Burbank singles trumps CV's doubles

BURBANK — It was a classic battle pitting singles versus doubles Tuesday afternoon when Burbank High took on Crescenta Valley in a Pacific League girls' tennis match.

Although they are still missing one of their top players, the Bulldogs were banking on a singles sweep and hoping to notch one or two wins in doubles to come out victorious.

For the Falcons, they were looking for a doubles sweep and hoping to possibly win on games, or maybe even get an upset win in singles to turn back Burbank.

Although the Bulldogs did win all nine of their singles sets, they were also able to take three in doubles to secure a 12-6 victory at home.

With the win, Burbank (13-2, 9-2 in league) secures second place in league behind champion Arcadia. It is the first time in the seven-year tenure of coach Loi Phan that the Bulldogs have finished higher than third place.

The win gave the Bulldogs a season sweep against Crescenta Valley (12-5, 8-4), which lost to Burbank, 13-5, on Sept. 20.

"When we saw the lineups today I told my girls that it was going to be our singles against their doubles," Phan said. "I told them not to blink because one loss could make the difference. We figured that it was going to be close.

"But our No. 2 doubles was able to win two and our No. 1 [team] got one and that's what really made the difference today."

The two wins in doubles came from the duo of Veronica Mendoza and Dana Gibson, which notched 6-0, 6-2 victories. The tandem of Gabrielle Markari and Aja Locke secured a 7-5 win in the final set of the day.

"You always want to win, that's the main thing," Mendoza said. "But we just wanted to go out there and give it our best and play the best that we could."

Crescenta Valley was able to come away with just one sweep on the day. The No. 1 doubles team of Viktoriya Shumakova and Jacqueline Dilanchyan had 6-3, 6-3, 6-2 wins. The No. 3 team of Alexa Grigoryan and Selin Auvazian won two, 6-4, 6-2.

"We were thinking that we had to win all nine in doubles to get the win," Falcons Coach Sam Hyun said. "When we lost those two in doubles to their No. 2, that was it. We knew that they were going to be strong in singles."

Burbank was missing sophomore singles player Lilit Vardanyan, who suffered an injury to her right wrist in late September and has been sidelined ever since.

In her place, Elizabeth Sanchez has stepped up. At No. 3, Sanchez bested her Falcons opponents, 6-4, 6-4, 6-2. At No. 1, Meredy Gharabegi won, 6-0, 6-1, 6-3, and Ashley Basco won, 6-1, 6-0, 6-1.

"Elizabeth has really stepped in and did her job for us since Lilit got hurt," Phan said. "I don't think CV knew that she was hurt, because they stacked their doubles. But we were able to get more than we needed in doubles and that's why it wasn't as close as I thought it was going to be."

Tuesday's contest ended the league campaign for the Falcons. Burbank ends the league season Thursday with a match against host Hoover. The league individual prelims to take place at 1 p.m. Monday at Pasadena High and the finals will be at the same time and place Oct. 24.

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