GLENDALE — With their respective teams having already been eliminated from the postseason, five area high school girls’ tennis players still have some goals to achieve today.
It might be the trickiest encounter that they’ll face, but that’s life competing in the CIF Individuals Tournament. The quintet will arrive at Whittier Narrows Tennis Center in South El Monte not knowing who they will face until 30 minutes before first serve in their opening-round matches.
Two doubles teams, featuring Glendale’s Sevana Zargarian and Samantha Sismundo and Crescenta Valley’s Audri Pardo and Ani Ebrahimian, and Flintridge Prep sophomore singles player Kira Lee are expected to take part in the tournament after receiving automatic qualifications for reaching the finals of their respective league tournaments.
Three rounds will be held today at several locations around the region.
The doubles competition will start around 9:30 a.m. The singles action will begin about 9.
Those getting through today’s rounds will then advance to the round-of-16 and quarterfinals, which will begin at 11:30 a.m. Dec. 3 at Seal Beach Tennis Center.
The semifinals and finals will occur at 11 a.m. Dec. 4 in Seal Beach.
Zargarian and Sismundo, who teamed up to win the Pacific League doubles championship for the second season in a row after spending the regular season competing in singles competition, will again be reunited in the event. The duo reached the second round last season before falling, 6-1, 6-1, to second-seeded Victoria Kling and Leyla Simmons of Dana Hills. It will mark the third straight season that Sismundo has been a part of the event.
“I think they are playing real well right now,” said Glendale Coach Bob Davidson, who led the Nitros to a fourth-place finish in league this season. “They are both excellent doubles players.
“Playing together [in the individual finals last season] should help both of them. How well they do will depend a lot on the draws. They are well-rounded players who work well together and can do some damage because they are both comfortable at the net.”
Zargarian and Sismundo, both of whom are seniors, bested Pardo and Ebrahimian, 6-1, 6-1, in the league championship match Nov. 4 at Pasadena High.
Pardo, a sophomore, and Ebrahimian, a senior, will look to take their level of play up a notch while making their first appearance in today’s event.
“They have to be ready, and they’ve had some good practices this week,” said veteran Crescenta Valley Coach Tom Gossard, whose team placed second in league behind Arcadia. “They are doing this for pride, and they have to be ready.
“If they are not ready, then shame on them. This will be Ani’s last time in a high school competition, so I hope she’ll be ready. Audri is a great competitor, too, who will get to see what it’s like playing against good players.”
Lee, who will make her second straight appearance in the event, finished runner-up in the Prep League final this season. Lee, who finished 54-3 and 28-2 in league and helped the Rebels advance to the postseason after taking third, suffered a 6-2, 3-6, 10-7 first-round loss last season to Hazuki Onaga of El Segundo.
Flintridge Prep co-Coach Ron Catano said Lee will probably be more relaxed today.
“Playing in the tournament will help her a lot mentally,” Catano said. “She now knows what to expect.
“She will be fine this time. She’s a lot more mature, calm and poised.”