Tag Archives: Morgan Bolger

Burroughs Girls Volleyball Tested By Rival Burbank, Victorious In Four Sets

By Rick Assad

With nearly two sets completed, the Burroughs High girls’ volleyball team had its back against the wall against longtime rival Burbank.

The Bulldogs were ahead 24-21 in the second set and one more point would give the visitors a two games to none lead in this Pacific League match.

Quicker than a blink of an eye, the Indians rallied and tallied five straight points and evened it at one set each and then took the next two games for a 15-25, 26-24, 25-16, 25-10 triumph on Thursday night and capped the league undefeated.

Catie Virtue is seen digging a ball for Burroughs, which held off Burbank in four sets. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

Two days earlier, Burroughs claimed their third consecutive league banner and now await this weekend’s pairings and seedings from the CIF Southern Section.

“We don’t give up, that’s for sure,” longtime Burroughs coach Edwin Real said. “We’ve come back against teams this year, so we’ve been there. We weren’t panicked.”

What did Real tell the team after losing the first set? “I told them we’re going to be just fine. Just stay calm and composed,” he said.

Burroughs (18-5 and 14-0 in league) sprinted to a 5-3 lead on a kill from senior middle blocker Camila Sanchez-Tellez.

“It feels great. It was on our whiteboard. We could have very easily said we won the league at 13-1, but the girls wanted to go undefeated,” Real said of Thursday’s motivation.

The Bulldogs are about to return the ball to the Indians’ side. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

Burbank (13-16 and 8-6 for fourth place in league) evened it at 7-7 on a service ace from senior setter Ashley Eskander.

“I think we just got a little bit in our heads,” said Eskander, who finished with 27 assists, nine digs, seven kills and five aces. “I think the crowd kind of just got to us and we made silly mistakes, and they came out strong and they just pushed us.”

Eskander continued: “I think we came out stronger than we ever did before,” she noted. “And that worked to our advantage. I definitely think we’re in the underdog situation and we have that nothing to lose mentality. We fought and we played our game.”

A push from senior outside hitter Lydia Grote, who had a match-best 23 kills with two blocks, gave the Indians, who have defeated the Bulldogs 10 straight matches, an 11-8 lead.

A kill from sophomore defensive specialist Charlotte Hobson (nine digs and two aces) made it 15-13, but Burbank evened it at 17-17 on a spike from junior opposite hitter Tamryn Betts.

The Indians are ready for the Bulldogs’ serve. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

“I thought we were passing pretty well. I thought our swings were in all rhythm and moving the ball around,” Burbank coach Karl Rojo said. “Everything was flowing well as a team in that first set. It was a little heartbreaking losing that second set, but I thought we rolled over any mistakes that we made in the third set.”

The Bulldogs then outscored the Indians 4-1, that included an ace from senior outside hitter Katie Treadway.

“When I see everyone giving 100 percent effort, even of we make little mistakes, honestly, it’s fulfilling and I feel proud of my team and it feels good,” said Treadway, who ended the match with 13 digs, six kills and three aces. “Sometimes it’s hard to get everyone on the same page and get the same energy. But we try our best to keep everyone engaged, to keep everyone in the game, but sometimes it gets a little messy.”

Treadway’s bullet made it 24-21, but Burroughs went on a 5-0 blitz with junior outside hitter Catie Virtue (eight kills) collecting three spikes while sophomore middle blocker Bella Lomet added a kill and a block that sealed the set.

The first set was tied 1-1, 2-2, 3-3, 4-4, but the Bulldogs marched in front 9-5 on Treadway’s kill.

Another laser from Treadway pushed the lead to 14-6 and a blast from junior middle blocker Bianca Hudson (five kills) made it 16-8.

Katie Treadway finished with 13 digs and six kills for Burbank. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

Senior middle blocker Leah Tawil (six kills with two blocks) added a dagger as the Bulldogs led 18-10 and it became 22-13 on a push from Eskander.

Treadway’s bullet made it 23-15 and when Grote’s ball sailed out of bounds, Burbank led 24-15. Grote’s swing then hit the net for the final point.

Like the initial frame, the third set was tight early with the score being knotted 1-1, 2-2 and 3-3 before the Indians seized control 7-5 on a stuff from junior outside hitter Camila Palma.

A tapper from Virtue made it 10-7 as the Bulldogs needed time out. Virtue’s back-to-back kills made it 12-9.

Grote’s tapper pushed the margin to 15-12 and four kills and a block by Grote made it 22-13. Grote’s kill gave the Indians a 24-14 lead and an errant serve secured the set.

The fourth set was runaway from the outset as the Indians led 8-1 on Grote’s stuff. A kill from sophomore setter Meagan Lynch made it 11-2.

Virtue’s spike saw the Indians dart ahead 16-4 and Palma’s winner made it 18-4 as the Bulldogs needed time.

Palma’s kill extended Burroughs’ lead to 19-7 and Grote’s kill made it 21-8. Another kill from Grote gave the Indians a 23-9 edge and a kill from senior opposite hitter Joelle Burras delivered Burroughs the set and match with an ace.

Senior libero/defensive specialist Morgan Bolger contributed 11 digs for the Bulldogs.

Burroughs Girls Volleyball Requires Three Sets Versus Host Burbank

By Rick Assad

It was extremely loud and it was pretty much jammed-packed with excited fans on both sides of the gymnasium when the Burbank High girls’ volleyball team hosted rival Burroughs on Tuesday night.

In slightly more than an hour, much of the yelling subsided on the Bulldogs’ side as the Indians took matters in their own hands and eventually pulled out a three-set sweep of pesky Burbank, winning 25-15, 25-17, 25-17 in a Pacific League match.

Digging balls are crucial because it keeps the play alive and allows an opportunity to score. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

It seemed no one could handle senior outside hitter Lydia Grote, who finished with a match-high 20 kills, and her dominance began in the first game.

“What we try to focus on, especially in matches like these, is that we just focus on our side of the court and our bench and our cheers and we focus on what we can do before the game,” said Grote, who will be attending the University of California at Berkeley, where she will play on the women’s volleyball team. “We can’t focus on what other people are doing. What the outside factors are. We have to focus on our benefits and what we do best.”

Grote scored two of the first three points for the Indians, who moved ahead 3-0. When Grote picked up four kills, Burroughs (10-4 and 7-0 in league) forged a 6-2 edge. Grote’s winner made it 8-2 and forced the Bulldogs (8-10 and 4-3 in league) to ask for time out.

Is this the best Grote’s played this season? “I’d say it’s up there,” she noted. “I’d say Arcadia and this game were my best, but as a team, the last two games have been crucial for us.”

Burroughs sophomore middle blocker Bella Lomet rises and is about to add a spike in a match against the Bulldogs. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

Grote’s spike made it 9-3 and another kill by Grote handed the Indians a 10-4 advantage.

Burroughs senior middle blocker Camila Sanchez-Tellez’s kill pushed the lead to 11-6.

Grote’s tapper made it 16-8 and junior middle blocker Emily Caneday’s push saw the Indians lead 20-10.

Is this the best Burroughs team Grote’s played on?

“I have to say every team that I’ve played on has their benefits,” she said, “but I’d say this is the strongest team I’ve played on at Burroughs. We’re just very adjustable. Whoever is on the court, maintain a high level of play.”

Junior outside hitter Catie Virtue’s spike made it 23-12, but consecutive aces from Burbank senior setter Ashley Eskander trimmed the lead to 24-15. Eskander’s errant serve gave Burroughs the initial set.

Burroughs did a great job setting up its hitters, including Lydia Grote, who had a match-best 20 kills. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

“We just try and slow the game down as much as we can,” Eskander said of playing against Burroughs. “Take every point, point-by-point and go from there. We try to not get too far in our heads. Obviously it’s hard, but we just try our best. We try to remain calm.”

Early in the second game, Burbank jumped ahead 3-1 on a kill from senior outside hitter Katie Treadway, who had four kills and nine digs.

Grote’s laser evened it at 3-3 and the lead ballooned to 6-4 on another kill from Grote. Sophomore setter Meagan Lynch’s winner gave the Indians an 8-6 cushion.

Burbank then rallied and seized a 12-11 advantage on a service winner from Eskander.

Katie Treadway delivered four kills and nine digs for the Bulldogs in a match with the Indians. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

“We can always work on our defense,” said Eskander, who had 15 assists, eight digs, six kills and six aces of what the team needs to do better. “Definitely more consistent on serving, but I think our offense needs to step it up a bit. Just play hard.”

When Burroughs senior defensive specialist Natalie Hooper added an ace, the Indians bolted ahead 14-12.

It became 15-13 on Grote’s kill and senior setter Milana Abrahamian’s service ace made it 18-13 as the Bulldogs requested time.

A kill from senior opposite hitter Joelle Burras saw the Indians dash ahead 21-16 and a spike from Grote was the set winner.

The Indians took control of the third set 5-2 on an ace from junior defensive specialist Reese Coblentz.

Burbank’s Bianca Hudson rises to the occasion. The junior middle blocker had two blocks and a kill. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

An ace from Burbank senior setter Kassandra Gonzalez trimmed the lead to 8-6.

When Eskander added her potent, super-quick push, the Bulldogs bulled ahead 9-8.

“This year, there’s an emphasis to treat every game the same. Maybe they were a little amped up because it’s a crosstown game,” Burbank coach Karl Rojo said about the longtime rival. “We try to treat it like a regular match.”

Rojo spoke about some of the problems. “The unforced errors definitely did not help out at all,” he said. “It killed our momentum when we had good momentum. Like serving into the net when we get a good kill. That should not be happening with our team. The unforced errors like the communication errors when the ball drops in between players. That should not be happening.”

A block from Sanchez-Tellez gave the Indians an 11-9 lead and Grote’s kill made it 14-11.

Back-to-back aces from Eskander evened the set at 14-14, but Grote’s kill made it 18-14 and another winner from Grote pushed the lead to 21-15.

Virtue’s kill made it 23-17, Virtue’s tapper saw the Indians inch ahead 24-17 and a block from Sanchez-Tellez sealed the set and match.

Senior defensive specialist/libero Morgan Bolger added nine digs with an ace, junior opposite hitter Tamryn Betts tossed in three kills, junior middle blocker Bianca Hudson had two blocks and one kill and junior sophomore libero/defensive specialist Makalya Kim contributed two digs for the Bulldogs.

Burbank will conclude its regular-season schedule with a visit to Burroughs on October 17.

Burbank Girls Volleyball Lose To Crescenta Valley In Four Sets

By Rick Assad

It was only the first set and there would be at least two more sets for the Burbank High girls’ volleyball team.

In retrospect, this set proved vital because it helped catapult visiting Crescenta Valley to a 27-25, 18-25, 25-14, 25-18 Pacific League victory on Tuesday.

Hoping to get out quickly, the Bulldogs dashed ahead 23-16 when junior opposite hitter Tamryn Betts (nine kills and five digs) collected a spike.

“It’s a tough one to swallow, but with the mental toughness that we have and the resiliency that we have, we’ll bounce back, go back in the lab and work hard again,” Burbank coach Karl Rojo said of his team’s tough loss.

The Falcons would get to within 23-17 on a winner from junior outside hitter Jamie Santos.

A spike from senior setter/opposite hitter Isabella Doom would make it 23-18, but Burbank would ease in front 24-18 on a stuff from junior middle blocker Bianca Hudson (six kills with five blocks).

Katie Treadway, shown in a match against Providence, had a team-best 11 kills in a four-set loss to Crescenta Valley. Photo by Ross A. Benson)

Crescenta Valley drew within 24-20 on an ace from Santos and 24-21 on a kill from Santos.

When Doom and senior middle blocker/opposite hitter Laine Stubbs combined on a jam, the Falcons were within 24-22.

A tapper from Stubbs saw the visitors get within 24-23 as the Bulldogs (7-9 and 3-2 in league) asked for time.

Doom’s spike evened it at 24-24 and a service winner from Santos pushed the Falcons ahead 25-24.

A kill from senior outside hitter Brandice Hibbard (10 kills and six digs with an ace) leveled it at 25-25.

Crescenta Valley (19-8 and 4-1 in league) would capture the next two points including the set-winner by Santos (15 kills and four aces).

The initial set was close early on and included five ties before a winner from senior middle blocker Leah Tawil (four kills and one block) handed the Bulldogs an 8-6 lead.

A kill from Betts evened it at 10-10 and a spike from Tawil tied it at 12-12.  It would be deadlocked at 14-14 on Doom’s blast.

The Bulldogs would go on a 10-4 spurt and lead 24-18 that included kills from Hudson that made it 16-14 as the Falcons asked for time, and senior outside hitter Katie Treadway’s dagger for a 19-15 edge.

Senior setter Ashley Eskander, shown in a recent nonleague match against Providence, had 40 assists and 22 digs in a loss to the Falcons. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

“The first set I thought we were doing good, but we were making little mistakes that kept adding up, so we kind of lost our momentum a little bit and we couldn’t get back into it. In the second set we did a lot better,” said Treadway, a senior outside hitter who had a team-high 11 kills with five aces and 25 digs. “We need to be calm and execute.”

Treadway then added: “For me, I need to remember this game and know what I did wrong and what we can do better,” she noted. “And what I notice that I can talk to the team about. And what we can do better for the next game. How we need to be on the same page mentally and our plays. But after this day, though, we forget about it.”

The second frame saw the Bulldogs bolt ahead 10-0 on a kill from Treadway. “If we lose a set, I try to get their energy up and try to get them excited,” she pointed out. “Me and Ashley [Eskander] try to calm each other down. We also need to know that we need to be more aggressive.”

Eskander is a senior setter and one of the team leaders who finished the match with 40 assists and 22 digs.

The Falcons answered with five straight points that cut the lead to 10-5, but Burbank still held a 14-7 lead when Hibbard added a kill.

A spike from Hudson gave the Bulldogs a 17-11 cushion and it became 19-11 on a service winner from Treadway as the Falcons asked for a halt in the action.

A kill from Betts made it 21-13, Treadway’s bullet pushed the advantage to 24-17 and a spike from Betts evened the match at one set each.

The third game was tied 3-3 on an ace from Burbank junior setter Kassandra Gonzalez, but the Falcons forged a 7-4 lead on a kill from senior middle blocker Ellie Song.

Crescenta Valley darted in front 10-7 on a kill from senior outside hitter Lizzy Kerman (match-best 17 kills with four aces) and 13-8 on a winner from junior libero Emily Boghozian.

“When we started out, we seemed a little rattled, a little nervous. We just kept telling the girls to stay calm. Stay calm. Take a deep breath,” Crescenta Valley coach Matt Simons said. “In that first game, the pressure came off because we were down so much. They stopped making silly mistakes. The girls played with a confidence that they didn’t play with earlier in the set.”

Simons went on: “When we were passing well, we were able to run our offense and the game is so much easier,” he said. “When we pass well, we’re able to run all aspects of the offense. It kind of stabilizes us.”

Doom’s kill made it 14-8 and when Doom (18 assists with four kills and four blocks) tossed in another spike, the Falcons were in front 18-8.

Back-to-back aces by Santos made it 23-11 as the Bulldogs needed time to regroup. A stuff from junior middle blocker Emma Glaza for the Falcons put them ahead 24-11 and a kill from Kerman salted the set.

An ace from junior libero Hannah Tanita handed the Falcons a 4-2 lead in the fourth set, but the Bulldogs rallied and moved ahead 7-5 on an ace from Gonzalez.

Crescenta Valley settled down and led 13-9 on a kill from Santos and 16-12 on an ace from Tanita.

“On any given day, a different girl can be the hero,” Simons said. “We don’t have one girl that we rely on. That we lean on. That balanced attack really helps.”

The Falcons darted ahead 19-15 on a kill from Kerman and 21-15 on a service winner from Kerman.

Crescenta Valley inched in front 23-16 on a kill from Santos and Doom’s rocket was the set and match winner.

Senior defensive specialist/libero Morgan Bolger added 25 digs for the Bulldogs, while junior setter Cadie Carlson had 15 assists and two blocks for the Falcons.

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.

Burbank Girls Volleyball Falls in Four Sets To Providence

By Rick Assad

 

One set does not a match make, as the Burbank High girls’ volleyball team learned in its season opener, a nonleague affair against Burbank-based Providence on Monday afternoon.

After winning the initial set, the Bulldogs struggled over the next three as the visiting Pioneers earned a 14-25, 25-22, 25-20, 25-14 victory.

Was what happened to Burbank merely taking its foot off the gas pedal or merely taking Providence lightly after a relatively easy first-game win?

It may not have been either, but something happened after the first set as the Pioneers seized control and never let up.

Burbank’s Gabriella Damroze rises and spikes the ball in a four-set loss to Providence (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

The first game saw the Bulldogs dart ahead 5-3 on a kill from senior outside hitter Katie Treadway, who had a solid outing, per usual.

“I think we really lost our energy there and I think we just lost our momentum and with their serves, we couldn’t get back to it,” Treadway said of the struggles the Bulldogs encountered during the last three sets.

Treadway added: “After the first set, I think we did really good and we were just expecting to do the same thing, but it didn’t play out like that,” she noted. “Providence came out and they were scrappy.”

Treadway said the team felt good about itself after the initial set. “I think there was a little bit of overconfidence because in the first game we did really good,” she pointed out. “We need to have that confidence, but we need to stay with the game and don’t think too big. Just keep how we’re playing.”

Providence evened it at 6-6, but Burbank then moved ahead 11-8 on another winner from Treadway.

Getting the ball to the hitters is one key to winning. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

Back-to-back kills from Burbank sophomore opposite hitter/middle blocker Gabriella Damroze made it 15-8 and Damroze’s blast made it 19-9.

The Bulldogs drew within a point of the game on a rocket from senior setter Kassandra Gonzalez and then took the game on an ace.

Burbank actually led 6-2 on senior setter Ashley Eskander’s service ace in the second set and 10-3 on senior middle blocker Leah Tawil’s winner.

“I think we kind of just got in our heads,” said Eskander of the latter portion of the match. “I think maybe we got a little over confident. We thought it was going to be easier than it ended up being and kind of just fell apart. We weren’t very united.”

Eskander continued: “I think it’s more about the execution. Providence is kind of really scrappy and that’s what got to us. I think the game just got to us,” she said.

From there, the Pioneers cobbled together an 11-3 blitz as they moved in front 14-13 on a tandem block by senior outside hitter Liana Artunuan and sophomore middle hitter Sophia Guerrero.

The Bulldogs took the first set, but the Pioneers rallied and grabbed the next three. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

Burbank led 15-14 on Treadway’s kill, but the Pioneers retook the lead 18-15 on a mishit from Burbank senior libero/defensive specialist Morgan Bolger.

Providence led 22-17 on Artunian’s winner and 23-20 when Burbank senior outside hitter Brandice Hibbard’s hit sailed out of bounds.

The Bulldogs pulled within 23-21 on Damroze’s kill and 23-22.

The Pioneers evened the match at one game apiece when Damroze hammered the ball out of bounds.

Often times when a match is deadlocked at one game apiece, the third set is crucial and it was Monday.

Providence swiftly took control 6-3 on a mishit by Burbank junior opposite hitter Tamryn Betts. The Pioneers then led 9-4 on an ace from senior libero Isabella Mahan-Mesa, who had nine digs.

Burbank senior outside hitter Katie Treadway played well, despite the loss. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

Providence bolted in front 14-8 on a tapper from sophomore outside hitter Ashley Davis, who delivered 11 kills.

The Bulldogs then came within 14-13 on a spike from Damroze as the Pioneers asked for time out.

A kill from Davis made it 16-13, however, consecutive service aces from Tawil brought Burbank to within 18-16.

Providence forged ahead 20-18 on a smash from sophomore outside hitter Dolce Prieto (eight kills) and captured the game on Tawil’s hitting error.

“I just think we needed to just settle down after the first set. Once they remembered that they can play at a high level, that was it,” Providence Coach James Jimenez said of the final three sets. “Once we got our passes to our setters we were going to be fine because we have four hitters who can put the ball away.”

The set clincher saw the Pioneers lead 4-2 on a kill from sophomore libero Mia Madariaga and 8-4 on Prieto’s winner.

Prieto’s kill made it 15-9 and Providence dashed in front 19-9 on back-to-back hitting miscues by Damroze.

Prieto’s bullet made it 21-9, Hibbard’s winner trimmed the advantage to 23-11, but a clean spike from Prieto gave the Pioneers the set and match.

Senior setter Jennifer Tolentino, who had 11 assists, was a key contributor for the Pioneers.

Burroughs, Burbank Girls Volleyball Ready

By Rick Assad

 

Burroughs High and Burbank share not only proximity, but an unrelenting and fierce rivalry that goes back decades.

The two girls’ volleyball programs also share the proverbial hope of making the CIF Southern Section playoffs.

Both will be without key players lost to graduation like outside hitter Marin Grote, who is playing for the University of Washington and averaged 13 kills a match for the Indians, who went to the second round of the Division III playoffs.

The Bulldogs don’t have outside hitter Melissa Daniel, who will be attending Stanford University, middle blocker Erin Lashkari and opposite hitter Bene Snyder.

Burroughs will miss Marin Grote, but the Indians are stacked with talent. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

Still there is more than enough talent for both teams to compete for the Pacific League banner, according to the respective coaches.

Coach Edwin Real saw the Indians finish 24-7 and 13-1 in league play for the league crown.

The Indians, who are 1-1 this season and will host Burbank on Sept. 18 and visit the Bulldogs on Oct. 31, have claimed two of the last three league championships.

“The team expectations are to contend for the league title,” Real said. “I’m confident that we will make the playoffs.”

Leading the charge will be senior opposite hitter Juliana Van Loo, who was a first-team all-league pick after averaging nearly seven kills per match.

Junior outside hitter Lydia Grote, Marin’s younger sister, will also be counted upon as will senior opposite hitter Shea McGovern and sophomore outside hitter Catie Virtue.

Burbank’s Amaya Broyls is expected to be a leader. Photo By: Edward Tovmassian

Real likes the offense and the team’s closeness.

“We work together and have a lot of hitting options and we play good defense,” he said.

How does Real motivate his club? “We have to remind ourselves of our goals,” he pointed out. “Work to get better each day. Winning will take care of itself.”

Burbank Coach Karl Rojo is counting on senior outside hitter Amaya Broyls, junior setter Ashley Eskander and junior outside hitter Katie Treadway to set the pace for the Bulldogs, who went 17-7-1 and 10-4 for third place in league.

“Looking forward to the season,” said Rojo, whose team lost in the opening round of the Division IV playoffs. “We’ve got a great group of girls. They’ve all bought in this summer. They’re all working hard.”

Rojo added: “We graduated seven seniors,” he said. “Seven seniors again, so they kind of know the system we’ve put forth.”

Rojo said he feels the team, which is 0-4 this season, will be in contention for the league title. “We should be in the top three or the top four,” he said.

What does Rojo like about this group? “One of our main strengths could be our serving,” he said. “Our defensive transitioning is getting better as well. Our counter attacks are improving slightly.”

Other contributors include senior defensive specialist Izzy Sanchez, senior libero Kayla Pino, senior opposite hitter Carmen Camacho-Platas, senior middle blocker Ava Kuiper and junior setter Kassie Gonzalez.

The rest of the squad will be comprised of senior opposite hitter Olivia Price, senior libero Hannah Cericos, junior libero Morgan Bolger, junior middle blocker Leah Tawil and junior opposite hitter Brandice Hibbard.

Burbank, Burroughs Girls Volleyball Shoot For Moon

By Rick Assad

The prize is the same for the Burroughs High and Burbank girls’ volleyball teams and that’s capturing the Pacific League title and then advancing deep into the postseason.

In recent years, the edge in these departments have usually gone to the Indians while the Bulldogs have had some success.

A season ago, Burroughs placed second in league to Arcadia with a 12-2 record and pushed its way to the CIF Southern Section quarterfinals, but lost to Foothill.

“We expect the Pacific League to be more competitive than in years past,” Burroughs coach Edwin Real said. “We have seen improvements in Glendale and Pasadena and we are always expecting Arcadia to be toward the top.”

Burbank Coach Karl Rojo addresses the team at a recent practice. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

With regard to Burbank, Real said he expects the matches to be close.

“The rival game with Burbank is always competitive as well,” he said. “Our goal is to win the league title, though.”

The Indians play at Burbank on Sept. 28 and then host the Bulldogs on Oct. 24.

Leading the charge for the Indians will be senior outside hitter Marin Grote, who at 6-feet-4, also plays center for the basketball team.

Grote, a powerful hitter and a defensive stalwart, is expected to attend and play volleyball for the University of Washington.

Other key individuals include senior outside hitter Julianna Cottrell and junior opposite hitter Juliana Van Loo.

Burroughs senior outside hitter Marin Grote is one key to success for the Indians. (Photo by © Ross A. Benson)

Also on the squad are senior setter Lauren Zedlar, senior opposite hitter Jewel Musich, senior defensive specialist/libero Sabrina Sullivan, senior defensive specialist Lizzy Jessen and senior middle blocker Ricki Patenaude.

The others include junior opposite hitter Jolene Solimon, junior opposite hitter Shea McGovern, junior defensive specialist Caitlin Lim, junior middle blocker Maggie Harris, sophomore outside hitter Lydia Grote and freshman outside hitter Catie Virtue.

“Our goal for the season is to play consistent, match by match in order to win the Pacific League and also have a memorable playoff run,” Real said. “We are hoping that our talent and team chemistry helps us advance beyond the quarterfinals, a feat no other girls volleyball team at Burroughs has done.”

Likewise, Burbank Coach Karl Rojo, who begins his third season, also expects good things from the Bulldogs, who finished above .500 overall.

But Rojo will have to replace two offensive and defensive forces, Hailey Heath and Rachel Wiley, who graduated.

Still there is enough talent on the roster to compete and that includes senior outside hitter Melissa Daniel, senior middle blocker/opposite hitter Erin Lashkari and senior middle blocker/opposite hitter Bene Snyder.

Daniel, Lashkari and Snyder are all on the softball team and extremely versatile athletes.

“The chemistry is nice,” Rojo said. “Not too much drama. We’re hoping for a better season than last season.”

Rojo then added: “We lost some key players,” he noted. “We were able to fill in those spots. They’re working hard and ready to play.”

In last year’s match, host Burbank and Burroughs shake hands afterward. Both are gunning for Pacific League banner. (Photo by © Ross A. Benson)

Daniel, Lashkari and Snyder are capable of pushing the Bulldogs beyond a 7-7 league record and fourth place, which is where they placed last season.

There is going to be help in the form of senior outside/opposite hitter Suzy Torosyan, sophomore outside hitter Katie Treadway and sophomore setter Ashley Eskander.

Other key players are senior opposite hitter/middle blocker Arpi Garibyan and junior opposite/outside hitter Amaya Broyls.

One thing the Bulldogs will have to avoid are instances when they didn’t play well down the stretch of matches.

“We need to keep this core group mentally sharp,” Rojo said. “We can fix those issues in practice. We need to put the ball away early.”

The rest of Rojo’s squad includes senior libero/defensive specialist Katie Marcy, senior outside/opposite hitter Elizabeth Kvryan, junior outside/opposite hitter Carmen Camacho-Platas, junior middle blocker/opposite hitter Olivia Price, junior libero/defensive specialist Hannah Cericos, sophomore libero Morgan Bolger and sophomore setter Kassie Gonzales.