By Austin Green
Thirteen months after their 2020 season was cut short due to the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, Burbank High School boys’ tennis defeated host Glendale High, 17-1, on Wednesday in the season opener for both teams.
Glendale entered the match shorthanded, with two of their players unable to attend. That left the Nitros without a third doubles tandem, forcing them to forfeit three sets to Burbank before play even began.
The Nitros were simply outmatched by one of the Pacific League’s premier tennis programs. No. 1 player Marko Ratkovic dropped his sets 1-6, 2-6, 4-6 while No. 3 player Shant Krikorian lost all three of his sets 0-6.
Glendale’s two doubles tandems fared slightly better. No. 1 pairing James Louie and Jose “Sammy” Rodriguez lost 3-6, 0-6, 3-6 while No. 2 pairing Dion Garabedian and Edward Agajanyan lost 1-6, 0-6, 1-6.
As the Bulldogs quickly built a 10-0 lead to clinch the match and continued racking up set wins, Glendale head coach Jim Jenks hoped for just one set win to avoid the sweep. He got it when Michael Baghdasaryan, his No. 2, beat Burbank’s Hakop Kerimyan 6-3 for the Nitros’ point on the day. Kerimyan won his other two sets 6-0, 6-2 while Baghdasaryan dropped both of his other two 3-6, 0-6.
Still, Jenks is proud of how his team competed.
“They’ve been working hard in practice,” Jenks said. “I’m glad to see they’re putting forth their best effort right now. Although things are not necessarily looking too good, they’re out there and they’re giving it their all.”