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Burbank teams alone in postseason after second-place finishes

Jeff Tully

With the exception of the Burbank and Bellarmine-Jefferson

cross-country teams, only two other local high school squads have

qualified for the CIF Southern Section playoffs this fall.

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And both are Bulldog teams.

The Burbank boys’ water polo and girls’ tennis teams will play

Thursday in opening-round Division III contests after second-place

finishes in their respective leagues.

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None of the four local girls’ volleyball teams qualified for the

playoffs.

The water polo team will travel to Whittier La Serna for a 3:15

p.m. match. La Serna (20-7, 5-0 in league) -- ranked No. 5 in the

final Division III poll -- is the Del Rio League champion.

In girls’ tennis, the Bulldogs will be at home at the Burbank

Tennis Center for a 2 p.m. match against Paramount. The Pirates (9-6,

7-5) finished second in the San Gabriel Valley League.

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The Bulldogs are in the water polo playoffs for the second

consecutive season, after qualifying in 2002 for the first time in

more than 10 years.

The team fell in the first round last season to Santa Monica,

10-8.

Along with a steady goalkeeper in Nate Taylor, the team also has

scoring punch with George Khanpapyan, Art Zagaryan, Edgar Gasparyan

and Eric Davis.

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However, the Bulldogs are dealing with injuries that have

sidelined some of their players.

“We are hoping to have everyone back for the playoffs,” Burbank

Coach Andre Setaghian said.

The teams have had similar goal production this season, as Burbank

has tallied 297 goals and La Serna has scored 287.

In tennis, Burbank is paced by freshman league singles champion

Marianna Khachatryan and the league runner-up doubles team of Lucy

Youchkovets and Natalie Rafaelian -- who usually play singles.

The Bulldogs lost to Long Beach Poly, 14-4, in the second round in

2002.

Erik Boal Contributed to this story.


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