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Burbank cruises to victory in first round

Jim Riggio

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

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Thursday’s 16-2 victory against Paramount in the first round of the

CIF Southern Section Division III playoffs at the Burbank Tennis

Center.

Burbank won six of the nine singles sets by scores of 6-0 and two

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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

Diaz.

“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

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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.

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“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,

2-6, 6-1.

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.


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