Crescenta Valley Defeats Burroughs, 12-6

First published in the Sept. 18 print issue of the Glendale News Press.

Teleya Blunt, Crescenta Valley’s No. 1 singles player, swept her Burbank Burroughs opponents to help the Falcons to a 12-6 tennis victory.

It’s a unique setup this season in Pacific League girls’ tennis. The teams all play one another once. Then, in the second half of the season, the top four will play each other while the bottom four will match up among themselves.
On Tuesday afternoon in Pacific League action, Burroughs High hosted Crescenta Valley. The Falcons, fueled by their singles play, carved out a 12-6 win over the Bears to help build their case for a spot in the upper echelon.
“Overall, I think they fought hard and did well today,” CV assistant coach Alex Jang, who was in charge with head coach Doil Kim overseeing the junior varsity elsewhere, said of his team.
Both of the Falcons’ top two singles players were flawless against Burroughs (2-1 record). No. 1 Teleya Blunt and No. 2 Chloe Kim won each of the three sets they played, accounting for half of their team’s total scoring. Neither of the seniors lost a game, winning 6-0, 6-0, 6-0. Blunt defeated, in order, Bears No. 1 Isabella Harris-Bermudez, No. 2 Lauren Pieri and substitute Aly Stoliker, who played the final set in relief of No. 3 Abby Stell.
“I felt I was really able to focus on my serve and try to execute what I’ve been working on in practice,” Blunt said. “[Also], my consistency was definitely there. That really helped me to move my opponent and make them make an error first.”
Kim started by blanking Pieri, then Stell, and finished with a shutout of Hannah Lewis, who played the final rotation in lieu of Harris-Bermudez.
“I think I was able to block out everything,” Kim said. “Last year that was my issue, I wasn’t able ignore everything around me. That kind of messed with me a little bit. This time I was able to concentrate on the game only and that helped me.”
Crescenta Valley (3-1 record) grabbed control in the first rotation, when players match up with their equivalent position, with a strong showing at 5-1. The Falcons’ No. 3 in singles, Claudia Chmielewski, blanked Stell 6-0, meaning the Crescenta Valley collectively took the first three singles sets 18-0 in games.

Chloe Kim uses a forehand return during the Falcons’ recent win.

The doubles matches were closer throughout. In the matchup of No. 1 doubles, CV’s Amanda An and Karis Yun defeated Burroughs’ Vanessa Muga and Maddy Safarik 6-4. The Burroughs No. 2 pairing of Isabella Munguia and Ava Marye turned a 4-4 tie with CV No. 2 Lexi Sheynin and Kristen Kim into a 6-4 win to get the hosts on the board. The battle of the No. 3s required a tiebreaker. With an ace to finish it, CV’s Mila Abadzheza and Elena Manvelian put away the Bears’ Lindsey Mazarei and Leila Munoz 7-6 (9-7).
Munguia and Marye continued their strong play and were the bright spot for the hosts. In the second rotation, they beat An and Yun 6-2. The pair finished their undefeated outing with a 6-2 win.
“I always give out what they call a hard-nose award for anybody that sweeps or does real well,” Burroughs coach Roy Bernhardt said. “Bella and Ava did real well [and won the award].”
Making the Bears’ No. 2 doubles pairing’s success even more impressive was that they had never played together in competition.
“This was our first time playing doubles together and I think we were able to keep each other grounded and cool,” Munguia said.
The second rotation spilt evenly, with each squad getting three points. However, this left Crescenta Valley with an 8-4 advantage, needing 10 points to secure the win, going into the final rotation. Once that started, the Falcons quickly clinched the victory with wins from Blunt and Kim, who finished their sets first.
“It was a good time,” Bernhardt said. “We had fun and that is what counts.”

Photos by Nathan Cambridge / Glendale News-Press