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Bulldogs roll to win

Jim Riggio

It was supposed to be a close battle between two traditional

intercity boys’ tennis powers.

But Tuesday’s nonleague match between Burbank and Glendale highs

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was anything but close, as the Bulldogs came away with a 14-4 victory

at Glendale.

Despite the win, Burbank (3-3) didn’t impress Bulldog Coach Paul

McNiff.

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“They need to focus on every point on getting to the net,” McNiff

said of his doubles teams. “We’ve worked on things in practice and

it’s not being executed in matches.”

Burbank was victorious in seven of nine doubles sets, as the No. 1

team of James Chang and Ara Baghdasarian won, 6-2, against the

Glendale No. 1 duo of Matt Chiriboga and Peter Ambartsumayn. The

Bulldogs also defeated the Nitro No. 2 team of Steve Kim and Paul

Shin, 7-5, and the No. 3 team of Narek Postadzhyan and Arbi Vartan,

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6-0.

“We won a lot in doubles today, but I’m not pleased,” McNiff

said. “In order to beat the good teams, we have to play almost

flawless.”

Burbank has already played a tough nonleague schedule, having lost

to CIF Southern Section powers Brentwood, L.A. Loyola and Calabasas.

For the Nitros (4-2), it was a struggle, especially in singles,

where three freshmen started.

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Burbank No. 1 Haig Kassabian went 6-3 against Glendale No. 1 Mike

Youn, 6-1 against No. 2 Greg Arutyunyan and 6-1 against No. 3 Ararat

Avetisyan -- who replaced Edgar Khovakimyan in the Nitro lineup.

Glendale is gearing up for league play, as the Pacific League race

is wide open now that Hoover -- the defending CIF Southern Section

Division I champion -- doesn’t return five of its top returning

players.

“Arcadia is probably going to be the top team, so they’re the one

we’ll gun for,” Glendale team captain Steven Kim said. “Our team has

improved from last year. We have some good freshmen players and we’re

looking to bounce back.”

Burbank will face Valencia in two weeks in what figures to be a

match that could decide the Foothill League title. Valencia ended

Burbank’s 14-year league-title streak last year.

“I think we’ve both gotten weaker,” McNiff said. “It’s going to

come down to doubles.”


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