BURBANK — It’s been three seasons since the Glendale High girls’ tennis team has been in contention for a playoff spot this late in the season.
Burbank has already about assured itself of a spot in the postseason and is looking to close out the regular reason as the Pacific League’s No. 3 team.
The Nitros and Bulldogs met in the second of two meetings this season Tuesday afternoon. Behind a strong singles contingent that won eight of nine sets, Burbank rolled to a 15-3 victory against visiting Glendale.
It completed a season sweep for the Bulldogs (7-3 overall and in league) over the Nitros (8-5, 5-4 in league), who beat Glendale earlier in the season, 14-4.
“I told our girls that don’t let that first score against them earlier this season fool you,” Burbank coach Loi Phan said. “We pulled out some close sets against them the first time and lets not go into today too over confident.
“We knew we had to win this one today. With two losses to [Crescenta Valley] we’ve already conceded that we’re going to be third, so we need to beat the teams that we are supposed to beat at this point. We just don’t want it to have to come down to a tie for one of the last spots.”
Glendale is looking to earn a spot in the CIF Southern Section playoffs for the first time since 2014. The Nitros, who are ranked No. 2 in CIF Southern Section Division IV, have been sent on that path this season after Tom Gossard took over the program’s coaching duties.
“They are learning how to compete and sometimes that can be a slow process,” said Gossard, a longtime coach at Crescenta Valley before taking over the Nitros. “It’s easier to learn how to hit a forehand than it is to learn how to compete. The learning curve is a lot more difficult for some than it is for others.
“We are still in a battle for a playoff spot, something the team hasn’t done for a few years. It might come down to our match next week with Burroughs as to who gets that last playoff spot.”
In the teams’ first match this season, Glendale defeated Burroughs, 10-8.
The Bulldogs took control of the match early Tuesday, jumping out to a 6-0 lead. Burbank clinched the victory in the second round with a 12-0 advantage.
In singles, Burbank No. 1 Kristina Kirokosyan swept, 6-1, 6-0, 6-0, as did No. 3 Johana Faraj, 6-3, 6-4, 6-0. Alice Avedikian won the two sets she played, 6-2, 6-4.
“We are playing pretty well right now,” Kirokosyan said. “We have some new players on the team this year and they have improved a lot.”
In doubles, Burbank received a sweep at No. 2 from Emilie Siraki and Jinette Faraj, 6-1, 6-2, 6-1, and two each from No. 1 Elza Vardanyan and Bella La Manna, 6-1, 7-5, and Krystal Hirahara and Daisy Kim, 6-0, 6-4.
Glendale received wins in doubles from No. 1 Moria Mailed and Michelle Yoylan, 6-6 (8-6), No. 3 doubles Emi Gizman and Mo-Mo Guzman, 6-3, and one in singles from Kianna Gueco, 6-4.