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.”