Providence Girls Tennis No Match For Mayfield

The Pioneers played hard and were determined but lost to the Cubs in a Prep League match.

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By Rick Assad

Burbank Chamber

This is the first season that Providence High has fielded a varsity girls’ tennis team.

In the past, the Pioneers only had a junior varsity squad, but now they’re playing against even stiffer competition and against better players.

Incredibly in its first-ever match, Providence knocked off Canyon 15-3, but then reality set in as they lost their next five matches including Friday when they were blanked by Mayfield 18-0 in a Prep League encounter at Burroughs.

Missing from the team was junior Sophia Kevorkian, the No. 1 singles player who injured her knee in the previous match, a 16-2 setback versus Westridge in the league opener.

“I think having a couple of our top contenders being injured gave an opportunity for those who have never played,” Providence coach Rey Suarez said. “They’re young. They haven’t played. They don’t know the game really well. Some of them just picked up a racket. To give them an opportunity to taste the Prep League. I think that’s great for them, giving them exposure at a young age as freshman, it gives them a better way to prepare for the future.”

Playing at No. 1 for Providence (1-5 and 0-2 in league action) was senior Janika Mamaril, who lost 0-6, 1-6, 1-6.

At No. 2 for the Pioneers was junior Alexandra Spendlove, who went 0-6, 0-6, 0-6.

Freshman Emma Fernandez competed at No. 3 for Providence and lost 1-6, 0-6, 0-6.

Providence’s three doubles teams played well despite not winning any points.

Senior Bethany Nazareno and junior Sophia Fayad at No. 1 went 0-6, 2-6, 2-6.

The Pioneers’ No. 2 tandem of sophomore Samantha Piamonte and sophomore Bailey Barrows lost by scores of 3-6, 1-6, 1-6.

At No. 3 for Providence was junior Roxana Ebrahimi and junior Madeline Fernandez, who went 0-6, 0-6, 1-6.

The defeat will be used as a learning experience and will help the team get better.

“From a coaching perspective, seeing where our weaknesses are and improving on them,” Suarez said. “Find their weak spot and attack it. Teaching the girls to identify their opponents’ weak spots. It can be mental, physical. Take it point by point.”

The Cubs (4-0 and 2-0 in league) are a tough and determined group and were led by Samantha Frick, the No. 1 singles player.

At No. 2 for Mayfield is senior Sheryl Cheng and No. 3 is junior Francesca Villarruel.

Junior Rory Rago also saw some action in singles play for Mayfield.

At No. 1 doubles for the Cubs is junior Grace Gamble and sophomore Allison Huang.

The No. 2 duo consists of junior Anna Kingston and freshman Brooke Aloe.

At No. 3 for the Cubs are senior Abby Beegle and Emilia Venckos.

After defeating Canyon, the Pioneers lost to Saugus 16-2, then fell to Yeshiva University 14-4, and also lost to El Rancho 14-4.

Had Kevorkian been available, she would have shined.

“She would have done well. She always steps up for the challenge. She’s a year-round tennis player,” Suarez said. “She knows the competition. She made it to the league finals one year before COVID. She has the experience. She has the knowledge, and she has the fight. I think today she would have gone 3-0 in her sets.”

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