Quick start propels Crescenta Valley High girls' tennis to win over Flintridge Sacred Heart

GLENDALE — Much like Tuesday afternoon’s season opener, the Crescenta Valley High girls’ tennis team is hoping for a fast start to the new season.

The visiting Falcons swept the first round of their nonleague match en route to a 13-5 victory over Flintridge Sacred Heart Academy at Fremont Park.

“Our doubles played real well,” Crescenta Valley Coach Sam Hyun said. “We started off 6-0 and that was big.”

The Falcons received a pair of stern challenges in the first round, but won both sets in taking the first six points of the afternoon.

The tightest competition within the first round came in the No. 3 doubles set of Falcons freshmen Camille Gibney and Kiran Hamkins versus the Tologs twosome of Ruby Wellen and Camille Katz.

A back-and-forth affair that saw Wellen and Katz lead late turned on consecutive errors and translated into a Crescenta Valley 7-6 (12-10) victory.

“That’s what really hurt us, losing those close ones early and going down, 6-0,” Tologs Coach Ron Zambrano said. “Our girls tried to come back and did a much better job in the second round, but we just tired out.”

Flintridge Sacred Heart made its stand in the second round, winning four of six sets to climb within 8-4 and at least allow for the possibility of a come-from-behind win.

During the second round, the Tologs’ won two of three sets in singles and doubles play with Holly MacVaughn and Kate Hodges notching 6-4 and 7-5 victories, respectively. The Flintridge Sacred Heart doubles team of Lana Sarkisian and Bree Ryan also won, 6-3, while Katie Arial and Ariana Saigh teamed to deliver the final triumph of the round, 6-2.

While the Tologs’ surge brought them back into contention, ultimately the momentum was unsustainable.

Crescenta Valley closed out the final round, 5-1, with the Falcons’ No. 1 doubles squad of Annie Park and Ashley An sealing the win with the team’s 10th victory, 6-3, over Ariel and Saigh.

“We have a lot of freshmen and young players on this team, so the older players have to come out and play well,” Park said. “I’m not sure we know what to expect yet, but it’s good to start with a win.”

The duo of Park and An finished 3-0 and led a 7-2 run for the Falcons doubles teams.

“I didn’t know anybody from [Flintridge Sacred Heart],” An said, “so all you can do is try your best.”

The Falcons duos of Ashley Kim and Michelle Jung and Gibney and Hamkins both finished 2-1.

On the singles’ side, Crescenta Valley’s Alexia Voskani finished off a 3-0 run, while Marie Arutyunyan was 2-1 and Alyssa Kim secured a win.

Flintridge Sacred Heart’s other victory came from MacVaughn, who defeated Falcons sub Alaina Furstenberg, 7-5, in the final set of the third round.

For the Tologs, Tuesday was just the beginning of a long haul, which includes three more matches in three days with Maranatha, Glendale and Flintridge Prep.

“I set it up like that because we haven’t played competitive matches in nine months,” Zambrano said. “I want to find out what this team can do. Hopefully the girls will treat today like a learning experience because that’s what it was.”

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