Before closing out the first half of Pacific League competition, a cross-town rivalry match first needed to take place.
Playing in the first of two head-to-head contests this season, the Burroughs and Burbank High girls’ tennis teams looked to reach the midway mark on a high note when they squared off Tuesday despite the temperature reaching around 95 degrees.
Burbank’s Nos. 1 and 2 singles players and doubles teams overcame the heat to help end a two-match losing streak en route to a lopsided 15-3 league home win against Burroughs.
Burbank (6-2, 4-2 in league) received sweeps in singles from Sena Hammel and Bernadette Hovhanasian and the doubles tandems of Nairi Zeytounzian and Brianna Kobramasihi and Ellen Petrosyan and Mollie Foenander to solve Burroughs (2-3 overall and in league).
“We wanted to get back on track after a tough week with the losses against Crescenta Valley and Arcadia,” Burbank coach Loi Phan said. “You shouldn’t have any trouble getting up to play your cross-town rival and I liked the way we were able to bounce back. I thought we could have played a lot better than we did last week, but I think we were able to get our focus back today and play some in tough sets.”
Burbank built a 5-1 lead after the first round and carried a 10-2 advantage into the final round.
The Bulldogs, who took second in league and reached the CIF Southern Section Division III quarterfinals last season, got three wins in singles from Hammel, 6-2, 6-1, 6-4, and Hovhanasian, 6-3, 6-4, 6-2.
Hovhanasian, a No. 2 athlete, said the Bulldogs looked to get off to a quick start versus the Bears, who took fourth in league last season and also qualified for the Division III postseason.
“We didn’t think so much about who we were playing,” Hovhanasian said. “We had to get back to focusing on the things we needed to do better and we were able to get the job done.”
Burbank also got a huge boost from its No. 1 doubles team of Kobramasihi and Zeytounzian, who won, 6-2, 6-4, 6-0. Its No. 2 tandem of Petrosyan and Foenander won, 6-4, 6-3, 6-0.
Burbank also got two doubles wins from Jessica Han and Chiriro Kato, 6-4, 6-0, and one singles victory from Ariana Khougaeva, 6-3.
The Bears got one win apiece in singles from Hannah Lewis, 6-2, and Aly Stoliker, 6-0. They also got a singles victory from Lindsey Mazarei and Abby Stell, 6-4.
“There were really some close sets throughout the match,” said Burbank assistant coach Gajan Fernando, who filled in for head coach Roy Bernhardt. “There were some very good points in those matches for both teams and I liked the way we were able to compete.
“A lot of the games went to deuce, and we were right there. We just couldn’t break through. I think the next time we play them at home, we’ll be even closer.”
Burbank and Burroughs will face off again on Oct. 20 at Burroughs.
The Bears and Bulldogs will resume league play with road matches at 3:30 p.m. Thursday. Burroughs will play at Arcadia, which won the league championship last season, and Burbank will travel to Hoover.