Don’t call her, “the other Burcescu”.
Her name is Yvette, and she has put the entire New York state volleyball circuit on notice.
The youngest of three sisters, Yvette Burcescu has had to fill the shoes of her sisters Vivian, 21, and Brigitte, 19, while dealing with the constant comparisons to them.
It’s easy to lump the Burcescu triumvirate together, seeing as how all three are at least 6-foot-2, have dirty blonde hair, and have been named a Journal News Westchester/Putnam volleyball player of the year, but only one of them did it as a sophomore.
“I don’t consider it a bad thing to be labeled with them,” Yvette Burcescu said. “But also, I want to prove myself as an individual, not just as a sister of Brigitte or Vivian.”
(Complete all-stars list at end of this article)
Already in her third full season on Panas’ varsity squad, the sophomore outside hitter broke the program’s single-season (762) and career (1,496) kills marks — both previously held by each of her older sisters — en route to first-team all-state honors.
Burcescu led Panas (17-2) to its second Class A section and regional titles in program history, and first state finals appearance. The Panthers won all three of their local regular-season tournaments, with Burcescu taking home MVP honors each time.
At 15 years old, Burcescu has proven herself more in one season than most do in an entire career.
A seventh-grade call-up when Panas last made the state semifinals in 2012, Burcescu said this year’s trip was much more memorable than three years ago.
“I’m just so happy that we had a chance to play there,” she said. “Even if we didn’t get the title of state champs, it’s still crazy that we got to play and have that opportunity because not every school gets to do that.”
Burcescu said the clinching set in pool play that sent the team to the state final was the highlight of the season.
“That was really what we were dreaming of the whole season,” she said. “It was crazy.”
It’s no surprise that with her height and talent at such a young age, Burcescu is a prime target for college programs. One scout said Burcescu will be a recruited by major Division I programs, although Burcescu said she’ll pick a college based on comfort, not on national rank; a lesson she learned from Brigitte.
“ ‘Don’t do things for the sake of other people. Do it for yourself,’ ” Burcescu said, relaying the advice given to her by Brigitte, a sophomore standout at Northeastern. “As for her, when she picked Northeastern, she thought at first, ‘It’s not a big name (program),’ … but she was so happy with her decision, even if it didn’t make everybody else happy.”
Vivian Burcescu played two seasons for the University of Virginia before leaving the team. “It was so tough for her,” Yvette Burcescu said. “She still liked it, but it was just so much harder.”
Burcescu still has things to worry about like earning her driver’s license before deciding on which college she’ll attend, but said whatever choice she makes when committing will be for her.
“I’m going to do what’s going to make me better in the future, not for what’s going to make people happy for a year,” she said.
The rest of the Journal News first team:
Emily Barthelmes, Hen Hud, Sr.
Nicolina Chenard, Ardsley, Sr.
Taylor McCarthy, John Jay, Sr.
Catalina Munoz, Yorktown, Sr.
Sabrina Patriciello, Panas, Sr.
Tatiana Tiangco, Scarsdale, Sr.
Coach of the year: Joe Felipe, Panas
Kristine Fink, Scarsdale, Sr.
Nicole Etta, Haldane, Sr.
Julia Mines, John Jay, Sr.
Shauna O’Flaherty, Panas, Sr.
Lindsay Pelaccio, Hen Hud, Sr.
Steph Rizzo, Westlake, Sr.
Bridget Walsh, Panas, Sr.
Rebecca Caruso, Ursuline, Sr.; Kailee Chimento, Pelham, Sr.; Christina Chu, Ardsley, So.; Alexis Demitrovic, Dobbs Ferry, Sr.; Julia Fields, Panas, Sr.; Lauren Feeley, Panas, So.; Sam Galvin, New Rochelle, Sr.; Annemarie Horn, Scarsdale, So.; Kirstin Loh, Hen Hud, Sr.; Val Sprovieri, Harrison, Sr.; Gillian Stieglitz, Hen Hud, Sr.; Melissa Tringali, Haldane, Sr.; Brooke Vahos, Haldane, Jr.; Mychael Vernon, Ossining, 8th