Knights pass audition

BURBANK — The 15 members of the St. Francis High tennis team treated Monday afternoon's season-opening match like an audition.

With only a handful of nonleague matches on the schedule and the start of Mission League two weeks away, St. Francis Coach Ron Zambrano used the nonleague contest against Village Christian as a test to see what possible lineup combinations he might have available.

Zambrano got a better idea after St. Francis posted a 12-6 win against Village Christian at the Burbank Tennis Center.

"We want to find out who can play and this is the type of match where you can tell," Zambrano said. "It's a way to see who can perform under pressure and we have two more nonleague matches to continue finding out.

"We found some people who could come through in singles and doubles."

St. Francis saw its No. 1 doubles team of Gregory Pak and Daniel Gong sweep their three sets. The duo lost just one game.

Pak said the Golden Knights have the potential to battle for a top-three spot in league. The top three teams automatically qualify for the postseason.

"It's a team that's got a lot of potential, but we need a little more experience," Pak said. "Now, we have a good mix of freshmen and they'll step up to the challenge.

"It's fun playing with Daniel because there's a good chemistry between the two of us and that helps us play better. We served well and were able to keep the ball in play."

The Golden Knights won eight doubles sets. Chris Norhadian worked with Antonelo Gonzalez to earn 6-2, 6-1 wins before teaming with Daniel Ishmael for a 7-5 victory. St. Francis' Alex Kavakian and Darren Kunitake paired up for a 6-1 win and Kavakian and Will Bolin then earned a 6-0 victory.

In singles, John Kazangian of St. Francis posted 6-0, 6-2 wins after losing his first set. Armen Ter-Zakarian earned a 7-5 win for the Golden Knights.

"It's good to win your first match," said Zambrano, whose team finished fourth in league last season and didn't qualify for the playoffs. "You want to get out there and feel better than last year."

Village Christian had a local resident help pick up its lone doubles win. Jacob Kim of Glendale worked with Isaac Kim for a 6-2 victory.

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