For the past two seasons, Crescenta Valley’s Hana Im has been the
most recognized figure among high school girls’ tennis players in the
But Tuesday’s nonleague match at the Burbank Tennis Center might
have signaled the changing of the guard, as Burbank freshman Marianna
Khachatryan outlasted Im in a grueling tiebreaker that took more than
an hour to complete.
The 14-year-old standout returned to sweep her other two sets with
little difficulty, but unfortunately for the Bulldogs, Khachatryan’s
eight teammates combined to win just one set in a 14-4 setback,
Burbank’s fifth straight to the Falcons.
“This [match] is sort of our measuring stick,” said Bulldog Coach
Paul McNiff, who only received a doubles victory from Diane Grair and
Summer Zapata in support of his No. 1 singles player against the
“For Marianna, [the 7-6 (9-7) triumph] was a big win, especially
against someone of [Im’s] reputation.
“But like I told the whole team afterward, if we don’t want to
play a team like CV in the first round of the playoffs, then we can’t
finish third in league. And in order to [beat teams like Hart, Saugus
and Valencia], our doubles are going to have more pressure to
Khachatryan is confident she can win three sets every time she
takes the court in Foothill League competition -- which begins
Tuesday at Saugus -- but the 12th-ranked player in the Southern
California Tennis Assn. 14-and-under rankings knows she’ll need a lot
more support than she got Tuesday for the Bulldogs (4-1) to win the
“I just want us to do well as a team. [Tuesday] was a really good
warmup for us and hopefully we can do better the next time,” said
Khachatryan, who defeated Nara Im, 6-2, and Roxy Ionescu, 6-0.