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Boys’ Volleyball Season Preview:

Teams expect to step it up

Burroughs, Bell-Jeff, Providence looking to get back to CIF.

March 10, 2010|By Jeff Tully

Although all three local boys’ volleyball teams made the postseason last season, no squad was able to finish higher than third in their respective league.

While Bellarmine-Jefferson and Providence highs placed third in their leagues, Burroughs finished fourth.

For the second straight season, Burbank will not field a team because of a lack of interest.

Here is a look at how the area squads look for this season.

BURROUGHS

Last season, the Indians fielded a team with just one returning senior, and that player quit the program early on. Despite the inexperience, the Indians were a competitive squad in league play, going, 5-5.

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The team placed fourth in the Pacific League and earned an at-large berth into the playoffs.

Because of its success, Burroughs Coach Joel Brinton was named the Pacific League Coach of the Year.

Unfortunately for the coach, some players from that team have decided not to come back this season.

“I don’t know the reason for it at all,” said Brinton, whose team was 14-11 last season. “We were supposed to have a team with some experience, but again we have a pretty young team.”

The team does have a fine pair of returners in junior brothers Lucas and Tyler Yanez. Last season, Tyler, a setter, had 520 assists (second all-time) and 117 digs to earn honorable-mention all-league honors. Lucas, an outside hitter and first-team all-leaguer, broke school records in kills (231) and digs (211).

Patrolling net will be sophomore middle blocker Ike Nwachie and junior Nick La France will also play in the middle.

“We only have 10 guys, so most of them are going to play a lot,” Brinton said.

In league, Brinton said Claremont, Arcadia and Crescenta Valley should be tough.

“But our goal is to make it to the playoffs,” he said.

BELLARMINE-JEFFERSON

The Guards (5-10, 4-5 in league) finished third in league, as champion Salesian went on to play in the Division V title contest.

Unfortunately for Bell-Jeff, it lost a group from that team to graduation.

“We only have two returners, but we have guys on the team who have played their share of volleyball,” Coach Miguel Segura said. “We are just going to have to improve as the season goes on. If we do that, I think we’ll be fine.”

Segura said his go-to player this season is junior outside hitter Miguel Garcia, who was moved from middle blocker to outside hitter.

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