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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



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

Falcons (4-1).


“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.