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Burbank girls' tennis escapes with league win against Glendale

Burbank girls' tennis escapes with league win against Glendale
Burbank High singles player Kristina Kirakosyan hits a backhand return in a singles match against Glendale Thursday in a Pacific League match (Tim Berger \ Staff Photographer)

BURBANK — Kristina Kirakosyan wasn’t about to pay attention to a throng of spectators, which included her teammates standing off to the far side of the court.

There was too much at stake for the Burbank High girls’ tennis player and she didn’t want to lose focus on the job at hand. Needing a victory in her final set, Kirakosyan passed the test.

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Kirakosyan completed a sweep in singles, defeating Kristen Lee of Glendale in the final set, to help lift Burbank to a key 10-8 Pacific League home win Thursday over Glendale, which won the CIF Southern Section Division IV championship last season..

“I really didn’t notice everybody,” said Kirakosyan, who posted a 6-2 win against Lee. “I had to find a way to pull through at the end and I was able to do it.

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“Glendale has got a pretty good team and all of the [league] matches are important. I got better with my serving and I didn’t want to put any pressure on myself.”

Kirakosyan, a junior, earlier posted wins of 6-1, 6-0, to ignite Burbank (4-1, 3-1 in league). The Bulldogs, who finished third in league last season and advanced to the Division II quarterfinals, are No. 6 in Division II.

Burbank and Glendale (5-3, 1-2) will meet again Oct. 11 at Glendale.

Burbank won seven sets in singles, something Burbank coach Loi Phan said proved to be important.

“We got two sweeps in singles from Kristina and Johanna Faraj and you see how every game counted throughout the match,” Phan said. “That’s what you get in a match like this one.

“I figured it would be either 10-8 or 9-9. We did our job and it will be another tough match the next time we play Glendale.”

Faraj swept, 6-2, 6-2, 6-0, and the Bulldogs got a singles victory from Siya Joshi, 6-1.

The Bulldogs also got a sweep in doubles from the No. 1 tandem of Jinette Faraj and Ellie Sumera, 6-3, 6-1, 6-3.

Glendale, which finished fourth in league last season and earned the No. 2 seed in the playoffs before topping Rancho Mirage in the championship match in Claremont, got two wins apiece in doubles from Janet Louie and Anna Sarookhanian, 6-2, 6-2, Momo Guzman and Nicole Avakian, 6-1, 6-3, and Karen Enriquez and Kianna Guego, 6-1, 6-1.

The Nitros got one win each in singles from Lee, 6-0, and Celine Khachiki, 6-0.

“I thought we played great and I liked the way we competed for points,” said Glendale coach Tom Gossard, the reigning All-Area Girls’ Tennis Coach of the Year. “That’s something we can take away from here and I like where we are right now because we gave ourselves a chance by competing.

“The difference was Burbank’s No. 1 doubles team didn’t make any mistakes.”

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