BURBANK – Though the level of competitiveness between the Burbank High, Providence, Holy Family and Hoover girls' volleyball team differs greatly, each came away with some positives at Saturday's Burbank Tournament.
The host Bulldogs captured the Silver Division Championship, while the Pioneers advanced to the semifinals of the Gold Division, Holy Family earned a spot in the Silver Division semifinals and Hoover dropped the championship match of the Bronze Division.
Who did best locally is certainly debatable although Burbank (8-1) was the lone program to take home hardware after finishing 4-1.
That happened when the Bulldogs defeated similarly-clad blue and white El Camino Real, 25-18, in the Silver Division Championship match.
Burbank received four kills and one ace in the victory from Suzy Torosyan, while Melissa Daniel added two kills and Ashley Eskander tallied two kills and one ace.
El Camino led the one-set championship, 11-10, before Burbank responded with an 11-3 spurt to take control of the contest. An ace from Eskander sealed the win.
"It's not the hardware we wanted or the division we wanted to be in, but at least it is some silverware," Burbank coach Karl Rojas said. "We played a lot of players that don't get a lot of time and they performed great out there. I'm really excited about this effort."
Burbank reached the championship by beating Canyon Country Canyon, 25-22, in the semifinals after rallying to defeat Faith Baptist, 27-25.
Burbank was placed in the Silver Division after finishing second in its pool behind Simi Valley.
Burbank defeated Canyon, 18-25, 25-17, 25-20, but lost to Simi Valley, 26-24, 17-25, 26-28.
Providence (10-4-1) also put together a wonderful run to finish 3-1-1 and advanced to the semifinals of the Gold Division, the tournament's highest division.
"To be honest, I didn't even know we were going to be in this tournament," Providence coach James Jimenez said. "I thought we were in the Whittier Tournament, but I guess something happened to the paperwork and now I'm really happy we made it here.
"It's always a tough tournament and, as far as I know as long as we've been here, we've never been in the Gold playoffs, so it's an accomplishment."
The Pioneers had their run stopped by Pasadena, 25-18, despite the exploits of Talia Patterson, who finished with four kills and four digs.
Previous to Pasadena, Providence rallied for a wild 25-23 victory over Simi Valley in the Gold Division quarterfinals.The Pioneers trailed, 20-19, but tied at 22 before pulling ahead on a Simi Valley attacking error and an ace from Giselle Camonayan.
A kill from Ayah LeBrane, who finished with four kills and two blocks, sealed the victory.
Providence also notched wins against Hoover (25-13, 25-10) and Paraclete (25-17, 25-10) before splitting with Arleta (23-25, 25-19) in pool play.
Holy Family entered Saturday's tournament on fire, having won four of its five matches.
The Division IX school, however, ran into an upper-division slate and finished 2-3 overall as its record is now 6-4.
"It's good for the girls to have this sort of exposure and preparation since our goal is going onto the playoffs and such," Holy Family coach Robert Bringas Jr. said. "I think the girls stepped up really well to take on a few different teams, hits and looks. This was a positive experience."
The Gaels defeated Immaculate Heart, 25-19, in the Silver Division quarterfinals behind five kills from sophomore outside hitter Meghann Velasquez.
Holy Family's march to the finals ended, though, via a 25-15 loss to El Camino Real.
Holy Family finished 1-2 in Group C to take third place after it lost to Division IV Pasadena (25-15, 25-18) and Division VII Heritage Christian (25-9, 25-11), but rallied to upend Los Angeles Jordan, 25-12, 25-12.
Hoover was paired with Providence in Group E and tried to compete with a seven-girl roster, which is one body above the minimum.
The Tornadoes finished 0-3-1, placed last in their pool and fell in the Bronze Division championship to Los Angeles Lincoln High, 25-16, despite three aces for Tatyana Davidian.
Differences in roster size were evident all day, but perhaps magnified when Hoover faced Paraclete in pool play action.
Paraclete won the match 25-13, 25-9 as the squad boasted 11 players that contributed a point via block, ace or kill, which was four more players than on Hoover's entire roster.
"You just have to adjust to them, there's nothing else to do," Hoover coach Daniel Seranian said. "You don't know who you're going to get, especially if there are teams that aren't from your league or even the [San Fernando] Valley. Each team had tall girls, short girls, medium-height girls, so whatever you see is what you're going to see in league. You have to learn to adjust."