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Boys' Tennis Preview: Burbank, Burroughs jump right into league play

Boys' Tennis Preview: Burbank, Burroughs jump right into league play
Eathan Lee, right, is a key returner this season for the Burbank High boys' tennis team. (Tim Berger \ Staff Photographer)

There was not much time for the Burbank High and Burroughs boys’ tennis teams to get ready for the Pacific League campaign.

League competition begin Tuesday and the Bulldogs and Indians have had limited nonleague matches and only a handful of practices the past few weeks because of a series of rainstorms.

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“We’ve only had a few practices,” Burbank coach Loi Phan said. “We go out there to practice and we have to take off because the courts are just too wet. It’s been bad.

“We are going into league and I really don’t know what my lineups are going to be yet. I guess we are just going to have to figure that out during league play.”

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Said Burroughs coach Roy Bernhardt: “We are a little tired of having to sit in the gym and watch the basketball and volleyball practices because we haven’t been able to get on the courts because of the rain. The rain has really set us back and we have only had a few practices.”

Here is a closer look at the teams.

BURBANK

The Bulldogs (12-6 last season) are coming off a 2018 season in which they placed third in the Pacific League and advanced to the CIF Southern Section Division III quarterfinals, earning two upset wins along the way.

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Leading the team last season was singles player James Lee, who earned All-Area honors. However, Phan said Lee will not be competing this season, choosing instead to focus on his studies.

“That’s a big loss for us,” Phan said. “He was our No. 1 singles last year. On top of that, the guy who was going to be our No. 2 is not playing as well.

“So, the team is going to be different from the one I thought I was going to have. We are going to have to move some guys around to try and make things work.”

Key returners for Burbank include senior Ethan Lee, junior Sid Deneuluri and sophomore Abasi Abukusumo.

In league, Phan said he expects Arcadia, the defending champion, to be tops in league.

“Nobody will be able to touch Arcadia,” Phan said. “They could put their [junior varsity] team out there and they would still probably beat all of us. The rest of the league will be battling it out behind them.”

BURROUGHS

The Indians (6-9) placed fourth in the Pacific League and lost in the wild-card round of the Division IV playoffs to Long Beach Wilson.

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“It looks like we should have a pretty good team,” Bernhardt said. “There are still some things that we have to work out and see where everybody will be playing.

“But I think I will have a good No. 1 singles, and I will have to see where I can put put people. Probably we will have some of the same doubles teams as we did last year.”

Returning to bolster the singles corps is junior Sam Bernardy, who will play in the No. 1 spot.

Other key returners include seniors Cameron Flores, Rafael Munguia and Daniel Cho, along with junior Sebastian Muga.

“I hope we are going to make the playoffs, at least that’s the plan,” Bernhardt said. “We lost in the wild card last year and maybe we can get further this season.

“With our league, Arcadia is going to be tough again. They just have too many good players.”

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