The area softball and boys’ volleyball seasons featured successful teams and a host of talented athletes.
In softball, Burroughs High won the Pacific League championship and Burbank placed second and advanced to the quarterfinals of the playoffs. In addition, Bellarmine-Jefferson captured a league crown and qualified for its second consecutive CIF Southern Section Division VII title game.
In volleyball, Burroughs secured a share of the Pacific League championship and advanced to the CIF Southern Section Division III semifinals.
For their efforts, the teams had players who garnered All-CIF Southern Section first-team accolades.
Burroughs pitcher Haley Schulman and freshman pitcher Caitlyn Brooks earned first-team awards in Division III. Bell-Jeff sophomore pitcher Mia Acosta was honored in Division VII.
Senior middle Robby Rutecki made the first team in Division III in volleyball.
Rutecki, the Pacific League co-player of the year, helped Burroughs (21-5) advance to the semifinals for the second straight season. He finished the season with 197 kills, 160 digs, 25 blocks and 31 aces.
Schulman was the ace in the circle for the Indians (24-4), who secured the outright league championship. Schulman had a 17-4 record and a 2.15 earned-run average in 136 2/3 innings. In addition, she struck out 137 batters.
Schulman was also the Pacific League Player of the Year.
Brooks made an instant impact with the Bulldogs (23-6), as the team made it to the quarterfinals after finishing behind Burroughs in league. Brooks had a 16-5 record and a 1.95 ERA with 180 strikeouts in 147 innings.
Acosta also had a solid first season after transferring from Birmingham High, helping propel the Guards (23-6-3) to their third straight Santa Cruz League title. Bell-Jeff also advanced to the Division VII championship game for the second consecutive season, losing to Pomona Catholic, 1-0. Acosta didn’t surrender a run in league play and gave up just one — in the championship game — in four playoff contests.
“She just had so much composure as a pitcher for us,” Bell-Jeff Coach Florencio Galindo said. “She didn’t get rattled and she came through for us when we really needed her.”
Acosta was voted the Santa Cruz League Player of the Year.