Tag Archives: Vahagan Sahakyan

Burroughs Water Polo Comes Up Just Short Against St. Francis

After finishing fourth in the Pacific League, postseason expectations for the Burroughs High boys’ water polo program were not overly encouraging.

But the Indians put together a fine playoff run that included a pair of victories.

(Photo by Ross A Benson)

That came to halt Saturday afternoon as the Indians fell 9-8 to St. Francis High of La Canada Flintridge in the quarterfinals of the CIF Southern Section Division 5 playoffs.

The game was played at Notre Dame High in Sherman Oaks.

“It’s a rough one, but I’m proud of them and all of their accomplishments this season. They played a great game,” Burroughs coach Jacob Cook said of his players. “This is only the third time Burroughs has come this far, so that is something to be proud of.”

Burroughs (12-9) got off to a slow start as the Golden Knights scored the first three goals of the contest. Jack Wilson, Jason Alietti and Jaren Sin each scored for St. Francis.

Vahagan Sahakyan got Burroughs on the board with 24 seconds left in the first quarter as the Indians took advantage of having a one-man advantage.

The Indians made it 3-2 as Chet Conlan made a long pass to Ryan Jaramillo who put the ball past Golden Knights goalie Vince Ciampa.

Robert Alietti gave St. Francis (29-3) a 4-2 lead on a 5-meter penalty shot.

Xavier Turla got a goal back with 3:43 left in the first half as he put the ball in the lower-left corner.

(Photo by Ross A Benson)

Robert Alietti gave St. Francis a 5-3 advantage, before Sahakyan cut the difference in half with a turn around shot in the right corner.

Robert Alietti scored once again, with 18 seconds left before the end of the half, making it 6-4 going into the intermission.

Burroughs came out strong to start the second half, as Turla snuck a side-armed shot past Ciampa to make it 6-5 with 6:30 left in the third quarter.

The Indians continued the momentum, especially after goalie David Karagezyan saved a 5-meter penalty shot from Jason Alietti.

Less than a minute later, Burroughs tied things as Tobey Ho scored following a pass from Conlan.

But the Alietti brothers came by to score three straight, as Jason had one and Robert had two in pushing the Golden Knights back up to a 9-6 lead.

(Photo by Ross A. Benson)

Burroughs made it 9-7 with 4:44 left as Turla’s shot was deflected and ended up in the back of the Golden Knights’ net.

Sahakyan made it 9-8 with 1:44 left as he put the ball in the lower right corner of the goal.

Burroughs had two more shots in the final minute, but both were blocked by Ciampa.

 

 

Burroughs Boys Water Polo Nips Visiting Marina In CIF Second-Round Match

By Rick Assad

In front of a loud, raucous and excited throng on the Burroughs High campus Thursday evening, the Indians boys’ water polo team faced Marina in a CIF Southern Section Division V second-round match.

In an emotional CIF second-round match, Xavier Turla exults. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

What occurred over the next 34 minutes was a true battle royale that included ebbs and flows, but in the end, the Indians edged the Mariners 13-11 after scoring four goals in the second three-minute extra session.

“We got off the opening shot early and we tried to figure them out,” Burroughs coach Jacob Cook said of the back-and-forth tussle. “We kept a two-goal lead for most of the match, but Marina cut the lead to 8-4 and 8-6. But they [Burroughs] were ready to get it done.”

Cook, who has been at the helm for several years and has claimed a CIF title, said the crowd was a factor and helpful in its support.

It was a back-and-forth match that was eventually won by Burroughs 13-11 over Marina. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

“It was really nice to see the big crowd and Marina had a big crowd there as well,” he noted. “Even our junior varsity team was there and they had face-paint on and cheering us on. It was really exciting. The crowd was big and there was a lot of emotion.”

Sophomore utility Xavier Turla led the scoring march for Burroughs, which will play No. 2 seeded St. Francis (29-3) in a quarterfinal match on Saturday at Notre Dame High in Sherman Oaks with a scheduled 11 a.m. start, with six goals while senior utility Vahagan Sahakyan chipped in with four tallies.

It was Turla’s three goals in the second extra period that sealed the win for the Indians, who are 14-8.  The go-ahead goal by Turla that made it 12-11 came with less than 40 seconds left in the match.

Scoring goals was at a premium when Burroughs hosted Marina in a CIF second-round match. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

The Indians forged a 1-0 advantage after the first quarter and led 4-2 at the intermission.

Burroughs knocked in four goals in the third period as did Marina (14-14) and the Indians were ahead 8-6 at the end of the third quarter.

The Mariners outscored the Indians 3-1 in the fourth quarter and it was deadlocked at 9-9, requiring the extra six minutes of action.

The extra sessions consist of two three-minute periods and it was Marina which led 10-9 after the first three-minute period, but Burroughs forced the issue and action and claimed the match in dramatic fashion.

Burroughs Boys Water Polo Uses Second Half To Win 20-7 Over Burbank

By Rick Assad

An offensive tsunami in the second half and a suffocating defense in two of the four quarters were at the crux of the Burroughs High boys’ water polo team routing host Burbank 20-7 in the Pacific League regular-season finale on Wednesday afternoon in front of a jammed-packed audience.

Seven players scored for the Indians (11-6 and 4-2 in league), but none stood taller than senior utility Vahagan Sahakyan, who chimed in with a match-best nine goals, including seven in the second half when Burroughs outscored Burbank 15-2.

Burbank’s Pavel Tantchev, shown in a recent Pacific League match, scored a goal against Burroughs. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

“We just yelled at them a little bit, stuff they were getting complacent on,” Burroughs coach Jacob Cook said of the second half offensive deluge. We got it together.”

Not too far behind was sophomore utility Xavier Turla, who added six goals for the Indians, who shut out the Bulldogs in the first and fourth quarters.

The Indians led 5-0 heading into the second frame, but the Bulldogs (5-12 and 1-5 in league) dropped in five goals and evened it at 5-5 at the intermission.

Junior utility Ryan Jaramillo’s six-footer with 5:16 left was the first tally of the match before Turla buzzed in one from 10 feet with 2:39 left to make it 2-0.

Turla’s five-footer with 27 seconds left extended the lead to 3-0. When Sahakyan drilled a six-footer with 11 seconds left, the Indians’ cushion was 4-0.

Burroughs slid ahead 5-0 on Sahakyan’s tally and 6:38 left in the second frame. Burbank (2-14 and 1-4 in league) scored the next five goals as junior driver Grigor Gasabian nailed a 10-footer as 6:08 remained.

The Indians were tied 5-5 at the half with the Bulldogs, but exploded for 15 goals in the second half. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

Sophomore driver Pavel Tantchev scored on a 10-foot laser and 3:50 left and was followed by a 12-footer with 2:24 on the ticker by sophomore driver Jonathan Agazaryan.

Gasabian’s 20-foot tally with 47 seconds left made it 5-4 while Agazaryan 12-footer found the back of the net 28 seconds later that knotted it at 5-5.

“We weren’t responding to their counters,” first-year Burbank coach Mike Lucero said. “We were in the game. They [Burroughs] kept scoring off of every counter.”

How did the Bulldogs rally in the second quarter? “They were moving more and they were running the plays they were supposed to run,” Lucero said.

The Indians came out and scored the first four goals of the third quarter and led 9-5. Sahakyan’s point-blank goal with 6:03 left made it 6-5 and junior utility Alex Lewin’s two-footer with 5:23 showing pushed the advantage to 7-5.

Sahakyan’s point-blank shot with 4:50 remaining saw the Indians dart in front 8-5 and Turla’s three-footer made it a four-goal lead and 3:29 remaining.

The Bulldogs broke the spell when senior driver Kouroush Dolatshani knocked in an eight-footer with 2:42 on the clock as Burbank came within 9-6.

Two goals followed for the Indians as Sahakyan’s 10-footer with 1:36 left made it 10-6 and senior attacker Tobey Ho’s five-footer 27 seconds later extended the lead to 11-6.

Sophomore driver Avo Barsegyan scored from 12 feet for the Bulldogs as 26 seconds remained that made it 11-7, while Sahakyan’s 12-footer five seconds later pushed it to a five-goal lead.

An eight-goal outburst highlighted the fourth quarter as Sahakyan and Turla each scored three goals.

Sahakyan hammered two 10-foot goals including one with 6:18 left that made it 13-7 and one with 5:26 on the clock for a 14-7 lead.

Turla’s six-footer with 4:53 on the timer made it 15-7 and Sahakyan’s eight-footer 17 seconds later expanded the advantage to 16-7.

Turla’s six-footer 39 seconds later extended the Indians’ lead to 10 goals. Senior attacker Chet Conlan’s close-range goal with 2:50 left made it 18-7 and Turla’s point-blank tally with 1:53 on the clock shoved the Indians ahead 19-7.

Junior utility Miguel Martinez capped off the offensive outburst with a six-footer as 41 seconds remained.

Senior Arthur Eldridge and senior David Karagezyan each played exceptional in goal for Burroughs, while Burbank senior net-keeper Sarkis Terpetrossyan was under duress for much of the day.

The next order of business for both schools is the league tournament which begins on Tuesday at Arcadia and concludes on October 31.

Burroughs Boys Water Polo Gets Good Start, Knocks Off Crescenta Valley

By Rick Assad

One objective that Jacob Cook, the Burroughs High boys’ water polo coach wanted his team to accomplish was get off to a productive start in Thursday’s Pacific League match against visiting Crescenta Valley.

This is exactly what happened as a six-goal, first-quarter outburst allowed the Indians to waltz past the Falcons 13-6 behind five goals each from senior attacker Chet Conlan and senior utility Vahagan Sahakyan.

Chet Conlan scored five goals for Burroughs in a 13-6 win over Crescenta Valley. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

“We capitalized on a lot of opportunities,” Burroughs coach Jacob Cook said. “They came out aggressive. We didn’t come out too hard against Glendale on Tuesday. We made sure we came out hard and didn’t play catchup.”

Conlan tallied two goals and Sahakyan knocked in three in the initial frame as Burroughs (8-5 and 1-1 in league) took control 6-1 entering the second period.

“I think we’re doing well. We have a lot of potential,” Cook said of his squad, which can score goals in a hurry. “We have threats everywhere. We want to be league champs and that’s the goal.”

With this kind of cushion it was seemingly going to be real tough for the young Falcons to rally.

The Indians’ goalies were spectacular versus the Falcons. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

“Burroughs did a good job of coming out, playing good press defense, our drivers were not getting open and then offensively Burroughs did a good job of being assertive,” Crescenta Valley coach Jan Sakonju said. “They got goals out of the center and they got good outside shots and it was a good offensive attack on their part which is why at the end of the first quarter there was such a point differential.”

Sakonju also thinks that the Falcons are going to be much better in the future.

“Burroughs beat us pretty decisively today, but it was a good learning experience for us,” he said.

The period commenced with senior center Matthew Mucha scoring on a 10-foot rocket with 6:18 left for a 1-0 lead.

When Conlan drilled home a six-footer with 5:35 left on the timer, the Indians’ lead swelled to 2-1.

Playing defense and getting loose balls was vital in Burroughs’ decision over Crescenta Valley. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

Sahakyan’s laser from six feet, thirty seconds later, made it 3-1 and Conlan’s eight-foot bullet with 3:23 showing pushed Burroughs’ margin to 4-1.

A winner from eight feet by Sahakyan with 1:47 remaining handed the Indians a 5-1 advantage.

Sahakyan’s 14-foot dagger, 45 seconds later, made it 6-1.

Each team scored two goals in the second quarter, including senior utility Ryan Jaramillo’s five-meter penalty attempt with 3:51 left on the clock that saw Burroughs pull ahead 7-1.

Conlan’s six-footer with 38 seconds showing in the opening half gave Burroughs an 8-2 edge.

The third quarter was likewise even as both squads scored three goals that included Conlan’s 10-footer with four minutes left as the Indians darted ahead 9-4.

Sahakyan’s eight-footer with 2:41 remaining made it 10-5 and Sahakyan’s five-meter penalty toss with 12 seconds left allowed the Indians to glide ahead 11-6.

Vahagan Sahakyan also tallied five goals for the Indians. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

Burroughs tacked on two insurance goals in the fourth period when Jaramillo scored from 10 feet with 6:04 left for a 12-6 advantage.

Conlan closed out the offensive festivities for the Indians with a six-footer and 2:49 showing for a seven-goal lead.

George Saroyan led the way for the Falcons (6-10 and 1-1 in league) with three goals and Saroyan’s six-foot cannon shot with 5:51 remaining in the first quarter evened it at 1-1.

When Saroyan found the back of the net from eight feet and 1:18 left in the second period, Crescenta Valley drew within 7-2.

Saroyan’s five-meter penalty throw with 2:49 left in the third quarter sliced the Indians’ lead to 9-5.

A point-blank toss from Jacob Choe with 38 seconds showing in the second quarter saw the Falcons get within 8-2.

Charlie Ward’s 16-footer with 5:03 left in the third stanza shaved the Indians’ edge to 8-4 and when Alden Marriott scored from eight feet with 44 seconds left in the same frame, Burroughs’ lead was reduced to 10-5.

The Indians outshot the Falcons 15-12 in the first half and 29-22 overall, and Burroughs goalies, senior Arthur Eldridge and senior David Karagezyan, turned away multiple shots and played exceedingly well.

Burroughs, Burbank Boys Water Polo Ready For Action

By Rick Assad

 

There’s a saying that it’s hard getting to the top, but it’s even more difficult staying there.

This axiom doesn’t necessarily apply to the Burroughs High boys’ water polo team because while it hasn’t always been at the very top of the Pacific League standings, the Indians have usually been in the top portion.

Looking at rival Burbank’s boys’ water polo program, the same can’t be said, but then again, matters can and do change.

If practice makes perfect, then the Burbank High boys’ water polo team is headed in the right direction. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

This season, Burroughs will pay a visit to Burbank’s pool on October 23.

Another important date is the league preliminaries which take place at the Arcadia pool on October 29.

The league finals is at the same site, but will be held October 31.

The CIF Southern Section playoffs will be contested on November 5, 7, 9, 12 and 16.

Coach Jacob Cook has built and sustained an excellent program at Burroughs and this year’s edition should at least contend for the top spot in the league.

“I have high expectations for the season,” Cook said. “We have a talented group this year with a lot of talent and potential. I’m excited to see what we can do.”

Last year the Indians went 13-10 overall and 5-4 in league action, but lost in the CIF first round.

Burroughs, shown in a 2018 match against rival Burbank, look to better its 5-4 record in the Pacific League. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

The projected starters for Burroughs will be senior goalie Arthur Eldridge, senior attacker Chet Conlan, senior attacker Tobey Ho, senior center Matthew Mucha, senior utility Vahagan Sahakyan, junior utility Ryan Jaramillo and sophomore utility Xavier Turla.

Here are the rest of the Burroughs upperclassmen and they include Jon Paul De Fabry, David Karagezyan, Nathan Magdaleno and Aaron Meza.

The juniors on the team are Fox Melo, Miguel Martinez and Alex Lewin, while sophomore Andrew Chapman and freshman Ryan Rolando are also on the squad.

Mike Lucero is the Burbank Aquatics Director and the first-year coach for the boys’ and girls’ water polo teams.

Lucero has been around and was the assistant swim coach for the Burbank boys’ and girls’ programs the last two years.

Mike Lucero is in his first season as the Burbank boys’ and girls’ water polo coach. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

In order to compete with the better teams in the league like Hoover, Glendale and Crescenta Valley, Lucero said it’s important to get faster in the water.

“We’re working on having some speed work,” Lucero said. “You need speed to keep up with teams like Crescenta Valley.”

Lucero then added: “I want to see the water polo team be a year-round program and the players stay with their conditioning. I want to see more team unity,” he said.

Lucero also wants to build a program that will be viable and contend. “Some of these club programs, major swim programs, these swimmers are starting at nine, 10, 11,” he said. “Here they’re coming in at 14. And for the first time they’re learning the basics of water polo.”

Burbank is coming off a campaign in which it went 8-10, failed to make the postseason and doesn’t have many seniors, but it does have players familiar with each other.

A four-year starter and a 2018 Burbank graduate, Varuzhan Bilbulyan is the Bulldogs’ assistant water polo coach.

The Indians, shown in a match versus the Bulldogs, have the talent to do well overall and in the Pacific League. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

“This year we see a lot of young athletes that we have on both varsity and JV contributing a lot of hard work and we see a lot more attentiveness and a bigger drive than in past years to get better and improve themselves,” Bilbulyan said. “We see a very good attitude and very good behavior. Everybody is trying their best and everyone is getting better day by day.”

Bilbuyan went on: “This year’s powerhouses are probably going to be Hoover. They always have a lot of club players,” he said. “Glendale is also going to be good and they have club players. CV’s been good the last couple of years. We can finish in the top five, but our goal is top four so that we’re guaranteed to make the playoffs.”

Seven seniors populate the squad and they include driver Hakop Pilavjyan, driver Sahak Khobiarian, driver Ashot Keshishyan, driver Artush Hovannisyan, driver Edward Bowman, driver Kourosh Dolatshahi and goalie Sarkis Terpetrossyan.

There are four juniors and they are driver Brian Di Mascio, driver Grigor Gasabian, driver Michael Mehserdjian and setter Anthony Sarafian.

Five sophomores are on the team and they include driver Avo Barsegyan, driver Pavel Tantchev, driver Jonathan Agazaryan, setter Robert Kharazyan and goalie Narek Galamdaryan.

Seryozha Soghomonyan is also on the team after being promoted to the varsity at the end of July.