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Same place, much the same Bulldog result

Jeff Tully

Ten years ago this month, the Burbank High boys’ tennis team defeated

Santa Maria Righetti to win the program’s only CIF Southern Section



On Friday, the two former title combatants met in a Division II

first-round match -- at the same spot -- at the Burbank Tennis


Much like the contest a decade ago, the Bulldogs prevailed,


downing the Warriors, 13-5.

“I was the coach 10 years ago when we lost to Burbank, 10-8 in

that final match,” Righetti Coach John St. John said. “I remember

that match very, very well.

“Not that losing that [match] 10 years ago has affected me at all.

But when I come down to the area and I’m driving down the 5 Freeway,

when I see the sign that says ‘Burbank,’ my wife still has to

restrain me.”


Burbank won the championship in 1993 at what was the McCambridge

Park tennis courts, under Coach Clyde Richards.

In Friday’s match, Burbank (14-5) -- the co-Foothill League

champion -- got a fine performance from its No. 3 doubles team.

However, the duo of Alex Dawoodian and David Chang -- which swept,

6-1, 6-1, 6-0 -- almost never made it onto the court.

“They missed a lot of playing time because they were taking

[advanced placement] tests,” Burbank Coach Paul McNiff said. “So I


waited until just a few minutes before the match to decide to play


“But they were really focused and they played very well today.

Their play was big for us.”

Bulldog No. 1 singles Haig Kassabian went 1-6, 6-1, 6-0, No. 2

Housep Gasamanian went 1-6, 7-6(4), 6-1 and Ara Baghdasarian went

0-6, 6-4, 6-0.

In doubles, the No. 1 team of James Chang and Ted Kang went 4-6,

6-0, 6-2 and Chris Lee and Varuzhan Sarkasyan went 1-6, 7-6(2), 6-1.

Santa Maria (10-9), which finished third in the Pac-5 League, was

paced by freshman Stefan Hardy, who went 6-1, 6-1, 6-0. Hardy is ranked No. 7 in the boys’ 16s by the Southern California Tennis Assn.

Burbank will play at 2 p.m. Tuesday in a second-round match

against the winner of the Chino Hills Ayala/Orange El Modena

contest, which will be played today at Ayala.

A coin flip will determine the site of the second-round contest.

“This was a good win for us,” said McNiff, whose team was ousted

in the first round in 2002 by Fullerton Sunny Hills. “It would be

nice to get the match at home.”