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Burroughs Boys Volleyball Makes Incredible Rally Past Newbury Park

(Photo by © Ross A Benson)

(Photo by © Ross A Benson)

Being on the brink of elimination is not an easy spot to be in.
The Burroughs High boys’ volleyball team never took that into consideration Tuesday night when the Indians hosted Newbury Park in the first round of the CIF Southern Section Division 1 playoffs.
Burroughs rallied from being one point away from the end of its season seven times to come back and defeat the visiting Panthers 25-21, 26-28, 23-25, 31-29, 15-13.
“We don’t want to stress it being a stressful situation. We played it just like normal volleyball knowing that we have to play perfect,” said junior Cole Kaitz, who had a team-high 23 kills.
Burroughs (18-13) will move on to the second round Thursday at Huntington Beach, which defeated Canyon of Anaheim Hills 25-21, 26-24, 25-21.
Huntington Beach (24-10) is clearly not as strong as in recent years. A year ago, the Oilers saw their national-record winning streak end at 121 matches.
The Indians earned the right to play the Oilers after rallying from a 24-20 deficit in the fourth game to force a fifth game, where Burroughs won 15-13.
“The guys showed a lot of heart tonight. It was awesome, awesome to see,” Burroughs coach Joel Brinton said. ” That’s a really good team (Newbury Park).”
Kaitz agreed.
“They’re definitely one of the high-level teams we’ve played this year,” Kaitz said of Newbury Park. “We knew if we battled with them we’d pull it out. We needed to play how we know how to play.”
Senior Conner Ludlum helped ignite the rally as he had back-to-back kills to make 24-22 in the fourth game.
Junior Diego Rosal also came up with a big with one of his four blocks during the rally. Ludlum finished with 18 kills and 21 digs. Jarrett Malone had 21 kills for Burroughs.
Senior libero Skyler Bercini finished with 29 digs, a school record. Setter Levi Benitez had 58 assists.
Burroughs won the first game by breaking away following a 21-21 tie thanks to kills from Ludlum, Malone and Everett Kanoho.
In the fifth and final game, Burroughs broke a tie at 13 with a block by Billy Singleton. A Newbury Park error decided the final point of the match.

Burroughs Boys Volleyball Rallies Past CV

With seven consecutive Pacific League titles, the Burroughs High boys’ volleyball team doesn’t get pushed to the limit too often.
Friday night the Indians had to fight their way back from a deficit before holding off visiting Crescenta Valley 25-19, 21-25, 17-25, 25-12, 15-12.

Photo By: Edward Tovmassian

“I’m discovering as you get those, it keeps getting harder and harder to get the next one,” Burroughs coach Joel Brinton said. “I don’t know how Alabama (football) does it.”

Burroughs (7-6, 3-0 in league) started the match on fire, opening up a 7-0 lead. The Indians, which have won 46 consecutive league matches, cruised to a 25-19 win.


For as well as Burroughs played in the first game, the Indians were equally as bad in the second and third.

Photo By: Edward Tovmassian

“We’ve been stressing that we need to do our job. In game two and game three we were not doing our job,” Brinton said. “We kind of took deep breaths.”

In a close second game, Burroughs made a few errors down the stetch that ended up being costly. CV continued the momentum in the third game, rolling to a 25-17 win.

“I feel like we got away from playing Burroughs volleyball and we got away from the basics,” Burroughs’ Jarrett Malone said. “We panicked a little bit. As soon as we re-set, we all said we’re winning this in five.”
Burroughs was re-focused in the fourth and played like it did in the first game, breezing to a 25-12 win.

Photo By: Edward Tovmassian

That momentum carried over to the fifth and decided game. CV took an early 2-0 lead, but Burroughs fought back. Malone’s kill to make it 11-8 put the Falcons in a tough position. He finished with 17 kills to lead Burroughs.
CV fought hard to make things close, but Burroughs won the match when the Falcons inadvertently hit the ball out of play.
“It was the fastest five-set match I’ve ever been a part of,” Brinton said. “I think there was inconsistent play on both sides. They deserve credit for making us play poorly. I hope we deserve credit for affecting them. I hope next time it’s cleaner on both sides.”

Photo By: Edward Tovmassian

Conner Ludlum had 13 kills and five aces for Burroughs. Cole Kaitz had nine kills and Levi Benitez had 40 assists. Skyler Bercini had 19 digs.

Burroughs, Burbank Boys Volleyball Look to Continue Winning Ways

By Nareg Atteukenian

Success in volleyball isn’t something new to Burroughs and Burbank highs.

Last season Burroughs accomplished the greatest feat in program history when it advanced to the CIF Southern Section championship match.

Although the Indians fell short against Oak Park, Burroughs got revenge by beating the same team to win the CIF Southern California Regional title.

But much of that 31-6 Burroughs team has graduated as stars Ryan Van Loo, Andrew D’Almada and  Cameron Capili graduated.

Burbank has a new coach in Gaby Gallardo, who previously coached  league rival Hoover High. She replaces Patrick McMenamin, who is now a full-time athletic director.

The Bulldogs finished second league a year ago, going 20-13. They lost in the first round of the playoffs to Lakewood.


The Indians graduated five seniors last year, but also have some returning talent. With starters Conner Ludlum and Skyler Bercini returning to the scene and coach Joel Britton at the helm, Burroughs seems to be in shape to make a run at an eighth straight Pacific League title.

“I feel like the pressure shouldn’t be on the guys, the pressure should on the coaching staff. It’s our job to teach them,” Britton said.

But Burroughs also has a returning group, and one that will help push the team further.

“They kind of naturally have that leadership, the returning starters from last year,” said coach Britton about the starters returning to varsity. “We had sophomores on the court that found ways to contribute and play and now they’re juniors and they’re major contributors and they’re going to do a great job.”

Juniors Jose Solano and Levi Benitez, both of which are 5-foot-10, will try to fill the void left by Van Loo, who is now playing for Lewis University, at setter.

Bercini (5-8) will be backed up at libero by senior Everett Kanoho (5-9), who could also see time as a setter, and sophomore Sam Tipton (5-8) .

At middle blocker, Burroughs has a number of candidates led by juniors Diego Rosal (6-4), Billy Singleton (6-4) and senior Andrew Abrahamian (6-2).

Playing in the opposite role will be junior Cole Kaitz (6-5), junior Drew Gorsuch (6-0), and sophomore Sammy Solis (5-10).

Along with Ludlum, senior Jarrett Malone (6-4), senior Anton Prather (6-1), and sophomore Michael Rumfola (6-1) could see time.  Defensive specialist Khalil Johnson (5-11), who is a junior, could also see time as an outside hitter.


With a new head coach and three seniors, Burbank will look to dethrone the Indians as Pacific League Champions.

“We’ve been doing a lot of hard work, and they’ve made adjustments to what I expect from them,” said Gallardo said.

Gallardo said her group has put in the effort and is hoping it will lead to success.

“Working hard is going to help us in playing against Burroughs,” Gallardo said. “They’re always a dominating team, they’re always a good program. All I can have them do is give me the best, and we train as hard as we can so that when we do play them it will be a good game.”

With several returning seniors, the Burbank team seems to have some role models to help the younger players on the team.

Senior setter Jonathan Tapan (5-7) returns as the starter. Junior Brian Valmonte (5-10) will serve as his backup.

Juniors Jonathan Ragheb (6-0) and  Eugene Uvarov (5-11) have been impressive early on in their roles as outside hitters.

Senior Adrian Rivera (6-1) and junior Jonthan Valmonte will hold down the opposite role.

Junior Edward Curren (5-8) and senior Pierre Simonian (5-8) will see time at libero.
Junior Rory Rickey (6-2) and sophomore Luca Bily (5-11) will compete for playing time at middle blocker.
Gallardo added that the seniors on the team expect the younger players to step up their level of play.
“You’re playing on varsity and you need to play at a varsity level,” Gallardo said of her young team.


Burroughs Volleyball Wins CIF Southern California Regional Title

Five players already had their high school diplomas in hand. Still feeling a need to leave their mark, the Burroughs High boys’ volleyball team came out motivated and focused and put together one of the greatest performances any team in school history has achieved.

Facing a team they had lost to just a week earlier, the Indians defeated Oak Park 25-23, 22-25, 25-23, 25-21 to win the CIF Southern California Division 2 Regional championship at Edison High in Huntington Beach.

“This is the best feeling going out,” said Cameron Capili, one of the five graduating seniors. “It did hurt losing CIF, but winning (Southern California) is much more meaningful and it means more because we played the same team again.”

Andrew Dalmada, who had a match-high 19 kills, said losing the CIF Southern Section Division 2 championship a week earlier, was something that the Indians struggled with at times.


“This entire week we’ve had it in the back of our minds,” Dalmada said. “With Chatsworth and Sanger we knew we had to focus on that, but we worked for the end goal. You want to win both, but it doesn’t always happen that way. Last Saturday was a great game. Coming back, this is so satisfying.”

The win was a huge accomplishment for coach Joel Brinton, who started the program 10 years and has gone on to win seven consecutive league championships.

“It’s a joy for the kids and the program,” Brinton said. “This has been a lot of hard work for 10 years. This has been a lot of hard work for myself. It has been a lot of hard work for these kids over the past three or four years.  They did a great job following the game plan and executing it.”

Burroughs (31-6) appeared to be more relaxed coming out compared to the CIF Southern Section championship.

“We didn’t do a lot of things we needed to last Saturday that we did today and the difference was shown,” Brinton said. “Our middles were way better, our blocking was way better. Our serving was way better. I think that experience of playing in a championship game. Last week they had never done it before so I think this time it was a little more low key because we’ve already been through this.”


Setter Ryan Van Loo, a four-year varsity player who has signed with Lewis University, had a match-high 47 assists.

“The loss in CIF lit a fire under us and we carried that throughout the week. It feels great to get another chance with them a win a (Southern California) championship,” Van Loo said.” I can’t put it into words. It feels so great to win a championship, especially against these guys. They are so good. We knew all week we needed to work harder and better to get to Saturday and we did. We completed our journey.”


Burroughs rallied to win the first game 25-23. A kill by Conner Ludlum made it 24-23 and a block by Bailey Carter sealed it.

Oak Park (36-4-2) came back and won the second game as Burroughs fell behind after leading 15-14 at one point.

The third game was also tight with Burroughs going down 23-22. But Dalmada, Van Loo and Carter all had kills to turn things around.

In the fourth and final game, Burroughs jumped out a 19-12 lead. Oak Park rallied to make it interested at 19-17 and 22-20, but the Indians matched every challenge in winning 25-21.


“Right now it’s a little bittersweet because we have a great group of guys,” Dalmada said.” This is one of the best groups of guys I’ve ever been associated with and the fact that it’s ending is sad. At least we end on a high note.”

Van Loo also reflected on his time at Burroughs.

“Out of my four years on varsity this moment is the greatest moment I’ll ever have of Burroughs volleyball,” he said. “I’m lucky to be on this team. I’m lucky to have this coaching staff and all these fans that came out. It’s just a great experience and I’m never going to forget it.”


Capili finished 14 kills and 12 digs. Conner Ludlum had nine kills. Skyler Bercini had 13 digs.




Burroughs Volleyball Graduates to Southern California Title Match

With graduation just two hours away, the Burroughs High boys’ volleyball team took care of business quickly Thursday afternoon.

The five seniors were able to easily make it to the graduation ceremony on time after defeating visiting Sanger High 25-15, 25-19, 25-16 in the semifinals of the Division 2 CIF Southern California Regional Boys’ Volleyball Championships.

Burroughs moves on to the final Saturday against Oak Park, the team it lost to a week ago in the CIF Southern Section Division 2 final.

The match is slated for 3 p.m. at Edison High in Huntington Beach. The win Thursday makes this the most successful volleyball team in school history. In 2011 Burroughs lost in the semifinals of the Southern California Regional championships.

“You don’t get a second chance very often,” Andrew Dalmada said about playing Oak Park again. “The fact that we’ve got one is very exciting.”

JB volley5

Junior libero Skyler Bercini, who finished with 13 digs, said the team was able to keep the graduation festivities away.

“When it came to game time we kind of just shut that out,” Bercini said. “I guess there was motivation, but it really came down to just focusing on volleyball first.”

Senior middle blocker Bailey Carter, who finished with eight kills, said his team realized it needed to bounce back after struggling to defeat Chatsworth in the first round on Tuesday.

“We didn’t know anything about the team coming in so we had the mentality that we’ve got to do what we do on our side and it doesn’t matter who is on the other side of the net as long as we take care of our business,” Carter said.

JB volley3

Burroughs coach Joel Brinton was much happier with his team on Thursday.

“The guys were still a little bummed out Tuesday about what happened in CIF (Finals),” Brinton said of the first match with Oak Park. “They obviously got over it. We had a great practice yesterday (Wednesday). I like the way we’re rolling with some momentum now. We’re really excited about the chance.”

Brinton also noted his team was very focused on the match and not the graduation ceremony.

“I was proud of the guys. They understood what the plan was,” he said. “As soon as we’re done we’ll get down to the field and go through it. A couple of guys said I’m just getting my name read out loud, what’s the big deal.”

Dalmada led Burroughs with 18 kills. Cameron Capili had 10 kills and four blocks. Ryan Van Loo had 34 assists.  Sophomore Cole Kaitz had three blocks.


Burroughs Volleyball Falls Just Short of CIF Title

Momentum was the key and at times the Burroughs High boys’ volleyball team had it and at times it didn’t.

In the end, the momentum shifted away from the Indians as they fell 25-20, 18-25, 25-16, 24-26, 15-8 in the CIF Southern Section Division 2 championship against Oak Park High at Cerritos College in Norwalk.

(Photo by © Ross A Benson)

(Photo by © Ross A Benson)

“In the fifth game, whoever comes out stronger and has the momentum is really in control of the game,” said Burroughs senior Andrew Dalmada, who finished with a match-high 27 kills.

Top-seeded Oak Park (31-4) jumped out to a 5-1 lead in the fifth and final game before Burroughs called a timeout. The Eagles went on and was in control from there.

“It has been our goal for four years of varsity. I’m really proud that we finally made it,” Burroughs setter Ryan Van Loo said.  “We just didn’t finish. We had the momentum going into the fifth set, but I’d like to have that one back.”

Third-seeded Burroughs (29-6) stayed tough with Oak Park for much of the first game. A kill by Dalmada tied things at 16, but Oak Park came back strong by the trio of Alex Parks, Grigory Manyak and Sean Fitzpatrick.

(Photo by © Ross A Benson)

(Photo by © Ross A Benson)

A different Burroughs team showed up in game two. The Indians jumped out to a 10-5 lead before Oak Park called a timeout. But that didn’t fix the Eagles problems as Burroughs continued to roll.

Oak Park got as close as 22-18, before Burroughs closed the game out thanks to two Oak Park mistakes.

“When you look at the stats they were pretty consistent and we were up and down and that turned out to be the difference,’ Burroughs coach Joel Brinton said.

The momentum shifted back to Oak Park in the third game.

Burroughs fell behind 10-6 and called a timeout. The Indians cut things to within two points on four occasions before Oak Park opened things up and could not be caught.

The fourth game saw a close battle. Burroughs went up 18-14 before Oak Park stormed back to tie things at 21.

(Photo by © Ross A Benson)

(Photo by © Ross A Benson)

A kill by Cameron Capili, one 19 he had in the match, gave Burroughs a 22-21 lead.

Oak Park came back to tie things at 24, before kills by Dalmada and Bailey Carter pushed the match to a fifth and deciding game.

Burroughs will now move on to the CIF Regional Tournament.

“These guys don’t want to go out on this note,” Brinton said. “It will be nice to come back out there and put their stamp out.”

Van Loo finished with 55 assists, four kills and 10 digs. Junior Conner Ludlum had eight kills. Carter finished with six kills.

Capili had 11 digs and Skyler Bercini had 10.

(Photo by © Ross A Benson)

(Photo by © Ross A Benson)



Burroughs Volleyball to Play for CIF Title

Playing in big matches is something that has become the norm for the Burroughs High boys’ volleyball team.

A four-time CIF semifinalist over the past six years, the Indians showed Wednesday night how they were prepared as they defeated host South Pasadena  25-22, 25-23, 25-11 in the semifinals of the CIF Southern Section Division 2 playoffs.

Burroughs, the No.3 seed, will play top-seeded Oak Park of Agoura Saturday in the CIF championship at Cerritos College.

“This proves how much we’ve improved in the last year,” Burroughs setter Ryan Van Loo said. “We kind of didn’t show up against Valencia (in last year’s semifinals). We knew we had to come here and it give it our all and we did.”


Burroughs last appeared in a final in 2011, when it lost to the Division 3 title match to Cerritos Valley Christian.

“I’m really proud of the guys for battling and doing what they were asked to do,” Burroughs coach Joel Brinton said. “We finished the job like they were supposed.”

Burroughs was actually down 13-9 in the first game before calling a timeout. Led by senior outside hitter Greg Luck, South Pasadena went up by as much as 15-10 before the Indians mounted a comeback and tied things up at 17 on a kill by Cameron Capili.

Andrew Dalmada, who had a team-high 16 kills, broke a tie at 22 with one of his kills to push Burroughs ahead. The Indians clinched the first game as South Pasadena hit the ball out.

The second game was also close and intense. With both teams tied at 23, South Pasadena served the ball out of bounds. Burroughs then clinched the game with a block from Van Loo.

Burroughs took command early in the third and final game and never looked back.

Capili had 12 kills for Burroughs and Conner Ludlum had 10 kills. Van Loo had 37 assists and three blocks. Skyler Bercini had nine digs.

Brinton said he knows beating Oak Park will not be easy, but remains confident. Burroughs defeated Oak Park last season.

“They’ve got great athletes all over the place,” Brinton said. “We’ll sit down with our coaches and come up with some sort of plan. We know we can do it.”

If Burroughs wins against Oak Park it would be just the second team CIF title in school history. The 2014 boys’ cross country team became the first team in school history to win a CIF title when it won the Division 1 crown.




Burroughs Volleyball Outlasts Crescenta Valley

The Burroughs High boys’ volleyball team doesn’t face tight competition in the Pacific League very often.

Friday night the Indians ran into an opponent that was ready for battle.

Playing at Crescenta Valley, the Indians, who are ranked No. 3 in the CIF Southern Section Division 2 poll, were definitely pushed.

In the end, the six-time defending Pacific League champions prevailed winning 29-27, 27-25, 22-25, 25-18.

“We try to treat every match the same and respecting our opponents every single time, but I do think that having a competitive edge from CV was kind of like a wake-up call for the playoffs for when they come around,” said Andrew Dalmada who led Burroughs with 18 kills.

Burroughs CV Volleyball 2016 3

Burroughs (14-1 overall, 7-0 in league) had to fight for every point in the first three sets.

The Indians appeared to be on the verge of winning the first set when leading 23-20 following a kill by Cameron Capili.

But the host Falcons (10-9, 4-2) fought back and actually held the lead at 26-25 and 27-26. Burroughs finished off the first set with a block from Bailey Carter, followed by a kill from Connor Ludlum.

The second set was also intense. CV led 15-10, before Carter brought his team back with three kills and a block in short run that saw Burroughs tie the score at 16.

But Crescenta Valley did not go away. The Falcons held a 24-23 lead, before a kill by Dalmada kept the Indians alive.

After both sides were tied at 25, Burroughs finished things off with kills from Carter and Capili. Capili finished with 12 kills. Carter had seven kills and six blocks.

Burroughs CV Volleyball 2016 1

Even being down two sets would not derail the Falcons. They led 22-20, before Burroughs’ Skyler Bercini served back-to-back aces. Bercini also had 22 digs.

But a kill from CV’s Brett Dunkin and a block from Paul Kim extended the match into a fourth set.

“There were times when it was a down game for us and we weren’t playing Burroughs volleyball,” Dalmada said. “But I definitely think at the end of game two and end of game four we definitely played our game.”

Dalmada proved to a difference maker in the fourth set, when he had six kills, many of which were at crucial points that dictated the momentum.

Setter Ryan Van Loo, who finished with 40 assists, appeared to have sealed the match for his team with Burroughs up 24-17. But he was called for a lift violation and shown a red card for what the referee deemed unsportsmanlike conduct. In volleyball a player is ejected following two red cards.

Van Loo, who had momentarily began to celebrate the victory, was able to gather himself back together as he had a block on the match-clinching point.

Both sides will play again May 3 at Burroughs.