Rebels realign, defeat Poly

NORTHEAST GLENDALE — Injuries can often times expose a team's weakness or show off its depth.

So when tendinitis crept in to Jenise Vargas' left wrist, the Flintridge Prep girls' tennis team seized the opportunity to show its versatility.

The Rebels plugged in Roya Gheissari, a doubles player, into the singles slot and they hardly missed a beat as they knocked off visiting Pasadena Poly, 10-8, at the Scholl Canyon Tennis Center to remain in second place in the Prep League.

Vargas, who has missed a sizable chunk of the season with the injury, played only one set on Tuesday afternoon, beating her No. 2 singles counterpart, Lily Wu, 6-4, before asking to come out. Gheissari, who has played most of the season at No. 1 doubles, stepped in her place to beat Kat Peng, 6-4, and Anna Lamb, 6-2.

"She beat Poly's No. 1 and No. 3, which was basically the reason why we won," Prep Coach Ron Catano said. "Roya hadn't played singles all season. So having her play singles [and do well] is a bright spot for us."

With Gheissari holding her own at singles, Catano said he would keep her there the rest of the season. The Rebels, who improved to 10-4 and 5-2 in league, have three Prep League matches remaining.

"I kind of used today as an experiment to see if it could work," Catano said of the lineup change. "I didn't know what to expect. I figured Roya would play well because she's pretty solid. And she did better than I thought she would, so I'm just going to stick with that."

Prep won six of nine singles sets on Tuesday, but it came at the expense of slightly weakening its doubles teams. The Rebels won four of nine in doubles and their No. 2 team of Kira Lee and Miah Webb surrendered a 5-2 lead to lose, 7-6 (7-4), to Poly's No. 3 duo of Sitara Hirji and Juliet Johnson. Webb and Lee did, however, win their other two sets.

As has been the case all season, Prep's No. 1 freshman player Andrea Kevakian won all of her sets. She defeated Peng, 6-3, Wu, 6-1, and Lamb, 6-0.

The Rebels host Chadwick on Thursday at the Scholl Canyon Tennis Center in the second of two meetings between both schools.

Prep won the first meet on Oct. 4 by the same score, 10-8, at the Peninsula Racquet Club. With another victory, the Rebels will have a firm hold on second place in league with only two more matches remaining after Thursday.

Poly, which dropped to 9-4 and 2-3 in league, is tied for third place in league with Chadwick.

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