Tag Archives: Joelle Burras

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.

Burroughs Girls Volleyball Sweep Visiting Burbank

By Rick Assad

 

Over the last seven matches between the Burroughs High and Burbank girls’ volleyball teams, the Indians have won every one, including Tuesday night’s 25-12, 25-22, 25-18 Pacific League win.

The Indians swept the Bulldogs with the help of clean passes. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

With junior outside hitter Lydia Grote showing the way with a match-best 14 kills and senior opposite hitter Juliana Van Loo chiming with seven, the host Indians were dominant.

In the third and final set, Grote opened up with four consecutive kills and Van Loo added two aces.

“In the third set my focus was mainly to play smart,” Grote said. “I knew their setter was front row so I could hit mine better. But I can’t do that without a pass.”

Grote said the team needed to remain calm. “We know what to do and we just gotta focus on our side of the court and not theirs,” she said.

Leah Tawil is about to serve for Burbank. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

Burbank (6-10 and 4-3 in league) took a 7-6 lead on an ace from junior setter Ashley Eskander (11 assists and four aces).

But the Indians (7-3 and 6-1 in league) moved in front 12-7 on a service winner from sophomore defensive specialist Lily Rogers, who had 12 aces.

A kill from Van Loo made it 16-10 and a spike from sophomore outside hitter Catie Virtue (five kills) pushed the lead to 20-15.

“We always gotta focus on the opponent and get off to a fast start because it’s a rivalry game,” Burroughs coach Edwin Real said. “Our energy was at a high level.”

There was a slight dip in the second set for the Indians. “We get into the habit of letting teams get runs on us,” Real said.

Shea McGovern ready to unload a serve for the Indians. (Photo by Ross. A. Benson)

The Indians took the set and match on an ace from freshman libero Charlotte Hobson and a kill from Van Loo.

The match opened with the Indians pulling ahead 9-1 with an ace from Rogers and Grote adding three kills.

Burroughs’ lead became 14-6 with a tapper from junior middle blocker Joelle Burras.

When senior libero Caitlin Kim delivered an ace, the Indians marched ahead 18-7.

Van Loo’s kill made it 20-7 and Van Loo’s dagger pushed it to 21-8. The final two points came on a kill from Grote and a tapper from senior setter Shea McGovern.

Burbank played its best set in the second and led 20-17 on a kill from senior outside hitter Amaya Broyls, who had three digs and two kills.

Net play is always crucial. The indians swept the Bulldogs in a Pacific League showdown. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

The Indians came within 20-18 on a tapper from Virtue and 22-20 on a kill from junior middle blocker Camila Sanchez-Tellez.

Burroughs drew within 22-21 when Rogers served an ace. Another ace from Rogers tied it at 22-22.

“We were pretty relentless in the second set, not giving up,” Burbank coach Karl Rojo said. “Maybe that five-point run that we let up toward the end of the set really killed us?”

Rojo added: “I thought we did fairly well,” he noted, “but we would have done better if we passed better, obviously.”

Sanchez-Tellez and McGovern combined on a block to give the Indians a 23-22 edge and Rogers closed it out with back-to-back aces.

Junior outside hitter Katie Treadway had four kills, two aces and three digs and senior middle blocker Olivia Price had four kills for the Bulldogs.