Balance pushes Prep

Perfect balance carried the Flintridge Prep girls' tennis team to playoff success Thursday afternoon at Scholl Canyon Tennis Center in a CIF Southern Section Division first-round match against visiting Dos Pueblos.

Six singles wins and six more in the doubles bracket were enough for the Rebels to double up the Chargers, 12-6, setting up a second-round rematch at 2 p.m. Saturday with third-seeded Newport Harbor.

"We get to play the team that knocked us out last year," said Prep Coach Ron Catano, whose team (14-4) will host the match. "We're looking forward to getting a rematch with them."

Newport Harbor, which advanced with an 18-0 win over Chaparral on Thursday, eliminated Prep, 12-6, in the second round of the Division II playoffs last season.

Dose Pueblos (10-8), the second-place team from the Channel League, had an ace at the top of its singles lineup in Lauren Bateman, who swept. Other than that, the Chargers proved to be little opposition.

Prep's No. 1 singles Andrea Kevakian won two sets, 6-0, 6-0, Jenise Vargas went 6-0, 6-0 out of the No. 2 slot and Roya Gheissari won two sets, 6-2, 6-1.

"I don't believe we'll run into a No. 1 player again like that," Catano said of Bateman. "She was just untouchable. [Going forward] we're just going to weight heavily on our singles and hopefully our doubles can just finish the load."

In doubles, Prep, which finished runner-up in the Prep League, was led by the teams of Kira Lee, the reigning All-Area Singles Player of the Year, and Miah Webb (6-0, 6-0, 7-5) and Abby Letts and Young In-Kim (6-0, 6-1, 6-2).

"They played really well," Catano said of Kim and Letts. "We played really well in doubles today, but I'm not sure how we're going to be able to maintain that against better teams. The doubles teams we played today weren't that strong."

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