BURBANK — It was only four days into September on Tuesday and girls’ tennis teams from Burbank High and Glendale were already taking part in Pacific League competition.
Whereas the Nitros had two nonleague matches in preparation for the league campaign, the Bulldogs had one and a half, as their contest with Monrovia last week was halted midway through because of lightning.
The quick start of the league season likely affected Glendale more adversely, taking into consideration it returned just three players from last year. But with almost its entire team back, Burbank showed it could be a force in league this season by sweeping all nine singles sets en rout to a 17-1 victory at Burbank.
“This is probably the most inexperienced team that I’ve ever had,” said Glendale Coach Bob Davidson, whose squad split its two nonleague contests. “We really have only been together as a team since last week, so that didn’t leave us a lot of time to work on what we needed to work on.”
Burbank Coach Loi Phan said even though he had two nonleague matches scheduled prior to Tuesday’s opener, his squad didn’t receive a great deal of competition.
“We had to stop against Monrovia in the middle because of the lightning,” said Phan, whose team is 2-0. “Then we played Flintridge Prep last Friday and we were hoping for a good match. But they lost all their good singles players and my players didn’t get pushed much at all.
“Then we have to play Burroughs, our rival, on Thursday. It just doesn’t leave us much time to get prepared.”
Burbank swept all nine singles sets against Flintridge Prep in a 15-3 victory.
It was more of the same against Glendale (1-2). The Bulldogs not only swept in singles, but they surrendered just three games.
“We know we are going to be pretty good in singles this season,” Phan said. “But our doubles aren’t set just yet. We are trying out some different combinations to get the best doubles teams.”
Leading the way in singles was sophomore Lilit Bardanyan, who won her three sets by 6-0 scores at the No. 3 spot. Meredy Gharabegi, playing at No. 1, went 6-0, 6-2, 6-0, and Ashley Basco went 6-1, 6-0, 6-0.
A four-year player, Basco said she doesn’t feel any pressure to win a certain number of sets against opponents.
“This is my senior year, so the No. 1 thing to me is to just go out there, do my thing and try and win as many as I can,” she said. “I fully believe in my teammates that they are going to do their jobs, so the only thing that you can really do is try your best.”
It was apparent after the first of three rounds that Burbank was the more dominant team. After the first round was completed, Glendale found itself behind, 5-1.
The only win in the opening round turned out to be the only win of the day for the Nitros. The No. 3 doubles team of Lilia Blkhoyan and Mary Pailevanian rolled to a 6-1 victory.
However, after the Burbank No. 3 doubles team lost the set, Phan replaced it with Mackenzie Emi and Ellie Hiranara, who won the next two sets, 6-2, 6-2.
At No. 1 doubles, the Bulldogs duo of Elizabeth Sanchez and Gabrielle Markari earned a sweep, 6-1, 6-0, 6-0, as did the combination of Veronica Mendoza and Dana Gibson, 6-3, 6-2, 6-2.
“We have a young team, but the girls are improving,” Davidson said. “We’re hoping to battle for that fourth spot in league.”