Rebels open up year strong

NORTHEAST GLENDALE — One of the things the Flintridge Prep girls’ tennis team is counting on in order to have a successful season is its experience.

With 10 returning players and some promising freshman additions to replace the only two seniors lost to graduation, the Rebels began the 2007 campaign with a convincing 13-5 victory over Village Christian at Scholl Tennis Center on Thursday afternoon.

“Experience plays a big part in opening the season well,” fourth-year Prep Coach Katie Hawkins said. “We worked really hard in late-August and we’ve really taken into account chemistry on the court and who is working well together.”

The chemistry was evident Thursday between the Rebels’ No. 1 doubles team of juniors Gina Kim and Mika Chandramohan.

Kim and Chandramohan posted victories of 6-2, 6-2 and 6-0 to lead Prep in doubles play.

“They both had a great season last year,” said Hawkins of her top duo. “[Today] they just came out very strong.”

The No. 3 team of Teny Geragos and Erin Mc Donell also swept their three sets, while No. 2 tandem Lucy Boltz and Gina Chang went 4-6, 6-2, 6-0.

In singles play, no one from Prep’s top three could defeat Village Christian No. 1 Avery Archey, but the team still managed to take a 5-4 edge.

Senior Sona Kazangian reeled off a pair of 6-0 victories following her 6-4 loss to Archey.

Krissy Barber, also a senior, suffered an even closer setback to Archey, 7-5, before finishing the day with 6-1 and 6-0 wins.

Freshman Lugene El-Harazi shook off losses of 6-2 and 6-4 in her first two sets to come back and post a 6-0 win in her final set.

The Rebels, who finished 7-12 last season with a 2-8 Prep League record, took to the courts with vigor to start the season, winning five of the first six sets.

“We were confident going out there,” said Hawkins, whose squad plays at Burbank today at 3:15. “We were excited and ready to get the season underway.”

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