GLENDALE — It’s a bit early in the season for the Burbank High and Glendale girls’ tennis teams to be talking about “crucial” Pacific League matches.
With both teams fielding young and inexperienced teams, the Bulldogs and Nitros took part in only three nonleague contests prior to their league opener Tuesday, as the teams didn’t have much time to get ready for their intercity match.
With Crescenta Valley and Arcadia likely the top squads in the league, Burbank and Glendale figure they will be battling it out — probably with one another — for the final two playoff spots.
Playing in a contest that felt more like a late-season clash, the Nitros used sweeps by their No. 1 singles and No. 1 doubles team to notch a 10-8 home victory.
“Although it’s just the first league [match], it kind of felt like we are both battling for a playoff spot already,” said Burbank Coach Loi Phan, whose team is 0-3. “We already know who the top two teams in the league are going to be. But the other spots are wide open, and us and Glendale are going to be two of those teams fighting for a spot.”
Glendale Coach Bob Davidson said his young team will need all the league wins it can muster to earn a coveted postseason spot.
“I think it’s us, [Burbank], Hoover and Burroughs who will be trying for those other spots,” Davidson. “With a young team, we’re just trying to improve every day and we’re really trying to find our way as a team. We just need some experience.”
Coming into the match, Davidson and Phan expected a close contest. They agreed that the contest was probably going to end 9-9 or 10-8.
True to form, the teams battled it out for three rounds, as the scored was tied at 3 after the opening round and at 6 after the second round. However, Glendale didn’t wilt under the pressure of the third round, winning four of six sets to wrap up the win.
“We expect a lot of our league matches to be close ones,” Davidson said.
The Nitros received a strong performance from its No. 1 singles, Adrine Babakanyan, who swept, 7-5, 6-0, 6-0. Also picking up three set wins was the top doubles duo of Mariam Khachtyan and Hana Jang, which went, 6-4, 6-3, 6-3.
The only other singles win for the Nitros came via No. 3 Eugena Bagdassorian, 6-1.
In doubles, the No. 3 pair of Celicia McLean and Rochelle Lingat won two, 6-2, 6-2.
The Bulldogs received two wins from their No. 1 singles, Ashley Basco, 6-2, 6-0, as well as their No. 2, Meredy Gharabegi, 6-0, 6-1.
In doubles, Burbank’s No. 3 team of Miyon Kim and Dana Gibson went, 6-3, 7-6 (9-7), the No. 1 pair of Saniya Ibrahim and Cindy Wee won one, 6-4, as did the team of Aja Locke and Gabrielle Markari, 6-3.
“Our singles consist of one freshman and two sophomores,” Phan said. “Our only seniors are our No. 1 doubles team. We just don’t have a lot of experience.”