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Doubles troubles for Bulldogs, 14-4

Erik Boal

For the past two seasons, Crescenta Valley’s Hana Im has been the

most recognized figure among high school girls’ tennis players in the

region.

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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.

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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

Falcons (4-1).

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“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

perform.”

Khachatryan is confident she can win three sets every time she

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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

title.

“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.


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