Tag Archives: Rory Rickey

Class of 2018 Takes a Step Forward

The Class of 2018 has turned its tassels at Burbank and Burroughs highs.

Once again both schools graduated a number of fine student athletes, some of which will continue their athletic careers at the collegiate level.

The following is a sampling of what to expect in the immediate future for the now graduated Bulldogs and Indians.

Burbank

Leading the Bulldogs class is multi-sport star and class salutatorian Melissa Daniel, who will attend Stanford University and play beach volleyball.

Melissa Daniel goes for the kill. She will attend Stanford. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

Class valedictorian Jonathan Ragheb will attend Harvard University and may attempt to walk on the men’s volleyball team.

Lauren Ryan will attend Hawaii Pacific University, where she will compete in cheer. Nikki Howell will also compete in cheer, but stay a little closer to home by attending Cal Lutheran in Thousand Oaks. Anna Leonetti will be attending Riverside City College, where she plans to continue in cheer and stunt.

Softball player Bene Snyder will continue her career at Trinity University in Texas.

Fellow softball player Anysia Gonzalez will continue her career at La Sierra University in Riverside.

Bulldog baseball player Abiezer Delgado will continue his career at Hope International University in Fullerton.

Burbank will be represented once again by the presence of a number of football players going to the community college route.

Moorpark College is getting Drew Pendleton, Kaydon Spens and Andrew Rovira. Anthony Lira will attend Los Angeles Valley College. Christian Fajardo is going to Pasadena City College and Darnell Williams will continue his career at College of the Canyons.

Drew Pendleton will play football at Moorpark College. Photo By: Edward Tovmassian

Jessie Czarneki will continue her track and cross country career at the University of Antelope Valley.

Noemi Apreza and Phoebe Forsyth will both continue their distance running careers at Glendale Community College.

Brandon Wilson will continue his water polo career at L.A. Valley College. Lexi Lyneis will continue her water polo career at L.A. Valley College.

Rory Rickey will hope to continue his volleyball career as a walk on at UC San Diego.

Burroughs

The Indians have several athletes who will play major college athletics, led by senior volleyball player Marin Grote.

The 6-foot-5 outside hitter will continue her career at the University of Washington.

Marin Grote will wear purple in college as a member of the Washington Huskies.

Distance running star Jagdeep Chahal, who recently won the CIF Southern Section Division 1 title in the 1,600 meters, will continue his cross country and track career at UC Santa Barbara.

Emily Virtue, who was a cross country national finalist as a sophomore, will continue her career on the opposite coast at Columbia University.

Pole vaulter Elizabeth Switzer is undecided, as she also has the option of going back to gymnastics, which has her first sport.

Also from the girls’ volleyball team, Lauren Zedlar will attend Washington College in Maryland. Sabrina Sullivan will continue her volleyball career at the University of La Verne. Lizzy Jessen will play volleyball at Wellesley College and Ricki Patenaude at College of the Canyons.  Mia Staub, the class salutatorian, will play volleyball at Wheaton College in Chicago.

Jagdeep Chahal will run for UC Santa Barbara.

From the football team, Jacob Real will continue at Glendale Community College.

Basketball player Amir Montgomery is undecided but may be leaning toward Glendale Community College, per coach Allan Ellis.

Volleyball player Diego Rosal will walk on the men’s volleyball team at Pepperdine, where he will join former Indian Max Chamberlain and coach David Hunt, who grew up in the Glendale-Burbank area.

Fellow volleyball player and Pacific League MVP Cole Kaitz will attend Cal State Northridge, but has not decided if he will attempt to walk on or not.

Star distance runner Alex Hirsch will attend Harvey Mudd and run for Claremont-Mudd-Scripps.

Softball pitcher Presley Miraglia plans to continue her career at Cal State Long Beach.

Fellow softball player Jessica Amaya is considering continuing her career Mission College in Sylmar.

 

Burbank Boys Volleyball Falls in Playoff Opener

Burbank High waited 110 years to host a CIF Southern Section boys’ volleyball playoff match.

The Bulldogs will have to wait at least one more year to win one.

Burbank fell in the first round of the Division 2 playoffs to visiting Warren High of Downey, losing 25-19, 31-33, 27-25, 25-19.

The two teams struggled, combining on 42 serving errors over four sets.

(Photo by ©Ross A Benson)

Burbank (19-11) lost the first set and found itself in trouble a number of times in the second set, before fighting back to win 33-31.

“Sets like those give your team a lot of momentum. We didn’t carry that into the third set as well as we wanted to,” Burbank outside hitter Jonathan Ragheb said. “We played well and then shot ourselves in the foot with those missed serves.”

Ragheb, who hopes to walk on the team at Harvard University, and teammate Rory Rickey, who hopes to walk on at UC San Diego, each finished with 14 kills.

“Most of us came in thinking let’s just play like it is another game. Obviously, everyone was a little excited that we were making history,” said Ragheb, who is Burbank’s valedictorian. “Everyone came in with confidence and a good mindset.”

Coach Karl Rojo acknowledged the match didn’t go as planned but was proud of his players.

(Photo by ©Ross A Benson)

“We accomplished a lot this season.  We had a winning record and were second in the league.  We played good volleyball from the beginning to the end,” Rojo said. “I think we didn’t serve as aggressive as we should have.  They were going in with a soft serve. I told them to serve aggressively from the start.  We just didn’t do a good job of executing that defense against that particular attacker. We picked it up here and there, but they kept attacking that spot.”

Rojo said he liked the position his team was in after the second set.

“I felt pretty good, but not relaxed or complacent. We had to keep applying the pressure,” Rojo said. “I expected the communication to be a little better and a little bit more disciplined in our defense because there were things that we have gone over multiple times in practice.”

The Bulldogs led 23-22 in the third set, only to see the lead evaporate as Warren won 27-25.

(Photo by ©Ross A Benson)

 

Burbank also got seven kills from Luca Bily and four from Ryan Rickey.

Warren (18-5) was led by Anthony Popoca and George Jimenez. Both had 14 kills each.

 

Burroughs Boys Volleyball Needs Four Sets To Defeat Host Burbank

By Rick Assad

 

It wasn’t as lopsided as the first time the Burroughs High boys’ volleyball team faced Burbank.

Still the end result was the same, but instead of a three-game sweep, the Indians needed four games in order to stifle the host Bulldogs on Thursday night.

Behind the overall play of Cole Kaitz, who had a match-best 21 kills, the Indians prevailed 25-15, 20-25, 27-25, 25-22, in a Pacific League match and remain undefeated.

“We just try to look at every game like it’s the same game,” Kaitz said. “Every game is the same to me. So just because it’s the crosstown rivalry, it doesn’t really mean much to us. It’s just another game. Another opponent. I’ve played these guys already four years in a row.”

Diego Rosal (#4) rises up and unloads a winner for the Indians, who defeated the host Bulldogs in four sets. Photo By: Edward Tovmassian

Burroughs won its ninth consecutive league banner, stretched its league match streak to 64 victories and has knocked off Burbank 14 matches in a row.

“Last time we got lucky because they couldn’t pass. We knew it wasn’t going to be the same thing,” Burroughs coach Joel Brinton said. “Trying to convince a group of teenagers of that is hard at times.”

Brinton said the Bulldogs put up a good fight.

“Losing that set probably was a really good thing to wake us up,” he noted. “Getting the battle that we got. It’s what we want our league to become. A slugfest. Burbank made us do that. They passed really well. They played great defense all night.”

The third set was tied on 12 occasions including 24-24 on a kill from Burbank’s senior outside hitter Jonathan Ragheb, who finished with nine kills.

Burbank’s Ryan Rickey (#27) passes during Thursday’s match against Burroughs. Photo By: Edward Tovmassian

Senior setter Brian Valmonte (41 assists) served an ace for the Bulldogs that made it 25-24, but his net serve evened it at 25-25.

After a net violation gave the Indians (17-8 and 11-0 in league) a 26-25 cushion, Azael Estrada’s block secured the game for Burroughs.

Valmonte’s spike evened it at 4-4, but the Indians’ Connor Burroughs’ winner made it 8-8.

The Indians, who took out the Bulldogs 25-5, 25-11, 25-18 on March 30, moved in front 14-11 on Kaitz’s hammer and it became 17-15 on another bullet from Kaitz, who added three blocks.

The Bulldogs (15-6 and 9-2 in league) then went on a 6-2 run that made it 21-19 and included a kill from junior outside hitter Ryan Rickey (five kills).

“I wanted them to go out there and be aggressive,” Burbank coach Karl Rojo said. “Not be so timid and shy at the service line or when you’re out there swinging. I think we did a pretty good job of staying aggressive in our attacks and service.”

Burroughs and Burbank passed the ball well in a Pacific League match. Photo By: Edward Tovmassian

Despite the setback, Rojo liked what he saw.

“There’s definitely been a lot of improvement shown since we last played them,” he said. “We were able to get more hitters involved.”

The deciding set was tied 16 times including 22-22 on a dagger by Kaitz.

A kill from Kaitz made it 23-22 as the Bulldogs asked for time out.

Kaitz’s stuff pushed the Indians’ advantage to 24-22 and Kaitz then topped off his evening with a smash for the set and match.

Burroughs darted ahead 5-4 on a service ace from Jose Solano (33 assists and 16 digs) and leveled it at 10-10 on Kaitz’s spike.

A block from Jagger Green pushed the Indians’ lead to 12-10, but the Bulldogs outscored Burroughs 5-3 and tied it at 15-15 on Ragheb’s rocket.

The initial set was a bit more one-sided as the Indians took control 3-0 on an ace from Michael Rumfola and were never headed.

Michael Rumfola (#16) and Jagger Green (#20) ready for a block. Photo By: Edward Tovmassian

The advantage became 8-4 on Rumfola’s kill and 14-7 on Diego Rosal’s winner.

Burbank came within 16-10 on a kill from senior middle blocker Rory Rickey (14 kills).

Burroughs seized control 22-13 on Kaitz’s bomb and snatched the set on a spike from Rumfola.

Burbank’s best set was the second as it led 5-2 on an ace from Ryan Rickey.

The Indians evened it at 10-10 on a blast from Rosal (10 kills), but the Bulldogs darted ahead 12-11 on junior opposite hitter Luca Bily’s bomb.

The Indians drew within 16-14 on a service winner from Rosal, but the Bulldogs went on a 5-4 spurt and led 21-18 on a kill from Ryan Rickey as Burroughs asked for a time out.

A 4-2 explosion by the Bulldogs and a kill from Ryan Rickey evened the match at one game apiece.

Sam Tipton contributed 16 digs for the Indians, while senior libero Eddie Curren tossed in 12 digs for the Bulldogs.

Burroughs Boys Volleyball Muscles Past Burbank

It was going to be a Good Friday for either the Burbank or Burroughs high boys’ volleyball team.

But both sides had to wait until the evening to find out who would come away victorious when the two sides met at Burroughs with first place in the Pacific League on the line.

(Photo by © Ross A Benson)

The eight-time defending league champion Indians made a statement early and virtually never looked back, winning 25-5, 25-11, 25-18.

“I thought we had all of the elements that a good team has and we discovered their weaknesses early on and exposed them,” Burroughs outside hitter Diego Rosal said. “We knew there was going to be a big crowd, but we didn’t let it get to us. We just treated it like any other game and executed well.”

Burroughs (9-5 overall, 5-0 in the league) clearly saw Burbank (10-4, 4-1) in perhaps its weakest performance of the season.

(Photo by © Ross A Benson)

“As much as we got lucky, I’m not surprised to see our performance like this because we had a great week of practice,” Burroughs Coach Joel Brinton said. “It’s nice to see when you work hard in practice and see the results on game day.”

Burbank coach Karl Rojo was frustrated to see his team lose as easily as it did to Burroughs.

“Everything was just off today. The serving was off, the hitting was off, the communication and the setter middle communication was off,” Rojo said. “We just couldn’t find our rhythm and when we did build some momentum we killed it by serving into the net or something else.”

After Burroughs breezed through the first two games, Burbank fought back in the third and looked more like the team people are accustomed to seeing.

“That third set was more of what we expected. For them to pick it up and bounce back, I don’t think any of us were surprised. That’s what expected the whole time,” Brinton said of Burbank.

Burbank took a 14-13 lead in the third game after a kill by Rory Rickey. He led Burbank with four kills.

(Photo by © Ross A Benson)

But Burroughs came back moments later led by Cole Kaitz, who had a team-high 17 kills.

Burroughs went on a 5-0 run after the two teams were tied at 16, making it 21-16.

Burbank was unable to answer back.

Burroughs received 10 kills from Rosal. Jose Solano had 27 assists, Sam Tipton had 16 digs and Michael Rumfola had three aces and 13 digs, all for Burroughs.

Burbank received three kills from Jonathan Ragheb.

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.

 

Burroughs, Burbank Boys Water Polo Ready For Action

By Rick Assad
 
 
 
 

 

It’s going to get a little tougher for the Burroughs High boys’ water polo team this season after capturing the CIF Southern Section Division V championship in 2016.

Because of their successful campaign, the Indians were moved ahead to Division III this season so the road to the title is going to be slightly more difficult, but certainly still within reach.

The Burroughs boys’ water polo team is gunning for another successful season. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

Burbank missed out on the playoffs, but despite this there are still expectations of making a strong run in that direction.

“We’re looking forward to having a good year and taking league,” Burroughs coach Jacob Cook said. “We lost only one player from last year, but I think that we’re getting an even better player.”

The Indians, who were 25-6 overall and 6-2 for second place behind Hoover in the Pacific League, are loaded with 13 seniors.

They include driver Nathan Anicich, utility J.J. Ambartsumyan, utility David Arakelyan, driver Manuel Esparza, setter Nathan Gault-Crabb, setter Brenner Goldsen and setter Sean Keane.

Burroughs Coach Jacob Cook saw the Indians win the CIF Southern Section Division V last season. They were moved up to Division III. (Photo by © Ross A. Benson)

The rest of the upperclassmen includes attacker Vahagn Saakyan, driver Scott Sauve, utility Arthur Sefayan, utility Marko Vucetic, driver Max Zekowski and setter Nicholas D’Agostaro.

The rest of the team includes junior goalie David Jimenez, junior attacker Simon Legoretta and junior attacker Eric Aperian.

The Indians opened their season with a 22-0 win over Jordan and will meet rival Burbank Oct. 18 on the road.

For Burbank Coach Allyson Young, a Burroughs graduate, her upperclassmen includes driver Daniel Azarian, goalie Jonathan Ragheb, goalie Rory Rickey, utility J.C. Angel, driver Ejmin Vartani and driver Brandon Wilson.

“We didn’t make the playoffs last year,” she said, “but this year we hope to do a lot better. All of my guys are working hard and working together.”

The other players are junior utility Harout Abrahamian, junior driver Varuzhan Bilbulyan, junior driver Arthur Gasparyan, junior driver Gevork Kvryan, junior driver George Sarkissov and sophomore goalie Sarkis Ter-Petrossyan, sophomore driver Kourosh Dolatshahi and sophomore driver Hakop Pilavjyan.

Burbank Boys Volleyball Can’t Finish Off CV

The opportunities were certainly available for the Burbank High boys’ volleyball team Friday night when the Bulldogs visited Crescenta Valley High.
The Bulldogs held leads well into each of the first three games. But the Falcons met most of those challenges and went on to win 25-20, 25-22, 24-26, 25-14 over the Bulldogs in a Pacific League match.
“I think we came out with good momentum. I think we came out fired up and ready to play, but sometimes we get into our own heads and let that affect the way we play,” Burbank coach Gaby Gallardo said. “CV is a good team and we have to be able to finish. We had the same problem with Burroughs, being ahead and we let the mistakes affect us mentally and we end up losing the match.”

(Photo by Ross A. Benson)

Burbank (16-10, 4-3 in league) led 10-5 at one point early in the first game and was tied at 18 with CV before Ben Allen took over for the Falcons.
Allen had three of his team-high 15 kills late in the first game.
Burbank was up 14-12 in the second game, before the Falcons closed with a 13-8 run.
The Bulldogs fought back in the third game, led by Adrian Rivera. Rivera, who had a match-high 19 kills, kept his team in the match by recording seven of those kills.
A kill by Rivera made it 24-22. After CV came back to tie the score at 24, Burbank got a key kill from Jonathan Ragheb to make it 25-24. The Bulldogs were able to close out the game thanks to a CV error.
CV (17-3-2, 6-1 in league) was not shaken by Burbank’s ability to avoid a sweep.
The Falcons jumped out to an early 6-1 advantage in the fourth game and were never threatened.
Ragheb finished with nine kills and Rory Rickey had eight along with a pair of blocks. Freshman Vincent Vang served three aces. Setter Jonthan Tapan had 42 assists.

 

Burbank Boys Volleyball Falls In Five Sets To Crescenta Valley

By Rick Assad

 

When the Burbank High boys’ volleyball team took the floor to face Crescenta Valley in a Pacific League encounter on Wednesday, the squad had to feel extremely confident.

This notion was well-founded as the Bulldogs forced a fifth and deciding set after falling behind two sets to one.

Burbank’s Adrian Rivera goes up for a kill while Crescenta Valley’s Anders Johnson tries to block the shot. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

A rally wasn’t in the cards  despite playing with skill and determination, losing to the visiting Falcons, 21-25, 25-13, 25-20, 17-25, 15-11.

The star was senior middle hitter Anders Johnson, who finished with 15 kills along with six blocks for the Falcons (14-2-2 and 2-0 in league).

Teammate and senior setter Eugene Shin contributed 44 assists and senior setter Gene Kim added 23 assists with seven digs.

Meanwhile, senior opposite hitter Adrian Rivera had a tremendous outing, but even with his talent, the Bulldogs (13-8 and 1-1 in league) came up just short.

“I really think that we were ready to play and

The Falcons’ Ben Allen (#9) goes for a winner at the net. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

even though we lost, we’re going to get them the next time,” Rivera said. “We expected to come out on top.”

Rivera added: “We were getting in their heads. We’re going to work harder.”

The fifth set began with the Bulldogs forging ahead 2-0 on a kill from junior middle blocker Rory Rickey.

It was even at 3-3 on a winner from Falcon senior outside hitter Ben Allen (eight kills).

Slowly Crescenta Valley moved ahead 10-6 on a block from Johnson, but the Bulldogs came within 12-10 on Rickey’s winner only to see the Falcons score three of the final four points, including the clincher from senior middle hitter Brett Dunkin (seven kills).

Fierce net play helped determine Wednesday’s Pacific League match between Burbank and Crescenta Valley. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

“This was a pretty darn close match,” Crescenta Valley coach John Nelson said. “It came down to four points.”

Nelson continued: “We showed character and mental toughness. It’s hard to rattle them. We knew what was coming. We had some inconsistency, but we’re getting better. I told them, we can do this, we’re good,” he said.

The fourth set was tied 1-1, 2-2 and 3-3 until Burbank moved in front 7-3 on Rivera’s service ace.

The Falcons even it at 8-8 on Johnson’s smash, but a 7-3 explosion by the Bulldogs saw them dash ahead 15-11 on junior libero Edward Curren’s tapper.

The crowd was on its feet and the noise level rose significantly after Burbank freshman defensive specialist Vincent Vang’s block gave the hosts a 20-13 advantage.

The Bulldogs and Falcons were defensive-minded as Brett Dunkin (#15) and Spencer Lunt (#4) show off their skill. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

The set was made official after an emphatic winner from Rivera that even the match at two sets apiece.

The third set was controlled by the Bulldogs in the early stages as they took a 6-3 edge on sophomore middle blocker Luca Bily’s stuff.

Crescenta Valley rallied and even it at 11-11 when Rickey’s attempt found the net and it became 13-13 on Allen’s rocket.

The Falcons took control 19-17 on junior outside hitter Matthew Gardner’s kill and closed it out with a 6-3 spurt that was capped off on Allen’s kill.

Burbank’s Jonathan Valmonte (#10) readies himself while Vincent Vang sets play. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

Burbank led 4-0 in the second set on a tapper from Rivera, but the Falcons went on an 8-4 run and evened it at 8-8 on Johnson’s kill.

Another Falcon run followed, this time 8-1 as Crescenta Valley led 16-9 on Kim’s winner.

Crescenta Valley leveled it at a set apiece after a 9-4 burst that was finalized on Johnson’s stuff.

Burbank was sharp in the initial set and skirted ahead 8-3 on a winner from junior middle blocker Jonathan Valmonte.

The lead was extended to 14-10 on Rivera’s kill and it became 18-15 on a Valmonte’s bullet.

The Bulldogs moved in front 21-17 on senior setter Jonathan Tapan’s dagger and then closed out the set on Rivera’s winner.