Burroughs, Burbank well represented in league tennis semifinals

PASADENA — Burroughs and Burbank highs will be represented in the Pacific League semifinals in boys' tennis.

Both the Indians and Bulldogs players earned the right to advance to the final day of league competition with fine performances in Monday's preliminaries at Pasadena High.

Two doubles teams and a singles player from Burroughs and a doubles squad and singles athlete from Burbank will take part in the event at 1 p.m. Wednesday at the same venue.

There is a guarantee that the locals will be represented in the finals, as two Indians doubles squads will go head to head in one semifinal Wednesday.

As expected, the Burroughs team of Kevin Hoang and Wen Yao Lin, seeded No. 1, breezed through its first two matches Monday. In the first round, the two dispatched No. 16 Gary Voskanian and Evan Keum of Hoover, 6-1, 6-0, before defeating No. 9 Robert Lee and James Ho of Crescenta Valley, 6-1-6-1. Last season, Hoang teamed up with Phillip Lam to capture the doubles title.

Hoang and Wen will be facing teammates Michael Whelan and Calvin Fox, the No. 4 seed. Whelan and Fox played doubles for most of the season for Burroughs, helping them win a Pacific League championship. Burroughs Coach Roy Bernhardt was hoping to get the doubles duo a No. 2 seeding so it wouldn't have to face another Burroughs team until the final. However, the league coaches voted against that idea, and one Indians squad will be eliminated.

If Bernhardt would have kept Whelan and Fox in singles, there's a good chance they both would have advanced deep into the tournament.

"We screwed up," Bernhardt said of the move to pair the two. "I thought that Michael and Calvin were a strong enough doubles team to be No. 2. But I guess the other league coaches didn't want two Burroughs teams competing for the doubles championship."

Whelan and Fox did have a relatively easy time advancing to the semifinals. In the opening round, the two beat No. 13 Eddie No and Hrant Aghakani of Hoover, 6-0, 6-0, and kept up the momentum in the quarterfinals by getting by No. 5 Albert Chan and Guillame Lam of Arcadia, 6-1, 6-2.

"We played doubles together I think only once earlier this season, but not much for the team," said Fox, who is Whelan's step-brother. "But we've played a lot of doubles in junior tournaments, so we know how to play together and we know the other's strengths."

On the other side of the bracket is Burbank's No. 3-seeded team of Keon Park and Clayton Pauff, who have made it a habit of advancing to the semifinals. In fact, the duo is making its third straight appearance in the league's final four.

Park and Pauff opened the day by earning a victory against No. 14 Stave Shin and Jacob Kim of Burroughs, 6-1, 6-0.

The Burbank pair will face No. 2 Dustin Lieu and Eric Gao of Arcadia, which defeated No. 7 Arthur Arutyunyan and Daniel Kim, 6-1, 6-1, in a second-round match.

However, things got more difficult for the Bulldogs in the second round against No. 11 Victor Wang and Ken Nakamine of Arcadia. After the Burbank pair won the first set, 6-3, it fell in the second, 4-6, forcing a pro-style tie-breaker. In the tie-breaker, Park and Pauff looked to wrap things with set-point at 9-4. But the Arcadia pair won five straight points to tie it at 9. After the Apaches won the next point, the Indians were able to come back and knot things at 10. Fortunately for Burbank, Park and Pauff took the next two points to earn the win, 12-10.

"We mostly played singles this year after playing doubles more the two years before," Pauff said. "It was a little hard getting back into doubles after playing singles a lot this year."

The most dominating player on the first day of the tournament was Burroughs singles player Sawyer Patterson. Patterson, the No. 1 seed, sliced through No. 16 Kevin Yang of Arcadia by 6-0 scores and then made easy work of No. 9 Arem Abrahamian of Crescenta Valley by 6-0 scores.

Patterson will face No. 4 Emile Ohanyan of Hoover, who won his second-round match against No. 5 Arin Meserkhani of Glendale, 6-4, 2-6 (10-2).

In the other semifinal will be No. 3 Kevin Orellana of Burbank. The freshmen defeated No. 13 Young Peak of Crescenta Valley, 6-0, 6-0, and then upended No. 11 Charbel El-Khouri of Pasadena, 6-0, 3-0 (default).

Orellana will take on No. 2 Oleg Simonyan of Hoover in the semifinals. Simonyan defeated No. 15 Davis Crater of Burroughs, 6-1, 6-0, in the opening round and beat No. 7 Nawaf Tokatly of Glendale in the quarterfinals, 6-4, 6-3.

"I'm just going to try my best and see what will happen," Orellana said. "I played pretty good today, so I know I will give him a good match."

Also in singles, No. 10 Eduardo Llano of Burroughs lost in the first round to Tokatly, 6-0, 6-2.

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