BURBANK HIGH — With just three matches played between them coming into the third annual Burbank Tournament, the girls’ water polo teams from Burbank High and Hoover were hoping to use the event to get some much-needed experience.
Playing five to six matches during the three-day tourney that began Thursday and concludes Saturday, the Bulldogs and Tornadoes will get their fill of competition in the event that features 10 teams.
It was a rocky first day of matches for Hoover, as it dropped two contests Thursday, the last being a 17-0 defeat at the hands of the Indians. The Tornadoes also lost to Alemany in their tournament opener, 18-1.
Burroughs, on the other hand, split its two matches, falling to Marina, 10-8.
Indians Coach Danny Garcia said he is hoping the barrage of games will get his team ready for Pacific League play, which begins next month.
“This is a good opportunity to see where we are as a team,” Garcia said. “It will be a test of our endurance and our stamina and will give us the opportunity to see some teams that we might not normally get to see.
“In tournaments like this, where you play so many games in such a short period of time, you really have to conserve your energy and not go all out and tire yourself out in one particular game.”
Hoover (0-3) was just no match for Burroughs (3-1) in the team’s pool-play contest. The Tornadoes had trouble implementing their offense and were hindered by turnovers.
Tornadoes first-year Coach Kevin Witt said despite the two lopsided results Thursday, his squad is making strides.
“These players just weren’t given the respect they deserve by the previous coaches,” said Witt, a former Glendale High standout. “But we have some good athletes on this team and they have been working hard. We look forward to seeing how much we can improve as a team by the end of the year.”
The Indians were paced by Sam Buliavac, who scored a match-high seven goals in just two quarters.
Garcia said he sat his team’s best offensive player throughout the second half in order to not run up the score any further.
Violeta Oganesyan added four goals for Burroughs.
Buliavac earned two ejections and made good on consecutive five-meter penalty shots in the opening moments of the match to give the Indians a 2-0 lead. Burroughs finished the quarter with a 6-0 advantage, as the Indians’ defense allowed just two shots during the stanza.
The Hoover offense struggled during the second and third quarters and was not able to get a shot off during the span. By that time, Burroughs had built up a 17-0 lead heading into the fourth quarter.
“It’s tough when you play against a team like we played today,” Garcia said. “You can’t tell your team not to score, but you also don’t want to run things up either.”
The Indians didn’t score in the fourth quarter. The fourth was also the most productive for the Tornadoes, as they had five shots.