Bulldogs can't mount upset against Arcadia

ARCADIA — Well, at least the Burbank High girls' tennis team won the final set of its match against host Arcadia on Tuesday.

The Bulldogs cheered when the No. 1 doubles team of Dana Gibson and Veronica Mendoza won a tiebreaker against the Apaches' No. 3 duo, ending the match and sending both teams packing to go home.

Prior to the final set, however, the Bulldogs did not have much to cheer about.

That's because Arcadia proved once again that it has no rival in the Pacific League. Arcadia took 11 of the first 12 sets en route to defeating Burbank, 16-2.

The Apaches (14-0, 9-0 in league) all but secured a fourth consecutive league title, and its 26th overall. Arcadia — the CIF Southern Section Division II's second-ranked team — has not lost a regular-season match since 2008, let alone a league contest.

The Apaches, who have twice advanced to the CIF quarterfinals and once to the semifinals of the playoffs in the past three years, will likely complete another undefeated league campaign in 2012, and Bulldog Coach Loi Phan understands why.

"First off, they've got Francis [Dean, Arcadia's top singles player and defending league champion] who will automatically get you three wins," Phan said. "Normally, you can come in and say, 'we can get their No. 3 doubles.' Now we're lucky to get one set in doubles.

"All three of their singles players and all three of their doubles teams are solid. Their No. 2 is as good as their No. 1, and their No. 3 is as good as their No. 2."

Arcadia won all nine singles sets, with Dean not even emerging as the dominating singles player. Freshman Angelica Zhou won both of her sets, 6-0, before giving way to a substitute. Freshman Sharlene Song also won two singles sets for a loaded Arcadia team.

"We're a tiny bit deeper than we've been," Arcadia Coach Jerry Dohling said. "We have a lot of experience."

The only set the Bulldogs took in the first two rounds was a 6-2 win by the No. 2 doubles team of Ashley Basco and Meredy Gharabegi, who have played singles the entire season.

Arcadia quickly dispatched the other Bulldogs before waiting around for Gibson and Mendoza, who fought off two set points to take their set.

Burbank dropped to 7-2 in league, tied with Crescenta Valley — which was the last team to defeat Arcadia in the regular season in 2008 — for second place in league.

The Bulldogs and Falcons will meet at 3:15 p.m. Tuesday in a battle for second place. Burbank defeated CV, 13-5, in its first meeting.

"We just want to beat them again and go in to the playoffs as a legit second-place team," Phan said. "CV is our main competition."

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