_____________________________ ST. NORBERT CHURCH           RATES ________________________         EBOOK


News & Notes From Press Row – Valley Christian Girls Volleyball All Over Whitney As New Stars Rise

August 31, 2023

By Loren Kopff

Karly Burkhardt has seen a lot in the first 13 days of the regular season. The first-year head coach for the Valley Christian High girls volleyball team has watched her team go 2-2 in the annual Tae Kim Lakewood/Molten Classic, win a thrilling five-set match at Downey High and been involved in a trio of three-set matches.

The last of those was the easiest of the season to this point as the Defenders dispatched Whitney High 25-7, 25-9, 25-7 last Thursday. With another five-set win at Warren High this past Tuesday, V.C. improved to 6-3.

“That was definitely a goal for our team; to play our game, our speed,” said Burkhardt. “That’s always the goal with any opponent, is going to be can we keep a high standard on our side of the court with no expectations as far as how the game is going to turn out.” We showed up having practiced hard yesterday and we were ready to fight today.”

V.C. scored the first four points of the match and had leads of 10-1, 14-2 and 15-3 before the Wildcats scored consecutive points. Later in the first set, the Defenders reeled off six straight points to make it 23-6.

It was more of the same in the second set as the hosts had leads of 8-1, 11-2 and 15-3 before Whitney scored back to back points. And, in the third set, the Defenders scored the first 11 points. In fact, at no time in the match did Whitney (2-3) score more than two points in a row.

Freshman outside hitter Tessa Dobmeier led everyone with nine kills, all but two coming in the third set, while senior setter Samantha Van Duyn added seven kills and senior middle hitter Abby McGuyre and junior outside hitter Cameron Warner pitched in with five kills each. Senior defensive specialist Madison Jimenez had six aces and freshman setter Lucy Taylor added four aces as the Defenders had 23 for the match. Sophomore outside hitter Nevaeh Salinas led Whitney with six kills.

“We are definitely blessed with a tall team, but beyond that, they are very skilled and very competitive,” said Burkhardt. “They want to be set the ball and they want to put it away every time, and I just love that about them. But of course, we can’t do that without our setters. Our setters [senior] Chloe [Taylor] and Lucy both did a great job tonight, especially with that middle connection.”

V.C. hosted Bishop Amat High on Aug. 31 and will be home to Kennedy High on Tuesday while Whitney, which was swept by La Mirada High 25-6, 25-14, 25-23 this past Tuesday, went to North Torrance High on Aug. 31 and will begin 605 League play on Thursday when the Wildcats go to Pioneer High.

In other girls volleyball action, Artesia High (3-3) has not played since Sept. 19 and was scheduled to host Firebaugh High on Aug. 31 and Lynwood High on Tuesday. Cerritos High swept Gahr High 25-16, 25-17, 25-22 last Thursday and defeated to La Serna High 26-24, 23-25, 25-22, 25-14 this past Tuesday. The Dons (3-1) will go to Santa Fe High on Wednesday before their 605 League opener two days later.

Gahr visited Bell Gardens High on Aug. 31 and will entertain Schurr High on Tuesday before going to Bellflower High on Wednesday.

John Glenn High swept Rancho Dominguez High 25-12, 25-19, 25-23 last Friday and knocked off Arroyo High 25-11, 23-25, 25-16, 25-13this past Tuesday, both on the road and will entertain South El Monte High on Friday and Norwalk High on Tuesday before going to Western High and Ganesha High on Wednesday and Thursday respectively.

La Mirada has won four straight matches after an opening season loss as the Matadores defeated Mayfair High 23-25, 25-20, 22-25, 25-21, 21-19 last Thursday and Los Altos High 25-9, 25-13, 18-25, 25-16 prior to sweeping Whitney. La Mirada hosted Norwalk on Aug. 31 and will be home to Santa Fe on Tuesday before going to California High on Thursday while the hottest team in the area is Norwalk, which improved to 8-2 after sweeping El Rancho High 25-22, 25-22, 25-23 this past Tuesday.


Artesia (2-0) @ Bolsa Grande High (1-1)-The Pioneers may not be playing the best teams around, but they aren’t making any excuses for getting victories. Artesia blasted Mark Keppel High 41-0 last Friday as junior quarterback Charlie Lopez rushed for a pair of scores and threw for another. In two games, he already has 345 yards on the ground with five touchdowns and as a team, the Pioneers have 11 rushing six-pointers. Defensively, the team has half a dozen interceptions with senior cornerback Pablo Cruz collecting two of them.

The Matadors were on the short end of a 62-0 decision to Beckman High last Thursday as they were outgained 396-108 yards. Ethan Nguyen led the rushing attack with 58 yards on 11 carries and passed for another 33 more. Already, he has accounted for 374 of Bolsa Grande’s 418 all-purpose yards.

Prediction: Artesia 49, Bolsa Grande 14

Portola High (1-1) @ Cerritos (1-1)-This game was played on Aug. 31. The Dons fell to Woodbridge High 35-23 last Friday, gaining 262 yards with the quarterback tandem of senior Julian Morales and sophomore Justin Sagun combining to go 13 of 27 for 121 yards and rush nine times for 80 yards.

This will be the second straight week Cerritos will face a school from the city of Irvine as the Bulldogs got past their city rivals, University High, 35-34 in double overtime last Friday. Rocky Palacio passed for 214 yards and a pair of touchdowns and scored twice on the ground while Marcus Sung rushed for 85 yards on 19 carries with a touchdown. Last season, Cerritos fell to Portola 35-21 and have lost all three meetings since 2019.

Prediction: Portola 28, Cerritos 24

Ocean View High (2-0) @ Gahr (1-0)-See Gahr/Valley Christian game story.

Prediction: Ocean View 35, Gahr 21

University High (0-1) @ Glenn (1-1)-This game was played on Aug. 31. After losing a 29-28 affair to Bassett High in the season opener, Glenn took its frustrations out on Rancho Dominguez last Friday in a 46-0 rout. The Eagles put the game away in the third quarter with 22 points and the defense returned a pair of touchdowns back for touchdowns.

Glenn faces University from the Western League of the CIF-Los Angeles City Section. The Wildcats fell to Lynwood 27-16 in their opener last Friday. This will be a tune-up for Glenn as it plays for the Mayor’s Cup on Sept. 8.

Prediction: Glenn 42, University 13

La Mirada (0-2) @ Servite High (1-1)-The Matadores got a solid performance from sophomore quarterback Santino Garcia (15 of 29, 201 yards, two touchdowns) last week in a 40-20 setback to Yorba Linda High. La Mirada’s running game struggled as it picked up 46 yards on 15 carries while the Mustangs gained 236 yards on 29 carries.

It won’t get easier for the Matadores as they face Trintiy League foe Servite, which fell to Rancho Cucamonga High 34-31. The Friars, who blanked Silverado High 57-0 the previous week, are led by Leo Hannan (22 of 37, 366 yards) and a vaunted rushing attack that has seen nine players rush at least once and score nine touchdowns. Servite has averaged 466 all-purpose yards in the two games and the defense has recorded seven sacks.

Prediction: Servite 27, La Mirada 17

South Gate High (0-2) @ Norwalk (0-1)-This game was played on Aug. 31. Norwalk was looking good in its season opener last Friday against La Canada High, leading 35-28 entering the fourth quarter. But the Lancers came out on the short end of a 50-43 slugfest as the Spartans had over 550 all-purpose yards. Junior running back Ezra Mueller scored three times while senior quarterback Rylee Sosa threw for a pair of touchdowns.

It should be much easier for the Lancers this week as they face the Rams from the Eastern League of the CIF-L.A. City Section. South Gate has lost to Lincoln High 30-0 and San Pedro High 45-14 this season with the two touchdowns coming in the second half of last week’s game.

Prediction: Norwalk 42, South Gate 7

V.C. (0-2) @ Aliso Niguel High (1-1)-See Gahr/V.C. game story.

Prediction: Aliso Niguel 35, V.C. 21

Last week’s predictions: 5-1

Season to date: 10-1