Burbank Boys’ Tennis Overcomes Obstacles In Playoff Victory

Minus their No. 2 singles player and two doubles athletes, Bulldogs post 9-9 (70-64) CIF Southern Section Division II first-round home win against West Torrance.

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Shortly before beginning its postseason journey Wednesday, the Burbank High boys’ tennis team encountered several potholes.

Things smoothed out in the end for the Bulldogs.

Minus three players and having to forfeit three sets, Burbank overcame the obstacles to rally for an unlikely 9-9 (70-64) victory against visiting West Torrance in a CIF Southern Section Division II first-round match.

It came down to Burbank’s No. 2 doubles team of Edouard Oganesian and Blake Lewis to keep the season alive for Burbank (13-1). The duo posted a 6-1 victory to even the match at 9 and give the Bulldogs the win.

“We’re not even partners,” Lewis said. “We lost our first two sets and then things started to click for us in the third set. Not a lot of things went right for us in the first two sets, which we lost (6-4, 6-3). We played it out and got the win.”

Said Oganesian: “I think we just made a lot of unforced errors in our first two sets and then we just played the kind of tennis we know how to play and got that win. There was no holding back.”

Burbank, which shared the Pacific League championship with Arcadia, will meet No. 2 JSerra (17-2) in a second-round road match at 3 p.m. Friday. JSerra won the Trinity League crown.

The Bulldogs competed without No. 2 singles player Amrith Kodumuri and doubles athletes Dominic Aleman and Vamsi Chintha. The trio took advanced placement exams when the match began.

The Bulldogs had to adjust their singles lineup and forfeited three doubles sets because they didn’t have enough players.

Burbank received three victories from No. 1 player Adam Ridaoui, 6-0, 6-0, 6-0. Ridaoui entered play fresh off capturing his fourth straight league singles title.

The Bulldogs also received two singles wins from Raphael Lazaryev, 6-4, 6-0. Burbank’s No. 1 doubles team of James Basco and David Kerimyan rolled up three victories, 6-3, 6-1, 6-1.

The victory left veteran Burbank coach Loi Phan beaming.

“It’s a great win, considering everything that happened,” Phan said. “But, it’s also about the team and not the individual. The team prevailed.

“It’s a great lesson to learn when you compete hard and stick together. You saw what happened at the end. Every single person went out there and did the job, whether they won or lost. That’s the ultimate team win today.”

West Torrance (9-6) got two singles wins from Ishaan Venkatramen, 6-4, 6-1. The Warriors took third in the Pioneer League behind South Torrance and El Segundo.