It took some time for the Burbank High boys’ tennis team to adjust to the atmosphere during a CIF Southern Section Division II first-round playoff match.
The Bulldogs weren’t used to playing in front of a large audience like the one they saw when they traveled to meet second-seeded Santa Ana Foothill.
Burbank coach Loi Phan reminded the Bulldogs they could compete with an elite squad.
Though the Bulldogs took a few sets in the final round, it wasn’t enough as Foothill defeated Burbank, 15-3, on Wednesday.
“I talked to them after the first round and told them that I think we could get a couple games here and there,” Phan said. “They’re not going to blank us today. And they said, ‘Yeah, coach, we can get them.’ With confidence, they played better.”
Burbank, which reached the Division III quarterfinals last season, finished 8-5 and took third in the Pacific League behind Arcadia and Crescenta Valley.
After the first round, Phan told the team that Burbank played Division I opponent Arcadia year-in and year-out in league play. It helped the Bulldogs realize their potential and lived up to it late against Foothill (15-6).
“We got comfortable in the second round and we played a lot closer,” Phan said. “Foothill is good. There’s nothing you can say. They’re solid. They’ll move on. We played and had a good season for what we had.
“We competed. All my guys did. I didn’t think my guys would get this far, but here we are. First round. I think we had a successful season.”
Burbank No. 1 singles player Yash Desai won, 6-4..
The Bulldogs received doubles wins from Sid Denduluri and Ethan Lee, 6-1, and Parker Katz and Dominic Sumera, 6-4.
Foothill won the Crestview League championship.