First published in the Sept. 25 print issue of the Burbank Leader.
Burroughs and Burbank High share a city, and it was time to share the court as the Bulldogs traveled across town for a matchup in girls’ tennis.
It was Burbank High that came away with city bragging rights, dispatching the host Bears 13-5 in Pacific League play on the hard courts at Burroughs on Thursday afternoon.
Burbank (5-1 overall record, 4-1 in league) had two sweeps in singles play and one in doubles to lead the way for the Bulldogs, who entered the match ranked No. 2 in the CIF-SS Division III poll.
“I think our singles played well; I think our doubles played well,” Burbank coach Loi Phan said. “Overall, it was good.”
Bulldog No. 1 singles player Cleo Wang won all three of her sets. The sophomore started versus her counterpart, Bear No. 1 singles player Isabella Harris-Bermudez. The set was tied at four, but Wang finished strong to win 6-4. She then put away Burroughs No. 2 Lauren Pieri by the same margin, 6-4. Her day came to an end with a 6-2 victory over Bear substitute Aly Stoliker.
“I think I was confident today,” Wang said. “I played assertively.”
Burbank No. 3 singles Sena Hammel also was virtually perfect, giving up just two games across her three sets. The freshman first beat Bear No. 3 Lindsey Mazarei 6-1 and then blanked Harris-Bermudez 6-0. She finished with a 6-1 win against Pieri.
On the doubles side of things, Burbank’s No. 2 team of Brianna Khobramasihi and Sydney Lin won all three of their sets. The tandem of sophomores first put away the Burroughs No. 2 pairing of Ava Marye and Isabella Munguia 6-1.
“I think we played well together,” Khobramasihi said. “We weren’t double faulting. We hit the angles and the alleys.”
Next for Khobramasihi and Lin was a shutout against the Burroughs No. 3 team of Hannah Lewis and Lindsey Mazarei 6-0.
“I think the key was to be consistent and hit winners when we could,” Lin said.
They finished with a 6-3 win versus Vanessa Muga and Madison Safarik.
“The last match the [Burroughs] girls played great,” Khobramasihi said. “They got great shots, great game. We just had to be consistent and get the angles.”
Muga and Safarik won their first two sets before facing Khobramasihi and Lin. They took Burbank’s No. 1 doubles, seniors Elli Sumera and Lilyan Hawrylo, 6-4, and Bulldog No. 3 pairing of Arpi Krikorian and Lena Jabourian, 6-4.
“[Muga and Safarik] are always good,” Burroughs coach Roy Bernhardt said.
Burbank started well, leading after the first rotation, 4-2. The closest set of the day was Pieri against Burbank No. 2 Victoria Kalantar. The set required a tiebreaker that Pieri won 7-5 after being down 4-1 early.
“The tiebreaker made me nervous because I was down, but I told myself I could do it and I did,” Pieri said. “I think we were both at the same level. It was just a matter of who jumped the gun and made the mistakes.”
The Bulldogs extended the advantage, winning the second rotation 5-1 for a 9-3 advantage.
Burbank sealed the victory early in the third rotation with Hammel’s win over Pieri, the first set finished in the round.
Burroughs (3-2, overall and in league) had two points in the final rotation: in singles, a 6-4 win for Harris-Bermudez over Erika Ayriyan, and in doubles, a 7-5 win for Munguia and Marye over Bulldogs Krikorian and Jenna Jabourian.
“This is a mental game,” Munguia said. “We were trying our best and did well. Then at the end, we actually won our last one 7-5. We just gave it our all and tried our best and, you know, we pulled through.”
It was a satisfying win for the Bulldogs.
“You know how it is. It’s a rivalry,” Phan said.