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Led by Bell-Jeff, girls' volleyball teams looking to build on success

Four local programs lost share of talent from last season, but all also have their share of key returning players.

August 27, 2013|By Jeff Tully,

For nearly a half-decade, the Bellarmine-Jefferson High girls' volleyball team has been the most successful of the four programs in the city.

Under coach Miguel Segura, the Guards had a streak of seven straight Santa Cruz League championships and a league unbeaten string that has swelled to 52. In addition, Bell-Jeff advanced to the CIF Southern Section quarterfinals for five straight seasons.

But Segura, who helped the Guards advance to Division IV-A championship game in 2009, has departed to take the head girls' and boys' volleyball jobs at rival St. Genevieve.


Taking over at Bell-Jeff is Brandon Johnson, who has extended experience coaching in the Santa Clarita Valley.

At Providence, a familiar face returns to head the program. James Jimenez, who left the school four years ago and has coached at Holy Family, is back in the fold. He helped guide the Pioneers to a share of the Liberty League championship in 2008.

Burbank comes into the season after winning a share of its first league championship in 37 years, and is hoping keep that success going.

For Burroughs, it is coming off a season in which it advanced to the CIF Southern Section Division III quarterfinals.

Here is a look at how the teams are shaping up.


Johnson spent the last two seasons as the head boys' and girls' coach at Canyon Country Canyon. He was also a junior varsity coach at Saugus for three years and an assistant for three years at College of the Canyons.

"I know this program has been very successful the past few years," Johnson said. "And we are looking to continue that tradition and try and expand even further. I have been with them only for about three weeks, so it hasn't been a lot of time, but we are coming along."

With a solid group of returners from a team that went 17-10-1 last season, Johnson said he likes what he sees with the players who will take the floor for the Guards.

"They have been working very hard these past few weeks and they have been very receptive to what I'm doing as a coach and how I approach things," Johnson said. "I tell them if I ask you to do something new, just try it and see what happens. And they've been very good with that.

"I realize that they had a different coach for their years here and it's tough sometimes to listen to something new or do something a different way. But I have been working for them and they have been working for me, and so far it's worked out fine."

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