Tag Archives: Jenny Stepanyan

Burroughs Girls Water Polo Cruise To 9-2 Decision Over Burbank

By Rick Assad

An early first quarter drought by both host Burbank High and rival Burroughs was followed by a lopsided second half as the Indians outscored the Bulldogs 6-1 and waltzed to a 9-2 Pacific League girls’ water polo win on Wednesday afternoon.

With the victory by Burroughs, it improved to 16-5 overall and 4-2 in league action, while Burbank is 10-8 in all matches and 2-4 in league.

Burroughs goalie Emanuella Nathan allowed only two goals to Burbank in a 9-2 win. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

Burroughs senior goalie Emanuella Nathan, who will be playing for the University of the Pacific, had a stellar outing, savings numerous attempts in spectacular fashion.

Burbank junior goaltender Jenny Stepanyan also played well, especially in the first quarter when she blanked the Indians.

“We started out a little slow. It took us a little bit to get our rhythm down and get going,” Burroughs coach Jacob Cook said. “It took the first quarter to get our bearing and then we made it happen. And then we started putting the ball away and doing what we needed to do.”

Three of the match-best five goals that sophomore Clarissa Robles scored came in the second half.

Julie Kim scored Burbank’s only goals. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

A 14-foot attempt by Robles with 1:53 left in the third quarter extended the Indians’ advantage to 5-1.

When Robles canned a five-meter penalty shot with 20 seconds left on the ticker, Burroughs surged ahead 6-1 in the third period.

Robles tacked on another five-meter penalty attempt with 5:35 left in the fourth period as Burroughs drifted in front 8-2.

A five-meter penalty shot by Robles with 5:30 left in the second frame made it 1-0 and a 14-footer by Robles pushed the lead to 3-1 as 49 seconds remained before halftime.

Burroughs freshman Nancy Baylor accounted for two goals and occurred with 4:20 showing in the third stanza on an eight-footer for a 4-1 cushion and with 2:21 remaining in the match that made it 9-2.

Sophomore Emily Callahan’s goal from 14 feet and 3:10 left on the clock pushed the Indians’ lead to 2-1.

Charlotte Jennings (No. 20) is being guarded by Anasheh Abedian. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

“I think it was beautiful defense in the first half for my team, but then they fizzled out. They lost their juice. Lost their energy,” Burbank coach Melani Aghazarian said. “Even though they [Burroughs] were only up by two goals, the girls let it get to their head and they got discouraged.”

The Bulldogs committed several costly shot-clock violations.

“We have to work on being more aware,” Aghazarian said. “The clock is a big thing in water polo. It’s going to take time. We’re rebuilding. I’m proud of them for what they did in the first half.”

Aghazarian then added: “I hope next year we really step it up and hopefully in the league tournament,” she said.

Aghazarian, the first-year coach, isn’t discouraged and envisions brighter days ahead. “It’s a rough score but I’m just trying to get the girls competitive and ready for the tournament,” she noted.

Burbank senior Sera Shabhazian, who three days prior accidentally slammed her thumb in a car door, has been around the program for years and is one of the Bulldogs’ most-skilled players.

Burbank’s Galia Hovsepian is ready to shoot. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

“Today wasn’t my best because of my thumb. I couldn’t play my best and I feel guilty. I sprained my thumb, so I just tried my best,” she said. “This year coach Mel has taught us a lot. Because I want to move on I’m taking a lot of practice and I want to play at LAVC (Los Angeles Valley College). But we’ve improved a lot.”

Junior Angelina Lee’s 14-footer found the back of the net with 6:10 remaining on the clock in the fourth quarter as the Indians led 7-2.

Sophomore Julie Kim scored two goals for the Bulldogs as she tossed in a 12-footer with 4:21 left in the second period that evened it at 1-1 and added a 16-footer with 6:31 remaining in the fourth quarter as the Bulldogs drew within 6-2.

Burbank, Burroughs Girls Water Polo Looks To Improve

By Rick Assad

It’s not exactly beach weather in Southern California with low temperatures and occasional rain, but the Burroughs High and Burbank girls’ water polo season is already under way.

Each team will be looking to better the previous season record-wise and that means a run at the Pacific League crown.

The Indians are coming off a campaign in which they went 9-7 in all matches and 5-3 for third place in league.

Emanuella Nathan, who signed a letter of intent to play for the University of the Pacific, will be a presence for the Indians in goal. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

Burroughs coach Jacob Cook thinks this could be an exciting and a special season for the Indians.

“I have high expectations for the team and I expect them to do well in league and the playoffs,” he said.

A season ago, the Indians were knocked out of the CIF Southern Section Division IV playoffs after losing to El Segundo 10-0.

Defense is always essential and with senior Emanuella Nathan playing goalie, the Indians are going to have an extremely stingy defense, which will in turn allow Burroughs to be in many games.

Nathan, who has been a prep standout for several years, recently signed a letter of intent to play water polo for the University of the Pacific.

Cook will have three other seniors on the team and they include Mallory Thomas, Chloe Caneday and Madeline Lingad.

The trio will be asked to lead the team and also contribute points and defense, which is something each will gladly do.

Burbank senior Sera Shabhazian will be a major contributor and a key to the Bulldogs’ success. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

Five juniors are on the Burroughs squad and they are Angelina Lee, Bella Mucha, Jane Reyes, Chrissy Vlick and Charlotte Jennings.

Three sophomores are on the team and they include Emily Callahan, Kelly Long and Clarissa Robles.

Nancy Baylor is the lone freshman, but is extremely talented, having played for the prestigious Rose Bowl travel team.

“I would say Chrissy, Bella and Clarissa are the ones to look out for,” Cook said of his top players.

The Bulldogs went 7-14 overall and 4-4 in league play for fifth place, and didn’t qualify for the postseason.

Burbank has a first-year coach in Melani Aghazarian, who played water polo for Glendale High, wants to see improvement, even if it takes a little while.

“I just want the girls to work hard and come out at the end really proud of what they’ve accomplished,” she said of this season. “I hope to make CIF for playoffs, but I’m not too worried about it this year. It’s a rebuilding year.”

Aghazarian added: “They’re all trusting of each other and it’s a new experience. I want them to have a really good work ethic,” she pointed out.

Aghazarian also addressed her philosophy. “I think defense wins games. I think defense wins championships in the long run. I am very defense oriented,” she said. “Offense and defense, it’s all important. For offense, I just want the girls to move more, create more opportunities. I’m looking to build a chemistry, which is something they don’t have now.”

The Bulldogs will be paced by four seniors starters: Sera Shabhazian, Anasheh Abedian, Sophia Brice and Michele Mirzoyan.

Junior Jenny Stepanyan will be in the cage and her performance will be one indicator of whether the Bulldogs will post a better record than last season.

The other Bulldog starters include junior Yana Stepanyan and sophomore Julie Kim, and they are also going to have to play well in order for Burbank to make the playoffs.

The rest of the team will consist of Lauren Applebaum, Vana Matevosian, Ananya Katappagari, Galia Housepian, Gabriella Aghajanyan, Ania Simonian and Rachel Tomasek, Stepanyan’s backup in goal.