First published in the Sept. 18 print issue of the Burbank Leader.
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 High of La Crescenta. The visiting 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 coach Alex Jang said of his team.
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.
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.
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 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 defeated CV’s Lexi Sheynin and Kristen Kim, 6-4, to get the Bears 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 edged 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 by beating a pair of subs, 6-2.
“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.