Crescenta Valley tennis tops Brentwood, reaches final for first time

BRENTWOOD —Since being tabbed the top seed in the CIF Southern Section Division III playoffs, the Crescenta Valley High girls’ tennis team has passed each test.

Crescenta Valley passed its latest test and made some history Wednesday during a semifinal match against Brentwood.

The Falcons posted a tough 12-6 road win against Brentwood to advance to the championship match at 11 a.m. Friday against second-seeded Redlands at Claremont Tennis Center.

It will be the first trip to the finals in program history for Crescenta Valley, which took second in the Pacific League.

“It’s amazing and it’s been a very good run,” Crescenta Valley coach Sam Hyun said. “We talked since before the playoffs started that we really want to get to the finals and win and we have a lot of good players who have been doing the job.

“I’m proud of what we’ve been able to accomplish. I appreciate the effort Brentwood gave and they have a very competitive team, too.”

Crescenta Valley (15-3) held a 9-3 lead through the second round and needed just one win to reach the finals. The Falcons, who were making their first semifinals appearance since 2003, clinched the win with a 6-0 singles victory from Melissa Rosa Muradoglu .

Crescenta Valley, which reached the quarterfinals last season, won three tiebreakers in doubles to fend off Brentwood (17-4). The Eagles took second in the Gold Coast League and topped fourth-seeded Anaheim Canyon in a quarterfinal match.

The Falcons held a 4-2 lead after the first round.

Crescenta Valley got a sweep in doubles from Michelle Jung and Rachel Shin, (7-6(7-3), 6-2, 6-1), last season’s All-Area Girls’ Doubles Team of the Year.

The Falcons also received three doubles victories from Camille Gibney and Kiran Hamkins (7-6(7-4), 6-0, 6-2) and one from Marina Saroyan and Leah Baghdadsarian (7-6(7-5).

“Every round you go, the more potential you have to do something,” Jung said. “It was all about mental strength today and Rachel and I needed to excel and focus on our abilities.”

Shin agreed.

“Sometimes that first set can be real tough,” Shin said. “It can be the most stressful and there were a lot of spectators around during the tiebreaker. We had to block everything out. It’s great to be able to go to the finals.”

Crescenta Valley, playing its third straight match on the road, received two singles wins from Muradoglu (6-2, 6-0) and Victoria Borkowski (6-3, 6-1) and one from Polin Crete (6-0).

Brentwood got three singles wins from Sydney Lichtenstein (6-3, 6-0, 6-0) and one from Sammy Wadler (6-3). The Eagles received one doubles victory each from Jaclyn Lebowitz and Ella Stearns (6-2) and Keana Astani and Amanda McKnight (6-4).

The Falcons earlier posted playoff wins against Marymount, Atascadero and Pasadena Poly.

charles.rich@latimes.com

Twitter: @TCNCharlesRich

Copyright © 2017, Glendale News-Press
EDITION: California | U.S. & World
73°