Both the Burbank High and Burroughs girls’ tennis programs lost its share of players from a year ago.
However, while the Indians lost some individuals to graduation, a number of Bulldogs players who were starters in 2009 have decided not to come back to the team.
“We just have to work with the players that we have,” Burbank Coach Loi Phan said. “I don’t want players on the team if they don’t want to be here. The players who we do have are excited to be here, and they are excited about the season.”
Burroughs Coach Roy Bernhardt said he has a small group that does return from a team that had its share of struggles last season.
“We have a good group that is returning,” he said. “But we only went something like 5-9 last year. So, I’m hoping that we can do a little better than that.”
Here is a look at how the season is shaping up for the teams.
The biggest departure for the Bulldogs was their No. 1 singles player, Tatevik Harutyunyan, who would have been a senior. Last season, she finished 31-5 in league and 48-10 overall, advanced to the Pacific League final for the first time before reaching the second round of the CIF Individuals Tournament.
Harutyunyan helped Burbank (12-6) place third in league and win its opening CIF Southern Section Division II match against Yucaipa, 13-5. In the playoff match, Harutyunyan earned a sweep, 6-4, 6-3, 6-0.
“We are going to be very young,” Phan said. “Six of our eight players are new varsity players. Essentially, all we have back from last year is our No. 3 doubles team. But I think these girls this year have the drive to be successful.”
Playing singles will be sophomore Ashley Basco, who played doubles a year ago. Joining her will be freshman Meredy Gharabegi, along with Elizabeth Sanchez and Gabrielle Markari.
The Bulldogs’ No. 1 doubles team will consist of returner Saniya Ibrahim, a senior, and fellow senior Cindy Wee.
Other players will be fighting for starting spots, Phan said.
Even with the lack of returners, Phan thinks this team has a shot at earning a playoff spot.
“Arcadia and [Crescenta Valley] are going to have the best teams,” he said. “But I think we should have a shot at one of the No. 3 or No. 4 spots. “We just have to improve.”
The Indians placed fifth in the Pacific League in 2009 and didn’t make the playoffs.
“I think if we can get everyone together we should be able to do pretty well,” Bernhardt said. “We only have two [nonleague] matches before we start up league, so hopefully we will be ready by then.”
The Indians open the season at 3:15 p.m. Tuesday with a nonleague home contest against West Ranch.
A trio of seniors return to lead the Indians’ singles corps. Jackie Phuekhunthod, Stacy Fredrick and Jessica Park should all see time at singles.
Another senior, Alicia Seta, can play singles or doubles, Bernhardt said. Returner Jessica Vu, a senior, will head the doubles players.
After failing to make the postseason a year ago, Bernhardt said he is hoping his Indians can get back to the playoffs.
“Arcadia is going to be good,” he said. “CV is also going to have a good team. Hopefully, we can get a spot and make it back to the playoffs.”