Tag Archives: Luke Kvarda

Burroughs Boys Volleyball Has Season End On Sweep By Mission Viejo

By Rick Assad

 

A mere six points separated the Burroughs High boys’ volleyball team from knocking off Mission Viejo in a CIF Southern Section Division II second-round playoff match on Thursday night.

But hitting errors and service miscues were simply too much to overcome as the visiting Diablos earned a 28-26, 28-26, 26-24 victory.

In the opening set, the Indians were ahead 13-7 which forced Mission Viejo, which now owns an 11-match winning streak, to ask for time.

This is the third consecutive year that Burroughs, which captured its 10th straight Pacific League title, has fallen in the second round.

Luke Kvarda rises to the occasion for Burroughs, which fell to Mission Viejo in a CIF second-round match. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

The Indians committed 19 service errors across three sets and had 17 service mistakes and hitting errors in the opening set which helped their undoing.

“We preach learning and we didn’t learn,” Burroughs coach Joel Brinton said. “So all year we’ve had an issue with finishing sets. So when we’re up 24-22, you better finish the set, especially in a playoff game.”

Burroughs’ lead swelled to 16-9 when junior middle blocker Troy Outwater and sophomore opposite hitter Kade McGovern teamed up on a block.

The Indians darted in front 17-10 on a kill from junior outside hitter Connor Burroughs.

Mission Viejo (24-5 and 8-0 in the Sea View League) outscored the Indians 9-2 and evened it at 19-19.

But the Indians (20-13 and 11-1 in league) bulled ahead 20-19 on a winner from Burroughs.

Kade McGovern tallied eight kills for the Indians, who lost to the Diablos in three sets. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

Mission Viejo knotted it at 20-20 on a spike from senior opposite hitter Andrew Kim, who led the way for the Diablos with 19 kills, five digs and two blocks.

A tapper from Burroughs put the Indians in front 23-22 as Mission Viejo asked for a stoppage in play.

Another blast from Burroughs, who had a match-best 22 kills, handed the Indians a 24-22 edge.

One more point would secure the first set, but Kim’s kill sliced the lead to 24-23 and when Burroughs delivered a mishit, it was tied at 24-24.

The Indians weren’t done as they led 25-24 on a kill from McGovern (eight kills) only to see the Diablos level it at 25-25 on a service error by Burroughs.

After Mission Viejo moved in front 26-25 on McGovern’s mishit, the Indians tied it at 26-26 on a service error by senior setter Everado Castillo, who had three aces and three digs.

When sophomore libero Cole Kvarda’s serve hit the net it became 27-26 and Kim’s winner sewed up the game for Mission Viejo.

Connor Burroughs finished with a match-high 22 kills for the Indians. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

“We’re a team and whether we’re up by seven or down by seven we have confidence that we can always come through,” Mission Viejo coach Ryan Thurlow said. “There’s 10 seniors here. This is our year to do it. We just started to settle in and pass the volleyball. It’s a very tough place to play. Especially initially. This is a great, great program that they [Burroughs] run.”

The second game was knotted at 2-2 on an ace from senior Caleb Parham (five kills and one block).

It was tied at 4-4 on senior Chad Carter’s errant serve and 6-6 when Burroughs hit the net.

Mission Viejo settled in and led 11-7 on back-to-back winners from Kim. The Diablos moved ahead 13-9 on a tapper from Carter (two digs and two kills).

The Indians then outscored the Diablos 5-1 and tied it at 14-14 on a kill from Burroughs.

A service ace from sophomore setter Carter Cottrell made it 15-14, but it was deadlocked at 15-15 on a mishit from Cottrell.

Mission Viejo dashed in front 20-18 as the Indians, who swept Notre Dame in the opening round on Tuesday, asked for a break in the action.

Sam Tipton, who had 16 digs, makes a valiant effort to save the ball. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

It was knotted at 22-22 on a kill from Kim and when senior Colin O’Brien (six kills and five blocks) tossed in a stuff, the Diablos moved ahead 23-22.

It was tied at 23-23 on McGovern’s spike.

It was even at 24-24 on a kill from Burroughs and level at 25-25 on a tapper from senior outside hitter Luke Kvarda.

Kim’s laser made it 26-25, Kim’s winner pushed Mission Viejo’s advantage to 27-26 and when Kim added one final dagger, the Diablos grabbed the second set.

“There are two words that I tell my guys and everything in life and that’s clutch up,” Thurlow said. “You gotta know that you want the ball. The difference tonight was we wanted the ball when it was 25-25. We wanted to pass it. We wanted to serve it and we wanted to spike it.”

The Diablos seized control 4-1 in the third frame when a hit from Burroughs went out of bounds as the Indians asked for time.

Mission Viejo forged ahead 9-5 on a block from Parham and it became 10-6 on Kim’s kill. The Indians inched within 12-9 on a blast from Burroughs and 14-11 on McGovern’s dagger.

When Kim’s rocket sailed out of bounds, the Indians drew within 14-13 as the Diablos requested time.

O’Brien’s tapper gave Mission Viejo a 15-13 cushion, but the Indians then raced ahead 20-18 on Kim’s mishit.

Kim had consecutive winners that evened it at 20-20, but a hammer from senior middle blocker Jagger Green (seven kills) leveled it at 21-21.

“I think we beat ourselves up a lot,” said senior libero Sam Tipton, who had 16 digs. “Even when we’re up by one, up by two, I think we’re always in control, but it’s either we don’t make a pass for ourselves or that our sets are too far out. I think it’s the errors. We had about 45 unforced errors. A lot of those came later in the games.”

Tipton, who will attend Grand Canyon University and try to walk-on, added: “I think it comes down to self discipline,” he said. “Especially later in the game, I think we played out of character. We preach high, hard and deep and then we saw them swinging really low.”

Kim’s blast made it 22-21 and Outwater’s winner leveled it at 23-23. The Indians squared it at 24-24 on a kill from Burroughs.

The final two points came on a tapper from Parham and a kill from Kim that sealed the game and match.

Senior setter Steven Grandinetti finished with 24 assists for the Indians.

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 Boys Volleyball Eases By South Pasadena In Season Opener

By Rick Assad

 

Sometimes a season opener can go sideways and turn out poorly, which isn’t the way to commence a campaign.

This didn’t happen for the Burroughs High boys’ volleyball team which needed only 68 minutes in order to sweep visiting South Pasadena in a nonleague battle.

The Indians have been the gold standard in the Pacific League, winning nine straight banners, and though not in midseason form, they were good enough to emerge with a win, 25-18, 25-13, 25-17 over the Tigers on Wednesday afternoon.

Louis Zekowski rises high off the floor and is about to smash the ball in a three-game sweep of South Pasadena. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

Junior outside hitter Connor Burroughs laid the ground work after tallying a match-high 16 kills with four of the Indians’ 11 aces.

“I thought there were some good things in that first set that were crisp, but there were kind of the usual first game of the year things that we have to get out of the way,” Burroughs coach Joel Brinton said. “I thought we set the tone in the first game in what we wanted to do and it was nice in the second set that our serving took over the game.”

Brinton then went on: “We’ve got a lot of good guys out there,” he noted. “So they’re going to approach it the right way. There weren’t a lot of learning opportunities out there, hence the time out.”

Brinton asked for stoppage when the Tigers came within 21-15 in the first set, but the Indians rallied and held their ground and captured the initial frame.

Sophomore setter Carter Cottrell is about to pass the ball against the Tigers. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

The third set was knotted at 2-2 before the Indians steamed ahead 7-4 on an ace from sophomore outside hitter/opposite hitter Kade McGovern (nine kills).

McGovern added a spike to make it 8-6 and senior middle hitter Jagger Green collected two blocks that gave the Indians a 10-6 margin.

A stuff from Burroughs handed the Indians a 13-8 advantage and when McGovern added a winner, the lead stretched to 14-8.

McGovern’s kill extended the lead to 16-10 and a spike from junior middle hitter Ellington Simmons pushed the cushion to 16-11.

When Burroughs added a kill, the Indians surged ahead 20-13 and an ace from sophomore setter Carter Cottrell (31 assists) made it 22-14 as South Pasadena asked for a time.

Kade McGovern delivered nine kills for the Indians in a season-opening win. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

Junior outside hitter Malek Sadi’s rocket made it 23-14 and when senior outside hitter/opposite hitter Evan Trancoso tossed in a kill, the set and match was over.

In the opening game, the Indians dashed ahead 4-2 on a blast from junior middle hitter Troy Outwater and when Cottrell contributed an ace, the lead expanded to 5-2. A service winner from Burroughs pushed the advantage to 8-3 for the Indians.

Senior outside hitter Luke Kvarda’s kill extended the lead to 9-4 and back-to-back service aces from Outwater made it 11-4.

McGovern’s dagger and a tapper from Burroughs supplied the Indians with a 14-6 lead as the Tigers requested a stoppage in play.

Connor Burroughs set the tone offensively for the Indians with a match-high 16 kills. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

Consecutive kills from Burroughs saw the Indians dash in front 16-9 and when Outwater added a laser and senior libero Sam Tipton (six digs) contributed an ace, the lead swelled to 18-9.

A block and a kill from Burroughs then handed the Indians a 21-11 cushion and a kill from senior middle hitter/outside hitter Ricky Kahlon made it 21-15 as the Tigers asked for time.

Burroughs then outscored South Pasadena 4-3, including the clinching kill by McGovern.

The middle game saw the Indians burst ahead 5-3 on a service winner from Cottrell. An Outwater kill made it 8-6 and a spike from Burroughs gave the Indians a 9-7 cushion.

McGovern’s ace put the Indians in front 10-7 and another service winner by Kvarda pushed the lead to 13-9.

A taper from Burroughs gave the Indians a 15-10 edge, McGovern’s dagger extended it to 17-11 and a Burroughs bullet saw the Indians glide ahead 18-12.

Consecutive service aces by Burroughs saw the Indians draw ahead 22-12. A combined block by Outwater and Sadi made it 23-12, a Burroughs kill stretched the Indians’ edge to 24-12 and Sadi’s winner made it a two games to none lead.

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.