NORTHEAST GLENDALE — It turned out to be a win-win situation for the girls’ tennis teams from both Flintridge Prep and Burbank on Friday, as the Rebels loaded up on confidence and the Bulldogs played for experience.
Prep was clicking on all cylinders as it rolled through Burbank, 14-4, at Scholl Canyon Park.
Singles play continued to be a strength for the Rebels, as their top two singles players, juniors Kira Lee and Jenise Vargas, won all their sets.
Lee was close to perfect, as she didn’t surrender a single set, winning them all, 6-0.
“It felt really nice to go out there and do really well today,” Lee said. “A win like this just keeps everyone pumped up and encourages them to work harder.”
While Lee and Vargas were impressive, Prep’s doubles teams showed they shouldn’t be ignored either, as all three teams combined to go 8-1 on the afternoon.
“Our singles play is our strength but our doubles played really well today as well,” Prep Coach Ron Catano said.
Even though it was a rough day for Burbank, Coach Loi Phan was encouraged by what he saw.
“We’re getting better each match and that’s why we schedule teams who are a lot better than us right now,” Phan said. “Our young girls are trying and the sets are getting closer; they aren’t blowouts.”
Meredy Ghanabegi, a freshman for the Bulldogs, made sure she wasn’t overlooked, keeping most of her matches close.
She beat Prep senior Lugene El-Harizi, 6-4, and fought Vargas back and forth before falling, 7-5.
"[Flintridge Prep] is a good team and it’s good for us to play them and get some experience,” Phan said. “We’re all improving and that’s what I’m looking for; it’s all you can ask really.”
While the Bulldogs were building experience, the Rebels were loading up on confidence.
Catano hopes the confidence will pay off down the stretch when the competition starts heating up.
“Hopefully when we play tougher teams now we won’t fold under the pressure; that has been a problem in the past,” Catano said. “When we weren’t winning consistently enough throughout the season and would go against tougher teams I could see we lacked some confidence out there. I see this win will really help our confidence out there.”