LA CRESCENTA — For some time Thursday afternoon, the Crescenta Valley and Burbank high girls’ tennis teams played close to even.
With a potential upset brewing, Crescenta Valley showed why its in line to capture a second consecutive Pacific League championship, winning a tiebreaker to swing the match.
Crescenta Valley won eight of nine doubles sets to post a 12-6 home win against Burbank.
Crescenta Valley (7-0, 4-0 in league) turned to its No. 3 doubles team of Anna Kim and Stephanie Chung, who rallied to topple Sun-Mo Koo and Sariya Ibrahim, 7-6 (7-5). The victory gave Crescenta Valley a 6-4 lead, and thwarted a possible comeback bid by the Bulldogs (4-4, 2-3).
“We chased that set the whole time,” said Crescenta Valley Coach Tom Gossard, whose team stretched its regular-season match winning streak to 25. “Anna and Stephanie tied it at 6, and then took the tiebreaker.
“You have to give credit to Anna and Stephanie. Anna did her job, and Stephanie hit some smart shots. It was the most important set because of the time it happened and the fact that it gave us more momentum.”
Burbank Coach Loi Phan said a victory in that set might have changed things a bit.
“That would have been big for us had we been able to get it at 5-5,” said Phan, who saw his team pick up five singles wins. “That one set would have been a big lift for us had we won that.
“I do like how we have played lately. It’s the first time where I can actually say that we were excited to come up here and play CV.”
Crescenta Valley sophomore singles player Sarah Ali, the reigning All-Area Singles Player of the Year, swept her three sets. Ali lost just four games. Lindsay Walter pick up the other victory in singles for the Falcons, who recorded victories against Burroughs and Viewpoint on Tuesday and Wednesday, respectively.
Crescenta Valley’s No. 1 doubles tandem of Erin LeVoir and Ani Ebrahamian registered a sweep, losing four games. Courtney Pietsch and Talia Moradkhanian won two doubles sets for the Falcons, who also got one win from Tenny Soleymani and Kay Lee.
Burbank singles players Tatevik Harutyunyan and Julie Kim each won a pair of sets. Lita Patel notched one win in singles for Burbank, which got one doubles victory from Victoria Magrini and Chantelle Truong.
Gossard, who has led the Falcons to eight league championships since 1995, praised Burbank.
“They have got some pretty good athletes who can compete,” Gossard said. “Every team in the Pacific League is good, and we don’t have an easy match.”
Phan said the Bulldogs must learn from Thursday’s experience and apply it toward the remainder of the regular season.
“Our goal was to come to CV and compete, and I think we succeeded in that,” Phan said. “CV’s got a very good team.
“We have got to learn from this so that we can be in line [to try to get into the playoffs].”
The teams will next meet at 3:15 p.m. Oct. 28 at Burbank.
CHARLES RICH covers sports. He can be reached at (818) 637-3228 or email@example.com.