BURBANK TENNIS CENTER -- Like many local high school sports teams,
it’s been a tough week for the Burbank High girls’ tennis squad.
With poor air quality as a result of the fires that have plagued
Southern California forcing the postponement and cancellation of
contests and practices, along with a having to play a makeup match
from last week, the Bulldogs have had an eventful few days.
Fortunately, Burbank was able to end its trying week Friday on a
winning note by notching a 17-1 Foothill League victory against
cross-town rival Burroughs at the Burbank Tennis Center.
The competitive week began for the Bulldogs on Monday, when they
took on host Hart in a rescheduled league match. Burbank came through
with an impressive 10-8 win to remain in second place in league.
On Tuesday, Burbank was to take on Burroughs in a league match at
the Burbank Tennis Center, but the bad air quality prompted the
postponement of the event.
The air quality improved enough Thursday for Burbank to take part
in its regularly scheduled match against visiting Hart at home. The
Bulldogs swept in singles to win, 12-6, to sweep their Santa Clarita
“We had to get all these matches in this week because we have our
league meeting Monday, and we have league competition next week,”
Burbank Coach Paul McNiff said. “So we did all that we could to play
The match with Burroughs looked like it might be postponed for the
second time, not because of problems from the fires, but because of
rain. However, except for a few sprinkles prior to the contest, the
only thing the players had to deal with were cool temperatures and
That was quite a difference from the weather at the beginning of
the week, when it reached a record high of 95 in Burbank on Monday
“It has been a real crazy week,” Burroughs Coach Roy Bernhardt
said. “Because of the fires, it’s been a week since we have been able
“I have a couple of girls with asthma, so playing out in the bad
air was just not an option for us. It just wouldn’t have been right
to have them play in a condition like that.”
The Bulldogs (14-3, 8-2 in league) used a strong singles lineup --
giving up just two games -- to dispose of the Indians. No. 1 player
Marianna Khachatryan won by 6-0 scores, as did No. 3 Natalie
Rafaelian. No. 2 Lucy Youchkovets went, 6-0, 6-2, 6-0.
Khachatryan has found success in league play, as she finished with
a 24-2 record.
“Our singles have really been playing well,” McNiff said. “Now we
just need our doubles to start playing to the level of our singles.”
In doubles, Burbank was paced by the No. 2 team of Diane Grair and
Summer Zapata, which went, 6-0, 6-1, 6-1. The No. 1 duo of Kristine
Patatanyan and Vera Affi went, 6-4, 6-4, 6-2, and Christina Zapata
and Sizhe Liu went, 6-2, 4-6, 6-0.
Burroughs (0-10 in league) -- which also lost, 17-1, in its first
match with the Bulldogs this season -- got its only point from the
doubles team of Jeannie Eamnarangkool and Arpi Dergalestian, 6-4.
With the league prelims and final taking place Wednesday and
Thursday in Valencia, McNiff said he is going to switch his lineup a
little to hopefully help some of his players get to the postseason.
“I am going to have [Youchkovets] and [Rafaelian] play doubles for
the league competition,” McNiff said. “Hopefully they will be able to
make it to [CIF Southern Section] competition.”