Burbank Girls’ Tennis Team Bounces Burroughs, 16-2

Photo By: Edward Tovmassian
By Rick Assad


Up to this point, it’s been a joy ride for the Burbank High girls’ tennis team as it notched another win on Thursday.

This time crosstown rival and host Burroughs fell 16-2 in a Pacific League match as the Bulldogs claimed all nine points in singles play.

Burbank is 7-0 in all matches and 4-0 in league play. The Indians fell to 2-3 overall and 1-2 in league.

Burbank’s No. 1 singles player Nicole Merrit knocked off Burroughs’ No. 1, junior Jackie Samsell 6-0.

Merrit also won versus Burroughs No. 2 player, 6-0 and senior Tricia Valadez, 6-0, who subed for No. 3, junior Ellie Masson.

“I think we’re really playing well as a team,” said Merrit, a senior who has a 4.0 grade-point average and wants to continue playing tennis at a University of California campus. “I’m happy with the team effort.”

Merrit knows the season is long and doesn’t take any team for granted. “My approach and our approach is the same whether we’re playing a good team or a bad team.”

Burbank will host powerful and undefeated Arcadia Sept. 22. The Apaches won the CIF Southern Section Division II title last season and the league banner.

Valadez said despite the setback to the Bulldogs, everything is going to be fine.

“Even though we lost, it’s a learning experience,” she pointed out. “Burbank is a really good team. This will help us in the future.”

Burbank’s No. 2, freshman Kristina Kirakosyan downed Samsell 6-2, No. 2 Chloe Bookmyer 6-4 and Masson 6-0.

At No. 3, junior Alice Avedikian drilled Valadez 6-0, Masson 6-0 and took another 6-0.

In doubles play, Burbank’s No. 1 team of sophomore Johana Faraj and freshman Elza Vardanyan downed Burroughs’ No. 1 tandem of senior Jennifer Drechsler and sophomore Sandy LeMay 6-3.

Faraj/Vardanyan took out the No. 2 tandem of junior Leah Prystupa and junior Yshbel  Piedrasanta 6-1 and No. 3 junior Camryn Thompson and junior Emma Jones 6-1.

Meanwhile Burbank’s No. 2 squad of junior Krystal Hirahara and junior Emilie Siraki beat Prystupa/Piedrasanta 6-1 and Thompson/Jones 6-1. Hirahara along with sub Milena Rossi fell to Drechsler/LeMay 0-6.

“Everyone is really strong,” said Siraki, who also wants to continue playing tennis in college. “I think we’ve gotten better this year because we have new players. Kristina is new and Johana and Elza are really good. We’re a pretty deep team.”

The Bulldogs’ No. 3 tandem of freshman Bella Stevens and freshman Shushan Papoyan lost to Drechsler/LeMay 4-6, but then pushed aside Thompson/Jones 6-3.

Subbing for Stevens/Papoyan was senior Britni Friedman and junior Natalie Grogorian and they defeated Prystupa/Piedrasanta 6-3.