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PREVIEW:Indians look to rule court

GIRLS VOLLEYBALL SEASON

Burroughs returns fine group from successful squad last year; Burbank, Bell-Jeff, Providence fitting pieces together.

September 01, 2007|By Jeff Tully

BURBANK — Last season proved to be a successful year for three of the four local girls’ volleyball programs.

Providence won a share of the Liberty League championship and advanced to the CIF Southern Section Division IVAA semifinals for the first time in school history.

Burroughs also enjoyed a fine postseason run, advancing to the CIF Division IIA quarterfinals for the first time in 20 years.

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Bellarmine-Jefferson won a share of the Santa Cruz League title and was successful in its opening Division IVA playoff match.

Unfortunately for Burbank, it was the lone school that wasn’t able to fight its way into the playoffs.

This season, Providence, Bell-Jeff and Burbank have to regroup after losing their share of key players to graduation.

However, the Indians return almost their entire team, and the group is looking to make a run for their first league championship in 13 years.

“The girls played a lot during the summer and they have worked very hard,” said Burroughs Coach Edwin Real, last season’s All-Area coach of the year. “We’re excited about the season.”

With the season set to begin next week, here is a closer look at how the teams are shaping up:

The Indians enjoyed a remarkable turnaround in 2006, going 15-9 (10-4 for third place in the Pacific League). A year earlier, the team (3-15, 0-10) finished last in the Foothill League.

One of the reasons for that success was the play of outside hitter Karissa Lagmay. Lagmay, who averaged 12 kills at match in league and 15 in the postseason, earned All-CIF second-team honors and all-league and All-Area first-team accolades.

Lagmay is back for her senior season, and Real said she is better than ever.

“She’s just improved so much since she first came into the program and she should continue that this season,” Real said. “I think she learned a lot from last season.”

Lagmay is by no means Burroughs’ only weapon. The team has a host of players who should make the Indians very formidable. Senior middle blocker Tatiana Sao, senior setters Jamie Loprecho and Trisha Diaz, senior opposite hitter Wendy Rolph, senior outside hitter Kayla Gurley and sophomore libero Traci Hamanaka lead the group.

“A lot of these girls have played varsity for a few years, so they know what to expect,” Real said. “We have nine returners from last year and seven seniors. They know how to play together.”

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