Tag Archives: Jonathan Coleman

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.

Burroughs, Burbank Looking Strong Again in Boys Volleyball

Both Burroughs and Burbank highs have enjoyed success in recent years in boys’ volleyball. Change doesn’t appear to be on the cards this season as both teams are looking to keep those traditions going.

Burroughs

The eight-time defending Pacific League champions went 17-14 overall last year and 10-0 in the league. The Indians lost in the second round of the CIF Southern Section Division 1 playoffs to national power Huntington Beach.

Two starters and seven players overall are back from last season’s team as the Indians have just six seniors on an 18-player roster.

(Photo by© Ross A Benson)

Outside hitter Diego Rosal (6-5) and opposite hitter Cole Kaitz (6-5) are both back.

Senior Jose Solano (5-11) takes over at setter. Backing him up are junior Steven Grandenetti (6-2) and freshman Carter Cotrell (5-11).

Junior Sam Tipton (5-9) takes over the libero spot from the graduated Skyler Bercini. He is backed up junior Luke Kvarda (6-0) and senior Marcus Sta. Maria (5-6).

Junior Jagger Green (6-4) figures to be a key at middle blocker. Seniors Diego Borja (6-7) and Drew Gorsuch (6-0) as well as junior Jack Weerts (6-0), sophomore Conner Burroughs (6-1) could also see time at middle blocker.

Backing up Rosal are freshman Kade McGovern (6-3), as well as juniors Michael Rumfola (6-1), Caleb Reyes (5-11), and senior Azael Estrada (6-2).

Sophomore Sammy Solis (5-11) will back up Kaitz.

“(We’re) hoping for another successful year as we push ourselves thru our nonleague schedule to prepare ourselves for the league,” Coach Joel Brinton said. “We are still in Division 1 for CIF Playoffs and we understand the battle that lies ahead, but we have a great group of guys that are ready to work every day and do a great job of taking everything a day at a time.”

Burbank

The Bulldogs went 22-14 last year to finish third in the league. They lost in the first round of the CIF Southern Section Division 2 playoffs to Long Beach Wilson.

Karl Rojo, who has been the coach of the girls’ team, is now coaching the boys’ team as well.

Senior outside hitter Jonathan Ragheb (6-0) is a key returner and team captain.

 

(Photo by © Ross A Benson)

Senior Rory Rickey (6-2) also returns and will play middle blocker.  He is backed up by junior Dawson Koerper and senior Jonathan Valmonte.

Senior Edward Curren (5-8) is a team captain and the starting libero. Junior Ryan Mehta (5-5) is his backup.

Senior Brian Valmonte (5-10) is the setter and is backed up by junior Brian Villaflor.

Junior Luca Bily (5-11) is a returner who will hold down the opposite hitter position. Senior Paul Won and junior Dylan Vivar offer depth at the position.

Helping out in the outside hitter positions will be freshman Jonathan Coleman, junior Ryan Rickey (5-8), sophomore Kourosh Dolatshahi.

 

 

 

Burbank Boys Volleyball Sweeps Arcadia

By Rick Assad

 

Short and sweet was the Burbank High boys’ volleyball triumph over visiting Arcadia in a Pacific League match on Thursday.

In two previous nonleague setbacks to Hart and El Camino Real, the Bulldogs were extended to five games.

Burbank senior outside hitter Jonathan Ragheb had a match-high 35 kills in a three-set win over Arcadia. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

Not this time as the Bulldogs prevailed 25-22, 25-22, 25-23 and the tone was established early in the first set when the Bulldogs led 5-2 on a kill from junior outside hitter/opposite hitter Ryan Rickey, who finished with 10 winners.

“Today was a lot better. I feel like we were mentally tougher then we were the first two matches that we played,” Burbank coach Karl Rojo said. “We stayed mentally tough. I thought their effort was sound on defense. The effort was there on defense.”

The Apaches (4-3 and 1-1 in league) moved ahead 10-8 on a stuff from Jason Wang only to see the Bulldogs (1-2 and 1-0 in league) power in front 18-14 on a tapper from Rickey that caused Arcadia to ask for time out.

“I was happy with the effort, but there’s always room for improvement,” Rojo said. “The next time we go to Arcadia, it’s going to be tougher.”

This was the ninth consecutive match that the Bulldogs have taken from the Apaches.

“We got a little lackadaisical,” Rojo added. “You can’t take your foot off the pedal.”

Middle blocker Ryan Rickey delivered 10 kills in a three-set sweep of Arcadia. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

Burbank then eased ahead 21-19 on a kill from senior outside hitter Jonathan Ragheb (match-high 35 kills) and closed the set on Rickey’s spike.

“We have a lot of older players and I think we’re all realizing now that we’ve had talent on the team for years, but something we’ve lacked is that grit,” Ragheb said. “We’re all maturing as players and we realize it’s going to take more than two sets.”

Ragheb then spoke about the importance of league wins including one over perennial power Arcadia.

“Every single league game we’re going to come out with the same mentality,” he noted. “It doesn’t matter who we’re playing.”

Ragheb then addressed being a senior. “About leadership, I don’t want to take too much credit,” he said. “Obviously I’m a senior and I’ve been here longer, but everybody has something to contribute.”

The second set proceeded smoothly as the Bulldogs marched in front 4-0 on a winner from Ragheb.

Digging the ball was critical during Burbank’s win over Arcadia. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

Arcadia drew within 6-5 when Ragheb’s rocket sailed out of bounds. It was tied at 10-10 on a kill from Arcadia’s William Wang.

Senior middle blocker/opposite hitter Rory Rickey’s smash leveled it at 12-12, but the Apaches came alive and pulled ahead 16-13 on a spike from William Cheung.

From this juncture the Bulldogs took control and led 20-17 on Ragheb’s dagger. Burbank then led 23-19 on a bullet from junior middle blocker/opposite hitter Luca Bily and came within one point of the set on Rory Rickey’s kill that made it 24-20.

The Apaches drew within 24-22 on Wesley Kam’s service ace, but the Bulldogs took a two games to none advantage when Kam’s serve found the net.

Passing the ball is important and the Bulldogs did a fine job in their Pacific League victory over the Apaches. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

The match-clinching game was tied at 2-2 when a serve from Burbank senior libero Eddie Curren (20 digs) drifted out of bounds.

Arcadia darted ahead 6-3 on a kill from Cheung, but it was even at 6-6 on Rory Rickey’s block.

It was deadlocked at 10-10 on Bily’s stuff, however, the Apaches gained control at 13-11 when Ryan Rickey’s smash went astray.

Burbank then outscored Arcadia 4-1 and powered ahead 15-14 on Ragheb’s winner.

A kill from Arcadia’s Savvas Andreou tied it at 15-15, only to see the Bulldogs pull ahead 19-16 on Ragheb’s rocket.

The Apaches scored three consecutive points that evened it at 19-19, but the Bulldogs waltzed ahead 23-19 on an ace from Rory Rickey (four kills).

Ragheb’s kill made it 24-21, but Arcadia was not done as it climbed within 24-23 on a block from Bryan Liu, who had 11 kills.

The set and match was concluded on a winner from Bily (eight kills) as the team rejoiced in its initial victory of the season.

Senior setter Brian Valmonte had an outstanding afternoon with a match-best 40 assists and freshman outside hitter/opposite hitter Jonathan Coleman added 20 digs.