Burroughs’ Pieri, Safarika, Muga Earn Sweeps in Narrow Win

First published in the Sept. 11 print issue of the Burbank Leader.

The afternoon sun blistered over Glendale High School’s tennis courts as the John Burroughs varsity girls’ team tied the host Nitros in sets won, 9-9, during a league match on Thursday afternoon. However, Burroughs was declared the winner by virtue of a 74-64 advantage in games won.
“All of our players played tremendously well,” said Bears coach Gajan Fernando. “They fought hard for each point; they had really good individual games and sets. I’m proud of how they played.”
Fernando, who normally is Burroughs’ head JV coach, took over for head varsity coach Edwin Real, who was away from the team on Thursday.
Lauren Pieri did her part to help Burroughs, as she swept Glendale’s Liana Aghakhani, Ani Harutyunyan and Erika Khojoyan by scores of 6-0, 6-1 and 6-2, respectively, in singles matches. Burroughs’ Isabella Munguia had a positive afternoon as well, winning two of her three singles matches against Glendale’s Khojoyan (6-1) and Aghakhani (6-0, FF). Overall, Burroughs won five of nine singles sets.
The Nitros had the advantage in the doubles matches, winning five of the nine sets played. Burroughs teammates Madison Safarika and Vanessa Muga also swept their competition by scores of 7-6, 6-0 and 6-0 (FF). Doubles partners Hannah Lewis and Abigail Stell ended the afternoon with one set victory, 6-0, against Glendale’s Natalie Mirzakhanyan and Tiffany Tarbinian.
“Our No. 1 doubles team, Madison and Vanessa, played tremendously together,” Fernando said. “Lauren Pieri, our No. 2 singles, did a really good job playing all three. Also, Isabella, our No. 1 singles … she came back and won the second set and fought hard, so she did a really good job too.”
The Bears are scheduled to play host Pasadena High School on Tuesday, Sept. 21, in a league match.