Burbank tennis done in by Beckman in CIF quarterfinals
BURBANK — The Burbank High girls’ tennis team was making its first CIF Southern Section quarterfinals appearance in 14 years when it took to the court Monday afternoon in Division II action.
For the Bulldogs’ opponent, Beckman of Irvine, the Patriots participated in the quarterfinals for the first time and were competing in the playoffs for just the second time in the school’s 15-year history.
In breaking its longstanding drought, top-seeded Beckman won seven of nine singles sets to defeat host Burbank, 15-3.
Burbank (11-5), which placed third in the Pacific League, played without one of its top singles players, Elza Vardanyan, who injured her shoulder in warmups.
“Not having Elza kind of deflated us to start with,” Burbank coach Loi Phan said. “But once we started, even having her wouldn’t have made that much of a difference. It would be a poor excuse to say that we didn’t win because of not having her.
“[Beckman] is just too good. They have three solid singles and their doubles are very good, as well. They come from a very good league and they have played against some very good teams.”
The Patriots (17-5) tied for third in the stacked Pacific Coast League that includes Corona del Mar (No. 1 in Division I), Irvine University and Northwood.
Beckman made the playoffs this season for just the first time since 2009.
“The Pacific Coast League in tennis is like the [Southeastern Conference] in football,” Beckman coach Nick Friendt said. “CdM and Uni are like the Alabamas and we’re LSU, and there’s no shame being LSU.
“We play such good competition in our league that it prepares us for the playoffs. We probably won’t see anyone in the playoffs as good as the top teams from our league.”
The Bulldogs faced a deficit early, trailing, 6-0, after the first round. Kristina Kirakosyan notched one of her two singles wins in the second round, which ended with the Patriots enjoying an 11-1 lead and having already secured the victory.
Kirakosyan went 0-6, 6-1, 6-2, from her No. 1 spot.
“They were good overall,” Kirakosyan said. “I just tried to go with the type of game that I play and not worry about how they played. After losing the first one, I was able to play better in the last two and things went better for me.
“Even though we lost, it was a good season for us. We haven’t been able to get this far in the playoffs since 2003, so that was something good.”
Burbank’s doubles set was won by the No. 2 duo of Krystal Hirahara and Emilie Siraki, 6-1.
Beckman received a sweep from No. 1 singles Ashley Tena, 6-0, 6-1, 6-0, and from its top doubles team of Gnamitha Napanthanahalli and Isha Shah, 6-1, 6-2, 6-1.