Burbank Girls’ Tennis Easily Upends Cross-Town Rival Burroughs

Host Bulldogs jump out early, roll to 17-1 Pacific League victory against Bears.

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(Photo by Austin Gebhardt)

The members of the Burbank High girls’ tennis team didn’t need any motivation when they stepped on the court Tuesday.

Standing across the way was cross-town rival Burroughs, who appeared ready to tangle with Burbank in the first of two head-to-head meetings this season.

Burbank didn’t waste any time grabbing the upper hand, as it won all nine singles sets to post an easy 17-1 home victory against Burroughs.

The Bulldogs (7-2, 5-2 in league) looked to regroup following a recent league defeat against Crescenta Valley. They responded by getting back on track versus the Bears (3-5, 3-4).

“We didn’t play well against Crescenta Valley and we just came out flat,” said Burbank coach Loi Phan, whose team finished third in league last season. “I told our players that there’s no motivation needed when playing your cross-town rivals. It’s a great chance to start over.

“We have a pretty young team with only two seniors. They were ready to play today and you could tell right away.”

Burbank dominated in singles, losing only 10 games.

The Bulldogs were paced by junior Sena Hammel, the reigning league singles champion. Hammel prevailed, 6-1, 6-0, 6-0.

Burbank also got impressive efforts in singles from freshmen Mira Hammel and Daphne Harbaugh. Mira Hammel, Sena’s sister, won, 6-1, 6-0, 6-1. Harbaugh recorded a sweep, 6-3, 6-0, 6-1.

In doubles action, Burbank received three victories apiece from Brianna Kobramasihi and Harris Chase, 6-3, 6-2, 6-1. It also picked up three wins from the duo of Molly Foenander and Jessica Han, 6-1, 6-2, 6-4. Chihiro Kato and Gulim Seitimbetova notched two wins, 6-2, 6-2, for the Bulldogs.

Burbank led 6-0 after the first round and 12-0 entering the final round.

Burroughs’ lone win came from October Siems and Ashley Sinovai, 6-4.

Burroughs assistant coach Gajan Fernando, who filled in for head coach Roy Bernhardt, said the Bears couldn’t overcome Burbank’s early attacks.

“It was a tough start to the match and they were trying to play their best,” Fernando said. “Our players know what they need to work on with their game and try to gain some confidence. They just have to keep working hard and practicing.”

The Bears, who took sixth in league in 2022, competed without No. 2 singles player Abby Stell, who was ill.

The Bulldogs and Bears will meet again Oct. 19 at Burroughs.