Tag Archives: Malek Sadi

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.