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Burbank Girls Tennis Takes Out Rival Burroughs 15-3 In Pacific League Match

By Rick Assad

One week remains in the season before the CIF Southern Section girls’ tennis pairings and seedings will be announced.

Meanwhile, the Burbank High team is trying its best to get a good seeding and a fourth place finish in the Pacific League after handing host Burroughs a 15-3 loss on Thursday afternoon by garnering seven points in doubles play and six points in singles action.

Burbank’s No. 1 singles, senior Kristina Kirakosyan won three sets at 6-1 over Burroughs. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

“I thought it was a lot closer than the final score, especially after that first round,” Burbank coach Loi Phan said. “After that round then we kind of relaxed. It’s always a good win against your rival.”

Playing at No. 1 singles for the Bulldogs, Kristina Kirakosyan blitzed through, winning 6-1, 6-1, 6-1.

When Kirakosyan is on her game, the senior is very difficult to knock off and Thursday was one of those days, as her serve was on the money and her ground strokes were equally on target, which made it a long day for her opponents.

The Bulldogs also claimed two more points by No. 2 singles, junior Siya Joshi, who grabbed two sets at 6-4 and 6-4.

Burbank nabbed one point when No. 3, sophomore Lilyan Hawrylo prevailed 7-6 (6-4).

The Bulldogs also received three points and a sweep from their No. 2 doubles squad of sophomore Elli Sumera and freshman Nairi Zeytounian, who went 7-5, 6-4, 6-2.

Burroughs played well in the first round against visiting Burbank, but fell 13-5. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

Burbank’s No. 1 doubles team of sophomore Lena Jabourian and sophomore Jenna Jabourian grabbed two points after claiming two sets at 6-3 and 6-1.

The No. 3 doubles duo for the Bulldogs, sophomore Meeneh Mirzains and sophomore Monique Saroyan, also collected two points after winning a pair of sets at 7-5 and 6-3.

Burroughs didn’t play any nonleague matches, which could have provided valuable experience for a young team, which longtime coach Roy Bernhardt has.

Instead, the Indians, who are 2-8 in league, began league action against good opponents and without much of a warmup.

The Bulldogs are 8-5 in all matches and 5-5 in league play and has a match versus at Glendale next Thursday, which will determine which team finishes fourth.

In an earlier meeting between these two, Glendale prevailed 12-6 at Burbank, but the Bulldogs hope to turn the tables this time.

The Bulldogs captured seven points in doubles play and six in singles versus the Indians. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

For the Indians at No. 1 singles, sophomore Isabella Harris-Bermudez also had a fine showing, as she lost 6-1 versus No. 1 and won against No. 3, 6-3.

“Against No. 1, I could have done a lot better. The No. 3 player was really good too,” Harris-Bermudez said of her two sets.

Harris-Bermudez then added: “It was definitely harder not having any practice matches because I think it’s good warmup to play other people before we start our actual season,” she said. “Then we started off with a lot of the harder teams, so not having any practice matches made it harder. But we held our matches pretty good. A lot of them went into tiebreakers.”

At No. 2 singles, sophomore Lauren Pieri also picked up a point for Burroughs after winning a set 6-1.

The Indians’ No. 1 doubles team of senior Alice Weber and senior Suzy Kim also found time to win two points after taking two sets 6-1 and 6-0.

Freshman Kaitlyn Glaim is Burroughs’ No. 3 singles player and lost the two sets she played, 6-4 and 7-6 (6-4).

“Overall it was a good day, but it could have gone better,” she said. “I played pretty well, but think I could have moved around a little faster in general.”

Burbank Girls Tennis Earns Triumph Over Rival Burroughs

By Rick Assad

After the Burbank High girls’ tennis team stood and went toe-to-toe with longtime crosstown rival Burroughs for two hours and forty minutes on a warm and sticky Tuesday afternoon, the host Bulldogs finally emerged with a hard-fought 11-7 Pacific League triumph.

Burbank, which has six wins and two losses overall this season and is 3-2 in league play, employed a balanced attack in order to score points as its singles players garnered six points and its doubles duos grabbed five.

Host Burbank and Burroughs gather for the players’ introductions. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

Leading the charge as usual for the Bulldogs was senior Kristina Kirakosyan, who swept at No. 1 singles, faring 6-1, 6-0, 6-0.

Kirakosyan knocked off Burroughs No. 1 sophomore Isabella Harris-Bermudez, No. 2 freshman Elane Shane, who was substituting for sophomore Lauren Pieri and No. 3 freshman Kaitlyn Glaim.

Though the match itself wasn’t that lopsided, Kirakosyan wasn’t hard-pressed while earning her three points.

“Yeah, I had a pretty easy time,” admitted Kirakosyan after her work was concluded. “I don’t know if I expected more [from Burroughs], but they played better last year, in my opinion.”

Kristina Kirakosyan swept at No. 1 singles for the Bulldogs in a match against the Indians. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

At No. 2 for the Bulldogs, Siya Joshi also swept her opponents as the junior went 6-1, 6-1, 6-1.

Meanwhile, Harris-Bermudez picked up a set winning 6-1 as she defeated Burbank No. 3 singles, senior Natalie Khachikian.

Pieri did as well at 6-3 when she knocked off sophomore Lilyan Hawrylo, who was subbing for Khachikian.

Glaim also was victorious at 6-4 against Khachikian.

Though the Indians are without a win this season in four overall matches, which happen to be in league, they are improved over the last few seasons and are headed in the right direction.

Burroughs’ No. 1 singles Isabella Harris-Bermudez is about to hammer one. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

Burroughs fared much better in doubles action as the No. 1 tandem of senior Alice Weber and senior Suzy Kim claimed two sets at 6-2, 6-2.

They defeated the No. 2 Burbank duo of sophomore Emily Hasunuma and freshman Ellen Petrosyan and the No. 3 tandem of sophomore Jenna Jabourian and sophomore Lena Jabourian.

“As for the singles thing, usually schools stack their singles so they put the better players there,” explained Weber. “For us today, we just tried to keep it consistent and play our usual game. Make sure that we don’t make a lot of unforced errors.”

Weber then added: “This is our first year playing together, but we’ve known each other since the seventh grade,” she said.

Weber said it’s difficult to tell for sure if the team is improved because there are so many variables.

“I don’t know if we’re better,” she said, “but we have different players and we’re doing different lineups.”

Burbank’s No. 1 doubles team of sophomore Elli Sumera and freshman Nairi Zeytounzian held off Weber/Kim at 7-5.

Burroughs’ No. 2 doubles team of sophomore Vanessa Muga and junior Keili Brahms also picked up two sets at 6-4 and 6-3.

Burbank Girls Tennis Tops Visiting Burroughs 13-5

By Rick Assad


In the initial meeting last month between the Burbank High girls’ tennis team and Burroughs, it ended up in a tie and games were needed in order to decide the winner.

That day the Bulldogs captured the match and did again on Tuesday, 13-5, in a Pacific League encounter.

Burbank’s No. 1 singles Kristina Kirakosyan went 6-1, 6-1, 6-1 over visiting Burroughs. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

Burbank, which placed fourth in league and will advance to the CIF Southern Section playoffs, took eight of nine singles points with No. 1 Kristina Kirakosyan, a junior, blitzing through 6-1, 6-1, 6-1 over No. 1 Sandy LeMay, a senior, No. 2 Alice Weber, a junior, and No. 3 Isabella Harris-Bermudez, a freshman.

At No. 2 for the host Bulldogs, senior Johana Faraj went 6-2, 6-2, 6-0 over LeMay, Weber and junior Ayana Coha, who subbed for Harris-Bermudez.

“I was really happy with my scores because I started off losing, but I came back,” Faraj said of her day’s work.

With the first match close against Burroughs, Faraj felt the second would also be tight and it was for a time.

“I thought it was going to be close, but Siya, the first time, she didn’t get that many [points], but now she was really fighting,” Faraj said.

Burroughs No. 1 Sandy LeMay returns a shot against the Bulldogs. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

Burbank’s No. 3 singles player, sophomore Siya Joshi defeated LeMay 6-3 and Harris-Bermudez 6-2, but fell to Weber 1-6.

Burbank (7-5-1 and 6-5-1 in league) didn’t fare as well in doubles action, but still managed to win five of the eight points.

Burbank’s No. 1 duo of sophomore Jinette Faraj and freshman Ellie Sumera went 6-1, 6-4, 6-1 against Burroughs’ No. 1 tandem of senior Phuong Nguyen and junior Irish Demesa, the No. 2 duo of senior Savannah Dorris and junior Suzy Kim and the No. 3 pair of senior Pranathi Darbhala and junior Vicky Shagriyan.

The Bulldogs’ No. 2 doubles team of freshman Anneke Pullen and freshman Lilyan Hawrylo went 4-6, 7-5, 6-4 as they lost to Nguyen and Demesa, but defeated Dorris and Kim and junior Mikayla Hayes and freshman Lauren Pieri, who were subbing for Darbhala and Shagriyan.

Kristina Kirakosyan on the attack for the Bulldogs, who defeated the Indians 13-5. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

Nguyen and Demesa drilled senior Daisy Kim and senior substitute Esther Chung who filled in for junior Natalie Khachikian 6-4, while Dorris and Kim prevailed 7-5 over Kim and Khachikian and Darbhala and Shagriyan won 6-4 versus Kim and Khachikian.

The Indians (4-8-1 and 3-7-1 in league) didn’t make the postseason, but still have one more league match at home against Hoover on Thursday.

“I was hoping to win today,” Burroughs assistant coach Russell Bernhardt said. “Our first match against Burbank was very close. We wanted to get in a win against our crosstown rival.”

Bernhardt went on: “They are a great bunch of girls and they get along really well and that’s wonderful. They support each other and cheer each other on.”

Burbank High Girls Tennis Squeezes Out Win Over Burroughs

By Rick Assad


It’s fairly rare when both the Burbank High and Burroughs girls’ tennis teams are ranked in the CIF Southern Section.

On Tuesday, they both were and it showed in a Pacific League match as the visiting Bulldogs and Indians were tied at 9-9 and needed games in order to render a winner.

Burbank (5-1 and 4-1 in league), which is ranked No. 6 in Division II, prevailed 75-68 with enough drama to last a while as No. 3 Siya Joshi, a sophomore, was down 2-5 to senior Savannah Dorris, but then rallied for a 7-5 win that forced the match to be decided by games.

It was so close when Burbank met host Burroughs in Tuesday’s Pacific League tennis match. It was tied at 9-9 and decided by games. Photo By: Edward Tovmassian

“It’s going to be a close one. I see the finish line. Either it’s going to be 9-9 or 10-8 Burroughs,” Burbank coach Loi Phan said. “We’re both leveled out. It’s a good match.”

Phan went on: “Our doubles are down a little. Our singles carried us. Their doubles carried them.”

Burbank’s No. 1 singles player, junior Kristina Kirakosyan, blitzed through 6-0, 6-1, 6-1, knocking off No. 1 Sandy LeMay, a senior, Dorris and No. 3 Alice Weber, a junior.

At No. 2 for Burbank, senior Johana Faraj, went 6-0, 6-1, 6-0, but Joshi lost to LeMay 6-1 and Weber 6-2.

The Indians (2-4 and 1-3 in league) are ranked No. 1 in Division III and took seven of nine in doubles play.

Burroughs’ No. 1 doubles tandem of Irish Demesa, a junior and Phuong Nguyen, a senior, went 6-4, 7-5, 6-2, defeating No. 1 Daisy Kim, a senior and Esther Chung, a senior, No. 2 Jinette Faraj, a sophomore and Ellie Sumera, a freshman and No. 3 Lilyan Hawrylo, a freshman and Anneke Pullen, a freshman.

The Indians’ No. 2 doubles squad, Mikalya Hayes, a junior and Suzy Kim, a junior, took two of three including a 6-2 triumph over Kim and Uma Patil, a senior, who substituted for Chung.

Hayes and Kim also prevailed 6-0 over Burbank’s No. 3, but lost 6-2 against Faraj and Sumera.

The Indians’ No. 3 duo of Vicky Shagriyan, a junior and Pranathi Darbhala, a senior, went 6-1 over Kim and Patil and 6-3 over Hawrylo and Pullen, but fell to Faraj and Sumera 6-3.

Burbank Girls Tennis Season Concludes In CIF Quarterfinals

By Rick Assad

When the Burbank High girls’ tennis team hosted Beckman in a CIF Southern Section Division II quarterfinal match on Monday, it wouldn’t be a stretch to say it was a modern day David versus Goliath.

Though David had his day against the bigger and stronger Goliath, the same couldn’t be said for the Bulldogs as the heavily-favored Patriots prevailed 15-3.

The good news is that at No. 1, sophomore Kristina Kirakosyan defeated Beckman’s No. 2, freshman Kensington Mann at 6-1 and also knocked off No. 3, sophomore Christelle Haj at 6-2. Kirakosyan lost to Beckman’s No. 1, senior Ashley Teng at 6-0.

The other Burbank point  was collected by the No. 2 doubles team of senior Krystal Hirahara and Emilie Siraki, who defeated the No. 3 tandem of junior Crystal Kim and junior Jenny Han at 6-1.

The Burbank High girls tennis squad lost to Beckman in the CIF quarterfinals. Photo By: Edward Tovmassian

But Burbank’s No. 2 duo lost to Beckman’s No. 1, senior Emily Lu and junior Kayla Cruz at 2-6 and No. 2, junior Gnamitha Naganathahalli and freshman Isha Shah at 1-6.

This was an extremely successful season for the Bulldogs (11-5), who took third place in the Pacific League and advanced to the quarterfinals for the first time since 2003.

The Patriots, who finished third in the extremely tough Pacific Coast League, now own an 18-5 overall record, with their only setbacks being a pair of losses in league to Corona Del Mar, the No. 1 seeded team in the Division I playoffs, two losses to University and one to Northwood.

In other singles action, No. 2 Alice Avedikian fell to Teng at 1-6, Mann at 2-6 and Haj at 0-6.

“We just looked at each team the same way. I don’t look like they’re better,” said  Avedikian, a senior. “I just treat them like any other opponent. They were good. They’re solid players, but I don’t feel like it was my best day today.”

At No. 3 singles for the Bulldogs, junior Johana Faraj lost to Teng at 0-6, Mann at 2-6 and Haj at 0-6.

In doubles action, Burbank’s No. 1 duo of sophomore Bella Lamahna and freshman Jinette Faraj were defeated 2-6, 1-6 and 4-6.

At No. 3, junior Daisy Kim and sophomore Natalie Khachikian, who subbed for sophomore Elza Vardanyan, who injured her shoulder during warmups, fell 0-6, 2-6 and 2-6.

Burbank Girls Tennis Team Reaches CIF Quarterfinals

By Rick Assad

To date, the Burbank High girls’ tennis team is having one of its finest seasons ever.

On Friday afternoon in a CIF Southern Section Division II second-round playoff match against visiting Riverside Poly, the Bulldogs came away with an impressive 12-6 victory.

On Monday, the Bulldogs, who placed third in the Pacific League, will now host Beckman, the No. 1 seeded team, in a quarterfinal match that begins at 2 p.m.

This is the first time that the Burbank girls’ tennis squad has advanced this far since 2003.

The Bulldogs (11-4) took every singles set including No. 1 Kristina Kirakosyan, who went 6-0, 6-2, 6-0 against Poly’s No. 1 player Kate Santoso, No. 2 Jasmine Dhalla and No. 3 Melanie Mateljan.

Kristina Kirakosyan, Burbank’s No. 1 singles player, won all three sets against Riverside Poly in a CIF Southern Section Division II second-round playoff match. Photo By: Edward Tovmassian

“After winning those I felt really relived, really good, said Kirakosyan, a sophomore of her productive afternoon. “I wasn’t worried about it if I lost it. I would just go forward.”

Burbank’s No. 2 singles, senior Alice Avedikian went 6-0, 6-4, 6-0 over those same girls while junior Johana Faraj, at No. 3, went 6-0, 6-3, 6-2 against that same trio.

In doubles action, Burbank’s No. 1 tandem of sophomore Elza Vardanyan and sophomore Bella Lamahna defeated No. 2 Tanner Rowland and Kyley Demshki at 6-4 and No. 3 Mallory Loeb and Myah Perera at 6-2, but lost to No. 1 Maxine Bernie and Torrey Mateljan at 1-6.

Burbank’s No. 2 doubles squad of freshman Jinette Faraj and senior Emilie Siraki defeated No. 3 at 6-2, but fell to No. 1 at 0-6 and No. 2 at 1-6.

At No. 3, the Burbank tandem of junior Daisy Kim and senior Krystal Hirahra were knocked off by No. 1 at 1-6, by No. 2 at 3-6 and No. 3 at 5-7.

Riverside Poly ended its season 14-5 and was first place in the Inland Valley League.

Burbank Girls Tennis Dominates Burroughs, 16-2

By Rick Assad

For the Burbank High girls’ tennis team, it still holds sway over city rival Burroughs.

On Thursday afternoon, the visiting Bulldogs took out the Indians 16-2 in a Pacific League match.

But despite the loss, Burroughs coach Roy Bernhardt said the experience will be useful.

“The positive spin will be that this is a good little warmup before we play Hoover and Glendale next week,” he said. “We have to beat Glendale next week to make it to the CIF playoffs. We need matches and that’s what we got.”

Burbank defeated Burroughs 16-2 in a Pacific League match. (Photo By: Edward Tovmassian)

Kristina Kirakosyan, a sophomore and Burbank’s No. 1 singles player, defeated the Indians’ No. 1, senior Jackie Samsell 6-0 and beat No. 2, sophomore Chloe Bookmyer 6-4.

Sophomore Natalie Khachikian substituted for Kirakosyan, but Burroughs No. 3, junior Sandy LeMay, came through with a 6-4 triumph.

Alice Avedikian, a senior and No. 2, beat Samsell 6-4, Bookmyer 6-1 and LeMay 6-1.

Johana Faraj, a junior, is Burbank’s No. 3 singles player and went 6-4 over Samsell, 6-2 against Bookmyer and 6-1 against LeMay.

Burroughs will use this match to prepare for Glendale and Hoover, according to Coach Roy Bernhardt. (Photo By: Edward Tovmassian)

In doubles action, Burbank’s No. 1 tandem of junior Daisy Kim and senior Krystal Hirahara, knocked off No. 1 senior Leah Diystypa and junior Savannah Doris 6-3.

They tamed No. 2 senior Emma Jones and senior Camryn Thompson 6-3 and went 6-2 versus No. 3 sophomore Alice Weber and junior Phuong Nguyen.

Burbank’s No. 2 team of sophomore Elza Vardanyan and sophomore Bella Lamahna, knocked off Diystypa/Doris 6-1, Jones/Thompson 6-4 and edged Weber/Nguyen 7-5.

At No. 3 for the Bulldogs (8-3), senior Emilie Siraki and freshman Jinette Faraj downed Jones/Thompson 6-1, Weber/Nguyen 6-2, while Diystypa/Doris emerged with a 7-5 decision over Siraki/Faraj.

Burbank Girls Tennis Lose In CIF Second Round, 10-8

By Rick Assad


On an unusually warm November afternoon, the Burbank High girls’ tennis season came to an end against visiting Riverside Poly 10-8 in the CIF Southern Section Division II second round on Friday.

But it didn’t come without a fight as the Bulldogs never quit and showed a great deal of determination.

Six of the eight points were collected in singles play with No. 1 Nicole Merrit and No. 2 Kristina Kirakosyan each sweeping their opponents.

“I’m so proud of every single player on this team,” said Merrit, a senior who plans on continuing her tennis career in college. “They gave everything they had in practice and in the matches. I’m going to miss this and all the girls.”

(Photo by © Brandon Buckley)

Burbank No. 1 singles Nicole Merrit swept her sets against Riverside Poly in CIF second-round action. Photo by © Brandon Buckley)

Merrit went on: “I’m just thankful for this year and the four years I was here. It’s something I’ll never forget.”

Merrit took out No. 1 senior Lily Mitchell 6-2, No. 2 senior Dyala Harb 6-3 and No. 3 senior Dani Baum 7-5.

Merrit was asked if the weather and bright sun were problems. “No, we’re used to this,” she said. “I’m fine. This doesn’t bother us.”

Kirakosyan, a freshman, prevailed in impressive fashion 6-1, 6-2 and 6-3 over those same opponents.

But Burbank’s No. 3 singles player, junior Alice Avedikian fell by the scores of 2-6, 5-7, 3-6.

Riverside Poly (21-1) is used to winning having advanced to the CIF championship round the last three campaigns before eventually losing.

In 2015 and 2014, the Bears fell in Division IV play while in 2013, Riverside Poly lost in Division V action.

The Bulldogs (14-3), who placed second in the Pacific League and took out Ayala in the opening round, garnered two points in doubles play.

The No. 1 Burbank tandem of sophomore Johana Faraj and freshman Elza Vardanyan won 6-1 over No. 2 junior Jasmine Dhalla and senior Laney Baum and 6-3 versus No. 3 freshman Tanner Rowland and senior Maddy Loeb.

The Burbank No. 1 duo lost 5-7 to No. 1 junior Maxelle Bernie and junior Torrey Mateljan.

Burbank’s No. 2 tandem of junior Krystal Hirahira and junior Emilie Siraki were defeated by Bernie/Mateljan 6-2, Dhalla/Baum 6-1 and Rowland and junior Kyley Demshki 6-3.

The Bulldogs’ No. 3 doubles tandem of senior Britni Friedman and freshman Bella Stevens lost 6-0 to Bernie/Mateljan and 6-0 to Dhalla/Baum.

Burbank Girls Tennis Sweeps Rival Burroughs

By Rick Assad


For Burbank High and Burroughs, the Pacific League girls’ tennis season is coming to a conclusion.

There are a few matches left beside Tuesday’s which the host Bulldogs captured 13-5 over the Indians.

(Photo by © Brandon Buckley)

Burbank’s No. 1 singles Nicole Merrit won all three sets against Burroughs. (Photo by © Brandon Buckley)

Burbank, which swept both meetings from Burroughs (5-7 and 4-6 in league), is hoping for second place in league in order to get a more favorable seeding for the upcoming CIF Southern Section playoffs.

The only team that has defeated Burbank is first-place Arcadia, which won 14-4.

The Bulldogs (12-1 and 9-1 in league) pay a visit to the Apaches on Oct. 18 and end the regular-season campaign at home versus Crescenta Valley two days later.

Senior Nicole Merrit, Burbank’s No. 1 singles, claimed her matches 6-2, 6-1, 6-0 and knocked off No. 1 freshman Chloe Bookmyer, No. 2 junior Angelea Hayes and No. 3 junior Ellie Masson.

“It’s been a great year,” said Merrit, who hopes to play college tennis. “We’ve worked very hard and I think it shows.”

(Photo by © Brandon Buckley)

Burroughs senior Tricia Valadez gave it a good effort versus the Bulldogs. (Photo by © Brandon Buckley)

Merrit also believes the team is playing well at the right time.

“I think we’re definitely rising,” she said. “It’s kind of sad to see it coming to an end because I’ve had so much fun.”

Merrit addressed the upcoming playoffs. “We have to look at it a little different because it’s single elimination, but I think we’re going to do well,” she noted.

At No. 2, freshman Kristina Kirakosyan prevailed 6-1 over Bookmyer and 6-0 over junior Ellie Masson, who knocked off Burbank freshman Shushan Papoyan, 6-4.

At No. 3, junior Alice Avedikian went 6-0, 6-0, 6-1 as she beat senior Tricia Valadez, Hayes and junior Jackie Samsell.

The Indians grabbed four of the nine doubles matches to make it somewhat close.

The Indians’ No. 1 doubles tandem of senior Jennifer Drechsler and sophomore Sandy LeMay defeated No. 1 sophomore Johana Faraj and freshman Elza Vardanyan 6-4.

Burroughs’ No. 2 duo of junior Anny Yoo and sophomore Savannah Dorris were 6-3 winners over Faraj/Vardanyan.

(Photo by © Brandon Buckley)

The action was intense for these city rivals. Valadez is shown here in singles play. (Photo by © Brandon Buckley)

Faraj/Vardanyan downed Burbank’s No. 3 tandem of junior Leah Prystupa and junior Yshbel Piedrasanta 6-0.

Burbank’s No. 2 junior Krystal Hirahara and junior Emilie Siraki beat Yoo/Dorris 6-0.

Drechsler/LeMay continued their strong play by beating Prystupa/Piedrasanta 6-3.

Senior Britni Friedman and freshman Bella Stevens defeated Prystupa/Piedrasanta 6-1, and junior Camryn Thompson and junior Emma Jones 6-1, but lost to Drechsler/LeMay 6-1.

Writer’s Note: In the first meeting between the two schools, Bookmyer played in one set, which she lost 6-4, and was replaced in the other two sets due to illness.

Burbank Girls’ Tennis Team Bounces Burroughs, 16-2

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.