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La Cañada girls’ tennis wraps up league play on winning note

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La Cañada High singles player Annabelle Kevakian hits a backhand return in a Rio Hondo League match against South Pasadena on Monday.
(Tim Berger/ Valley Sun)

Before heading off to the CIF Southern Section Division I playoffs, the La Cañada High girls’ tennis team had something it wanted to accomplish first.

The Spartans looked to wrap up competition in the Rio Hondo League on a winning note.

Backed by an impressive showing in singles and doubles, La Cañada didn’t squander the opportunity as it rolled to a 14-4 home win against South Pasadena on Monday.

La Cañada (8-5, 6-2 in league) had already locked up second place in league behind rival San Marino. The Spartans won eight sets in doubles and six sets in singles to dispatch South Pasadena (8-10, 3-5).

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“We’ve been in this place before and we are comfortable with where we are,” said La Cañada coach Will Moravec, who guided the Spartans to the Division II championship last season. “We feel good about heading into the playoffs and we have started to play our best tennis.

“Now, lets see what we can do in the playoffs. A lot of things will depend on the draw. We lost [in the regular season] to some very good teams in West Ranch, Arcadia and San Marino.”

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La Canada’s Maya Urata and Eliana Hanna congratulate each other after winning a point in a Rio Condo League girls’ tennis match against South Pasadena at La Canada High School on Monday, October 28, 2019.
(Tim Berger/Glendale News Press)

La Cañada is back in Division I after the CIF Southern Section realigned the divisions in May.

On Monday, the Spartans received a sweep in singles from No. 1 player Annabelle Kevakian, 7-5, 6-1, 6-0.

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“We definitely wanted to come out and close out on a good note,” said Kevakian, who rallied from a 4-1 deficit to top Carissa Park, 7-5, in a first-round match. “We have a very good team and people who know how to win.

“We know that if we put our mind to it, then we can be very successful. I think we have a team that can go pretty far.”

La Cañada’s No. 2 doubles team of Allison Woo and Riley Thornburgh swept, 6-1, 6-3, 6-4.

In singles, the Spartans got two singles wins from Kylie Hang, 6-4, 6-0, and one from Artis Phillips, 6-3.

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La Canada’s Maya Urata hits a forehand return in a doubles match in a Rio Condo League girls’ tennis match against South Pasadena at La Canada High School on Monday, October 28, 2019.
(Tim Berger/Glendale News Press)

In doubles, La Cañada received two wins in doubles from Maya Urata and Eliana Han, 6-0, 6-0. It also got one victory apiece in doubles from Sophia Razavi and Chia Matsuka, 7-5, Sydney Wang and Sonia Bhaskaran, 6-0, and Roxanna Razavi and Elise Wu, 6-1.

The Tigers picked up two singles wins from Park, 6-0, 6-1, and one from Olivia Reed, 7-4. South Pasadena got a doubles victory from Bella Kan and Lauren Galles, 6-3.

The playoff parings will be unveiled at 11 a.m. Monday.

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La Canada’s Eliana Hanna hits a backhand return in a Rio Condo League girls’ tennis match against South Pasadena at La Canada High School on Monday, October 28, 2019.
(Tim Berger/Glendale News Press)

“We’re very familiar with the Division I playoffs,” said Moravec, whose team took second in league last season. “We’re healthy right now. A lot of our players tasted success last season.”

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