Lodolo lifts Knights past host Rebels

GLENDALE — With Vinny Lodolo on board, things are beginning to take shape for the St. Francis High boys’ tennis team.

The Golden Knights have turned to the standout junior singles player to take charge against some of the area’s other programs.

Lodolo proved to be sharp again Thursday afternoon, as he swept his three singles sets to help St. Francis notch an 11-7 nonleague road victory against Flintridge Prep at Scholl Canyon Tennis Center.

Lodolo, who improved to 9-0 this season, lost just one game Thursday against the pesky Rebels (0-2). He advanced to the semifinals of the Mission League Tournament last season.

St. Francis improved to 2-1 after topping Hoover on Monday and losing to La Cañada on Wednesday.

The Golden Knights won six doubles sets, including a key 6-3, 6-4, 7-6 (10-8) sweep from John Ferris and Ian Powell.

“I think we got a good experience losing Wednesday,” said St. Francis veteran Coach Ron Zambrano, who guided the Golden Knights to a fifth-place finish in league last season. “We saw that our doubles played real well [Thursday].

“That’s something that will need to continue all year for us.”

The Rebels provided St. Francis with a quality test after they suffered a 15-3 nonleague road loss to Burbank on Tuesday.

Flintridge Prep got good performances from No. 1 singles player Alex Wood and No. 2 singles player Eric Kazangian. Wood and Kazangian each won a pair of sets to give the Rebels a shot in the arm.

“They played very well,” Flintridge Prep second-year Coach Park Cockerill said. “The idea is for us to play a tough schedule, and I knew we would be in for a tough match against St. Francis.

“With our doubles teams, it’s about making steady improvements and being consistent. The kids will listen with the adjustments we want to make. You could see that they were a lot more competitive today.”

Neither team advanced to the CIF Southern Section playoffs last season. Both will look to change that this year.

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