Tag Archives: Ryan Rickey

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.

Burbank High Boys Volleyball Extended Four Sets By Hart

By Rick Assad

 

Only two matches have been played and the Burbank High boys’ volleyball team has balanced its books after defeating Hart on Thursday afternoon.

The nonleague battle was extended to four sets and claimed by the Bulldogs, 25-19, 25-20, 23-25, 25-22.

Burbank senior opposite hitter/middle blocker Luca Bily goes for a point in a match against Hart. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

Burbank was swept in its season opener on Tuesday by host Harvard-Westlake, but two of the three sets were close, having been decided by two and four points.

“I think our energy was very good in the first two sets. We were passing well. The hitters were expressing themselves really well,” Burbank coach Karl Rojo said. “I think the setter was being dynamic with where he was going.”

There was a slight dip in the third frame.

“Maybe in the third we let up a little bit,” Rojo noted. “Getting my guys opportunities to figure it out. I’m glad these guys figured it out in the fourth. It was staying level-headed. They stayed tough-minded.”

The host Bulldogs came out in the fourth set and led 7-4 on a kill from senior outside hitter/opposite hitter Chase Marcy (match-best 12 kills) as the Indians called for a time out.

Joe Gomez delivered 16 digs and two aces as the Bulldogs fended off the Indians in four sets. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

The lead became 9-4 on another spike from Marcy, but Hart evened it at 10-10 on an ace from Darin Dietz, as the Bulldogs requested time.

“In game three we just kinda clicked. I kind of let the game come to them,” Hart coach Loy Mueller said. “In game one and two, we were fighting against each other. I just let them play.”

Mueller is in his first season at Hart.

“I’m happy with what I saw at the end of game two to about halfway through game four,” he said.

Burbank evened it at 13-13 on a kill from Marcy (five digs and two aces), but Hart’s Jake Meyers leveled it at 14-14.

Jack Raytis had eight kills and two blocks for Burbank. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

When senior setter Brandon Villaflor (41 assists and four digs) hit a tapper, the Bulldogs scurried ahead 17-16.

A kill from Hart’s Ezra Moore evened it at 17-17, but Marcy’s spike forced a stoppage as the Bulldogs charged ahead 20-18.

Burbank vaulted in front 24-21 on consecutive kills from senior middle blocker Kalam Park (five kills) and the set and match was secured on a serving error by Meyers.

The first set saw the Bulldogs (1-1) race ahead 4-0 on a hitting error from Moore. A kill from senior opposite hitter Jack Raytis (eight kills and two blocks) gave the Bulldogs a 7-4 edge.

Burbank’s lead swelled to 8-4 on a block from Villaflor and an ace from Raytis made it a 9-4 as the Indians (0-2) requested time out.

Chase Marcy paced Burbank with a match-high 12 kills and five digs and two aces. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

Marcy’s dagger made it 11-6 and a blast from Raytis pushed the lead to 14-8.

A kill from Raytis gave Burbank a 15-9 cushion and it became 16-10 on Park’s bullet.

A winner from Raytis pushed it to 18-14 and when Marcy added back-to-back winners, Burbank’s lead swelled to 21-16 as the Indians, who were swept by Alemany in their initial match, asked for a stoppage.

Marcy’s kill saw the Bulldogs surge ahead 23-19, a tapper from Park made it 24-19 and an ace from junior middle blocker Eric Galoustian capped the set.

The second game was tied at 1-1 and 4-4, but Galoustian’s block gave the Bulldogs a 6-4 margin. A spike from Marcy made it 9-6 and Burbank seized control at 10-8 on a kill from Park.

Villaflor’s service ace made it 11-8 and a tap from Raytis pushed it to 12-8. A hitting error by Meyers made it 14-9 as the Indians asked for time.

Crisp and accurate passing is always crucial as Chase Marcy shows. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

Consecutive service aces from junior libero Joe Gomez (match-best 16 digs and two aces) pushed the lead to 18-10, as the visitors asked for a stoppage.

Villaflor’s kill made it 21-13, but when Marcy’s attempt sailed out of bounds, the Indians came within 21-17 as Burbank requested time out.

A combined stuff by senior outside hitter/opposite hitter Ryan Rickey (seven kills and 11 digs) and Villaflor extended the lead to 22-18, and Marcy’s kill saw the Bulldogs dash ahead two games to none.

The third set was level at 1-1, 3-3 and 7-7 before Rickey’s winner made it 9-7 as Hart needed a time out.

When Villaflor and senior middle hitter Dawson Koerper combined on a block, the Bulldogs powered in front 15-11.

Hart rallied and outscored Burbank 7-2 and led 18-17 as Rickey hit a ball out of bounds. A kill from Raytis evened it at 18-18, but the Indians moved ahead 21-19 on Rickey’s service error.

Alex Schmidt’s kill handed Hart a 23-21 edge and Schmidt’s smash gave the Indians the set.

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, 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.