The singles players on the Burbank High girls’ tennis team didn’t
quite post a shutout, but they certainly got close.
Burbank surrendered just six games in nine singles sets in
Thursday’s 16-2 victory against Paramount in the first round of the
CIF Southern Section Division III playoffs at the Burbank Tennis
Burbank won six of the nine singles sets by scores of 6-0 and two
more by 6-1 margins.
The only set Burbank had any difficulty in was a 6-4 victory by
No. 2 player Lucy Youchkovets against Paramount’s No. 1 entry Eli
“I think Lucy had a mental let down. She was up, 4-1, and it was
tight at the end,” Burbank Coach Paul McNiff said.
Burbank (16-3) wasn’t as strong in doubles, but still the Bulldogs
had no trouble disposing of the second-place team from the San
Gabriel Valley League, which is generally not recognized as a strong
league in tennis. Paramount finished the season with a 9-8 record.
The win puts Burbank in today’s second-round contest against Lake
Arrowhead Rim of the World (17-0), which defeated Yucca Valley, 13-5,
in Thursday’s opening-round contest. The match will be at 2 p.m. at
the Burbank Tennis Center.
Freshman Marianna Khachatryan, who won the Foothill League singles
title Nov. 6, won all three of her sets by 6-0 scores.
“Having Marianna is nice because she can sweep against a lot of
quality schools,” McNiff said. “It’s nice having her because she can
come through if someone else doesn’t win a set.”
Youchkovets won, 6-1, against Paramount’s No. 2 player Jennifer
Ontiveros and, 6-0, against No. 3 entry Judith Michel.
Burbank’s No. 3 player, Natalie Rafaelian, went, 6-0, 6-1, 6-0.
In doubles, Burbank’s No. 1 team of Vera Affi and Kristine
Patatanyan swept, 7-5, 6-4, 6-4.
The Bulldogs’ No. 2 team of Diane Grair and Summer Zapata also
swept, 6-2, 7-5, 6-3.
Burbank’s No. 3 team of Sizhe Liu and Christine Zapata went, 4-6,
Overall, McNiff was pleased with the draw his team got.
“I knew we’d be expected to win,” McNiff said. “This is a
formidable draw. This is a great warmup draw. It gets progressively
more difficult after this. Our doubles are doing fine, even though
they were a little rusty with a day off because of the rain.”
If Burbank can get past Rim of the World, it would
more-than-likely face Long Beach Poly (15-2) -- a 12-6 winner against
Garden Grove Bolsa Grande on Thursday -- in the quarterfinals. The
Jackrabbits knocked the Bulldogs out of the playoffs with a 14-4
second-round victory last year at the Burbank Tennis Center.