By Austin Green
Jonathan Coleman and Choy Jimenez combined for 23 kills to propel the Burbank High School boys’ volleyball team to a sweep of Glendale on Monday. Burbank settled into a rhythm on offense late in the match’s first set and never looked back, winning in straight sets 25-16, 25-16, 25-10.
The win improved the Bulldogs to 3-0; the Nitros dropped to 0-2 on the season. (The match was considered a nonleague game and thus does not count towards either team’s Pacific League record.)
Glendale had no answer for Coleman, who excelled at every facet of the game. In addition to his team-high 13 kills, he also led the Bulldogs in service aces (six) and tied for the team lead in digs (nine).
“When he puts his mind to it, he is one of the best athletes in the area, he’s one of the best athletes at our school, and he’s probably one of the best athletes I’ve ever seen,” Burbank head coach Patrick Tyler said. “Jonathan, when he plays smart and when he plays confidently, he’s almost untouchable.”
Jimenez finished with 10 kills, three aces and six digs. Matthew Ballash also stepped up with six kills, two aces and two digs.
Alekhine Basco had four kills and seven digs, Christian Choe had two kills, one ace and one dig, and Noah Lintag had one kill. Meena Ammari, the Bulldogs’ libero, also had nine digs.
The first set was the most competitive, as Glendale clawed back from an early 10-3 deficit. At one point, a hitting error narrowed Burbank’s lead to 15-13. The Bulldogs went on another 10-3 run from there to close the set out, with Coleman and Jimenez combining for five points over that stretch.
“Glendale used our strengths against us,” Tyler said. “They were making smart plays and we were just unprepared. I think first sets are usually defined by how teams can adjust, not how teams can come out of the gate. With that, we just made some adjustments on our side. The boys started to execute and I think they executed for the rest of the match.”
Although the second set finished with the same score as the first, it was far less competitive. Burbank opened a 12-5 lead, stretched it to 22-12, and won on a service error. Set three was even more lopsided, as Burbank led 18-5 at one point before closing out the sweep 25-10.
“I think everybody got a little bit more comfortable,” Tyler said. “The pace of the game was a little bit different… Making those adjustments and then getting kind of focused and getting into rhythm has been a priority for us.”