Crescenta Valley doubles team gears up for CIF tournament

After rallying to win the Pacific League doubles championship in a super tiebreaker, Alexa Gregorian and Jackie Dilanchyan appear set to handle the next item on their agenda.

The Crescenta Valley High girls’ tennis players have been busy at work the past several weeks preparing for the CIF Southern Section Individuals Tournament.

Gregorian and Dilanchyan will make their inaugural appearance in the event Monday at Cate High in Carpinteria.

“We are going into this with a lot of confidence, but we know it will be nerve-wracking and exciting,” said Gregorian, who teamed with Dilanchyan to post a 5-7, 6-4, 10-8 victory against Burbank’s Meredy Gharabegi and Elizabeth Sanchez in the league final Oct. 30 at Pasadena High. “We know we will be facing good players, but we think we can do well.

“It’s a great way to end our high school careers. We get along great and we compliment each other well on the court.”

Dilanchyan said she and Gregorian have been practicing various strategies since winning the league crown to help them get ready for the tournament.

“It’s just about ways to improve our shots and knowing where we need to be on the court at all times,” Dilanchyan said. “We know what each other is thinking.

“I can’t wait to play and it will be exciting. No matter who we play, it will be a tough matchup.”

Crescenta Valley Coach Sam Hyun, who paired the duo together early in the season, said Gregorian and Dilanchyan gained valuable experience rallying from an 8-4 deficit in the third set to win the league tournament.

Hyun said the duo will look to pick up where it left off in league.

“Their win in that super tiebreaker was amazing,” said Hyun, whose team finished third in league and fell to West Ranch in a CIF Southern Section Division II wild-card match. “They came all the way back and were confident they could finish it off.

“They are the type of players who like to attack the net and hit the ball hard. If they make a mistake, they just shrug it off. I think they can do well [in the tournament].”

Check-in time is 9 a.m. and, as is customary, players learn of their draws shortly thereafter. Should Gregorian and Dilanchyan advance to the round of 32, it will take place Dec. 3 at Whittier Narrows Tennis Center in South El Monte. The round of 16 and quarterfinals will be Dec. 4 at Seal Beach Tennis Center. The semifinals and finals will take place Dec. 5 at Seal Beach.

Joining Gregorian and Dilanchyan from the Pacific League will be Gharabegi and Sanchez and Burbank singles player Lilit Vardanyan, who won the league crown.

La Cañada’s Ally McKenzie will compete at the Claremont Club. McKenzie won the Rio Hondo League singles championship Oct. 31 at Live Oak Park in Temple City and helped the Spartans take second in league before they advanced to the second round of the playoffs for the first time since 2008.

McKenzie became the first Spartan to win a singles title since Kim Gilmour in 2001.

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