kuiper and junior setter Kassie Gonzalez.

The rest of the squad will be comprised of senior opposite hitter Olivia Price, senior libero Hannah Cericos, junior libero Morgan Bolger, junior middle blocker Leah Tawil and junior opposite hitter Brandice Hibbard.

Burbank Girls Volleyball Drops Four-Setter To Chaminade

By Rick Assad

 

Being mentally prepared and focused are aspects sometimes overlooked in sports when it comes to winning and losing.

On Tuesday afternoon, the host Burbank High girls’ volleyball team seemed to lose its train of thought in the third set which set in motion a 25-20, 22-25, 25-20, 25-17, win by Chaminade in a nonleague match.

“I thought the effort was great,” Burbank coach Karl Rojo said. “Maybe just a lack of focus at the end of sets. Maybe we lost a little effort and focus. Our service errors didn’t help.”

Rojo said that everything should be okay, given that it was the team’s first match and then added: “I think we’re fine. Just the mental effort,” he noted.

In that third game, the Bulldogs led 3-2, but fell behind 10-7 when junior libero Gillian Yee unloaded a service ace.

The Bulldogs passed the ball especially well in the first two sets against visiting Chaminade. Photo By: Edward Tovmassian

A kill from Burbank senior outside hitter Amaya Broyls cut the gap to 14-10.

The Bulldogs moved within 16-12 on a winner from junior setter Ashley Eskander (56 assists with nine digs and two service aces).

When Burbank senior middle blocker Olivia Price and Broyls combined on a block it became 16-13 and a kill from Broyls made it 16-14.

“We were really getting good serve receive passes and that really helped Ashley get good sets for our hitters,” said Broyls, who had 13 kills with 15 digs of the first two sets versus the final two sets.

Broyls went on: “We lost some focus,” she pointed out. “We try to move on from our mistakes. We try to stay calm and stay focused.”

Burbank drew within 18-16 on a kill from junior outside hitter Katie Treadway (team-high 14 kills with 16 digs and one ace), but the Eagles (1-1) went on a 7-4 spurt including a spike from senior outside hitter Bryce Van der Valk for the set.

The action was fast and furious. Photo By: Edward Tovmassian

“We noticed that they were missing a lot of serves,” Van der Valk said. “It is hard to stay focused when you’re ahead.”

The second set was knotted at 3-3, 4-4 and 5-5 before Burbank (0-1) took command 14-10 on a winner from senior opposite hitter Carmen Camacho-Platas.

It became 19-17 in favor of Burbank on a kill from Broyls, 23-21 on an ace from Camacho-Platas and 25-22 on a service winner from Broyls.

Burbank’s Amaya Broyls is about to pass the ball versus the Eagles. Photo By: Edward Tovmassian

The opening set saw the Bulldogs march in front 9-5 on a spike from Broyls, who is the catcher on the softball team.

Again the scoring went back and forth with the Bulldogs eventually pulling ahead 17-14 on a kill from Broyls.

It was even at 18-18 before the Eagles surged ahead 21-18 on a winner from freshman outside hitter Paulina Darby.

Chaminade finally secured the game on an ace from Van der Valk.

“About halfway through the third set I think we were a little bit more disciplined,” Chaminade coach Cory Chandler said of the latter portion of the match. “What I sensed was that we played our game.”

The fourth set was controlled by Chaminade which led 9-4 on junior middle blocker Alexi Whitfield’s kill.

A winner from freshman outside hitter Isabella Martinez made it 12-6 and Van der Valk’s dagger pushed it to 17-10.

Ashley Eskander (#18) and Olivia Price try to block Bryce Van der Valk’s spike. Photo By: Edward Tovmassian

Chaminade, which dropped a five-setter to Calabasas on Monday, pushed ahead 19-11 on a service ace from Van der Valk before Burbank came within 24-16 on a kill from Treadway.

“I really think we started to work better as a team,” Chaminade senior setter Sofie Sullivan said of the last two sets. “You have to get a feel for the team [Burbank].”

“I think the hardest thing to do is keep your spirts up,” Chaminade senior libero Adriana Ferraro said. “Every point counts. Every point matters. I think our seniors are the leaders on the court.”

 

Burroughs Girls Volleyball Falls In CIF Second Round To Westridge

By Rick Assad

Try as they might, the Burroughs High girls’ volleyball team came up just short in its CIF Southern Section Division III second-round playoff match against visiting Westridge on Thursday night.

It took five sets in order for the Tigers to tame the Indians 25-17, 21-25, 15-25, 25-21, 15-9.

Senior outside hitter Marin Grote played her final game for the Indians, a loss in the CIF second round to visiting Westridge. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

“We felt pretty good, but we knew that the other team would fight and we got stuck in a couple of rotations and ball control was suspect all night,” Burroughs coach Edwin Real said.

The fifth and decider was tied at 2-2 on senior outside hitter Marin Grote’s kill and 3-3 on Westridge freshman opposite/hitter Kathleen Chen’s net serve.

The Tigers seized control and led 11-7 on a winner from senior opposite/outside hitter Makana Meyer.

Westridge went on a 4-2 spurt and captured the set and match when senior opposite hitter Jewel Musich’s shot missed the target.

“We had trouble passing the ball and getting the ball to our hitters,” Real said. “They were able to get the ball to their hitters.”

After dropping the opening game, the Indians (24-7) rallied and took the second set.

The pace was furious as it took five sets in order for the Tigers to prevail over the Indians. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

It was tied at 1-1 and 2-2, before Westridge (24-6) went on a 9-5 spurt and led 11-7 on a kill from senior outside hitter Allison Martinez.

Burroughs drew within 12-9 on Grote’s dagger, but Chen’s tapper made it 15-9 as the Indians called time out.

“It was a tough loss,” said Grote, who will sign a letter of intent to play volleyball with the University of Washington on Nov. 8. “Overall I’m very pleased with how the season went. I’m so happy to be a part of this team. There was a lot of growth as a team and as individual players progressing.”

Burroughs went on a 5-0 blitz that was capped off by Grote’s stuff that evened it at 15-15.

The Indians burst ahead 17-16 on a winner from junior opposite hitter Juliana Van Loo.

Senior middle blocker Ricki Patenaude gave her best effort and is being double teamed. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

Van Loo’s tapper made it 18-16 while sophomore outside hitter Lydia Grote’s kill pushed the advantage to 19-16.

Van Loo’s blast leveled it at 21-21 and was followed by a block from Lydia Grote that made it 23-21.

Senior middle blocker Ricki Patenaude’s kill gave the Indians a 24-21 advantage and Patenaude’s jam evened the match at one game apiece.

Burroughs seized control of the third set after leading 8-4 on Marin Grote’s spike and 14-10 on Patenaude’s service ace.

It became 20-11 on a kill from junior middle blocker Maggie Harris and 23-12 on another smash from Harris.

The Indians then took two of the last five points including junior outside hitter Lauren Baydaline’s serve that hit the net as they led two games to one.

Close early and late, the fourth game saw the Indians lead 8-6 on Lydia Grote’s kill and 13-11 on Marin Grote’s wallop.

Ricki Patenaude and Marin Grote work in tandem defensively. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

Lydia Grote’s winner made it 17-14, but the Tigers roared back and led 22-20 on senior middle blocker Eryn Boken’s ace.

The Tigers claimed three of the next four points including sophomore libero Krystal Raymundo’s kill that evened the match at two games each.

The initial set went to Westridge which led 7-3 on Martinez’s ace and caused the Indians to ask for time.

Martinez’s kill made it 12-10 and Raymundo’s service ace pushed the advantage to 15-10.

When Martinez tacked on a spike it became 16-10 as Burroughs requested yet another time out.

The Tigers led 18-13 on Martinez’s kill and then 20-14 on Boken’s service winner.

Westridge darted ahead 24-16 on Meyer’s dagger and took the set on Martinez’s spike.