CIF BOYS' TENNIS PLAYOFFS:Teams have mixed views

BURBANK — There were two distinct reactions from local boys' tennis coaches when the CIF Southern Section pairings were released Monday afternoon.

Burbank High Coach Paul McNiff was pleased to open Division II play with a home match against former Foothill League foe Hart.

"I'm actually pleased to play a team like Hart in the first round," said McNiff, whose squad will host the Indians at 3:15 p.m. Friday. "It's better for us to get a program that has had some success in the past, instead of drawing a team that would be a walk-over."

However, across town, Burroughs Coach Roy Bernhardt wasn't pleased to have to take a four to five-hour trip to San Luis Obispo for his team's Division II opener.

"Our girls' team had to go to Santa Barbara a few years ago for a playoff game, and I thought that was terrible," said Bernhardt, whose Indians will open the playoffs at 3:15 p.m. Friday. "But San Luis Obispo is twice as far.

"This is going to be a very long trip for a playoff game. We're just going to make it an outing."

To make matters worse, Burroughs has to take on a Tigers team that is seeded third after capturing the Pac-7 League championship.

Burbank (15-0), on the other hand, is the seeded team in its contest. The Bulldogs earned the No. 4 spot after winning a championship in their first year in the Pacific League. The last time Burbank won an outright title was in 2001 when it was a member of the Foothill League.

That league included Hart, which finished third this season.

"We played Hart last season in league and lost to them both times [10-8]," McNiff said. "But I think they are a little down from last year and we've gotten stronger."

Burbank has a potent 1-2 singles punch in senior Garn Sangsuiyakal and senior Arthur Karagezian, both of whom have lost just four times this season.

The team has also benefited from having a solid No. 1 doubles duo of Leo Kim and Tigram Yeremyan, who won the league championship.

"Our singles have come through for us all season," McNiff said. "What we need to do in the playoffs is for our No. 2 and No. 3 doubles teams to get their guaranteed wins and hopefully get a few sets from our opponents' No. 1 and No. 2 teams."

Bernhardt — whose team qualified for the postseason for the first time in 13 years — knows his Indians have a tough match ahead.

"Playing a ranked team isn't going to be easy," Bernhardt said. "We just have to go out and play."

The Indians (8-5) are paced by freshman singles player Trevor Campbell. However, in the league finals last week, Campbell had to retire from the singles title match because of pain in his chest.

Bernhardt said the freshman saw a doctor and was back on the court last weekend.

"I think Trevor might have pulled a rib muscle, or something like that," Bernhardt said.

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