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Jim RiggioFrom the time the CIF Southern...

Jim Riggio

From the time the CIF Southern Section Division III girls’ tennis

pairings were released, Burbank High Coach Paul McNiff has been

pleased with his team’s draw.


He was also happy with the prospect of winning a few matches in

the playoffs.

The Bulldogs pulled off an impressive win Saturday, defeating

previously unbeaten Lake Arrowhead Rim of the World, 12-6, at the


Burbank Tennis Center.

The Scots (17-1) didn’t practice for three weeks because of the

wildfires in October.

McNiff said he noticed before the match his team would have an

advantage over the Mojave River League champion.

“They took a long warmup and they were running drills,” McNiff

said. “We definitely got a favorable draw.”

Burbank’s singles players, freshman Marianna Khachatryan and


juniors Lucy Youchkovets and Natalie Rafaelian, were dominant,

winning eight of nine sets.

For the second consecutive playoff match, Khachatryan didn’t lose

a game, 6-0, 6-0, 6-0, and Youchkovets won, 6-1, 6-1, 6-0. No. 3

player Natalie Rafaelian went, 6-2, 6-0, 6-1.

While Burbank dominated in singles, the Bulldogs struggled in

doubles. The No. 1 team of Kristine Patatanyan and Vera Affi went,

3-6, 4-6, 6-1, the No. 2 team of Summer Zapata and Diane Grair went,


3-6, 1-6, 6-2, and Christine Zapata and Sizhe Liu went, 0-6, 6-3,