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Bulldogs meet their match, 14-4

Jim Riggio

The Burbank High boys’ tennis team was back where it has been so many

times before Tuesday afternoon.

However, the road to a CIF Southern Section Division II title came


to an end in a tough quarterfinal match at Arcadia.

Burbank, which missed the quarterfinals the past two years after

11 of 12 trips, was halted by a talented Apaches’ team, 14-4.

“This is where I had hoped we’d be at,” Burbank Coach Paul McNiff



The Bulldogs (15-6) were overmatched by the second-seeded Apaches

(21-0) and were able to win just two singles and two doubles sets.

“They’re about what we expected,” McNiff said of Arcadia. “They

have depth and that’s what I’m trying to get back at Burbank, so my

singles are interchangeable and doubles all look the same.”

Burbank came into the match without its No. 2 singles player,

Hovsep Gasamanian, who didn’t attend school Tuesday. McNiff said he


did not expect Gasamanian to miss the contest and had no idea about

the player’s whereabouts.

“Not having Hovsep wasn’t monumental,” McNiff said. “It would

have made the difference in maybe one set.”

Arcadia’s top singles player -- Mark Contreras -- who has signed

with UC Riverside, defeated Burbank No. 1 Haig Kassabian, 6-2, No. 2

Ara Baghdasaryan, 6-3, and Sarkis Khachatryan, 6-2.

Arcadia’s No. 2 player, freshman Ahmad Mohammadpour, another top


junior player in Southern California, swept, 7-5, 6-2, 6-1.

Burbank won its two singles sets as Kassabian defeated Arcadia’s

No. 3 player Warren Li, 6-3, and Baghdasaryan defeated Li, 6-4.

In doubles, Burbank’s No. 1 team of James Chang and Ted Kang

defeated Arcadia’s No. 1 squad of Zack Au and Robin Guo, 6-0. Chang

and Kang lost to Arcadia’s No. 2 team of Brandon Yaras and Daniel

Fan, 6-3, and defeated the No. 3 team the team of Justin Cheng and

Hiro Koda, 6-3.

Burbank’s No. 2 team of Chris Lee and Varuzhan Sarkisyan lost,

3-6, 1-6, 1-6 and the No. 3 team of Alex Dawoodian and David Chang

fell, 1-6, 1-6, 0-6.

“We’ve improved a lot since last year,” said senior Burbank team

captain James Chang. “We played a lot more focused and hopefully they

can go another step next year.”