Bulldogs edge past Falcons

BURBANK — Prior to Crescenta Valley High boys' tennis team meeting Burbank in a Pacific League match for the second time in less than a week, Burbank Coach Loi Phan predicted Tuesday's contest would be close again.

Crescenta Valley and Burbank backed up Phan's statement, as Burbank earned an 11-7 home victory.

"I just told both teams during the introductions that it would be that way," said Phan, who saw Crescenta Valley best Burbank, 9-9(79-70), on Thursday at Crescenta Valley. "It's a match that could have gone either way and both matches did.

"It's two teams that present good matchups. I thought the matchups were pretty even both times. It could have gone either way both times."

Burbank improved to 2-7, 2-5 in league. Crescenta Valley fell to 6-8, 3-5 after losing for only the second time in its last six matches.

The Bulldogs won six singles sets, including a 6-3 victory by No. 1 player Clayton Pauf that gave the Bulldogs a 10-7 advantage and clinched the win. Pauf swept his three sets, 7-5, 6-3, 6-4. Burbank also received a sweep from No. 2 singles player James Hong, 6-0, 7-6(7-4), 6-4.

"I figured if we could get six [wins] in singles, then we probably had a good chance," Phan said.

The team were tied at 3 through the first round.

Crescenta Valley was led by its No. 2 doubles team of Tim Chong and Patrick Meserkhani. The duo worked together to sweep, 6-1, 6-4, 6-1.

Like Phan, Crescenta Valley Coach Sarah Wiggins counted on the teams battling down the stretch.

"I was anticipating that, just after what happened the last time," Wiggins said. "We had a chance to be up, 5-1, after the first round, but we had a tough loss in singles.

"It came down to a point here and a point there that made the difference. Burbank just kept right after us."

Burbank received two doubles wins apiece from Alex Lee and Tajh Bellow (6-3, 7-5) and Keonwoo Park and Jonathan Lee (6-2, 6-1). The Bulldogs also got a 7-5 doubles win from Varand Nikolaian and Jason Olah.

"We've been playing well, but we just haven't been able to come out with a win," Phan said.

Crescenta Valley got one singles win each from Aren Abrahamian (6-1), Albert Chtchyan (6-4) and Doil Kim (6-1). The Falcons received a 7-5 doubles victory from Justin Chung and Daniel Hong.

Wiggins said the Falcons will look to regroup.

"We want to have that momentum and keep it going in the right direction," Wiggins said. "We took a little step back [Tuesday], but hope to take two steps forward the next time."


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