players when they're not playing during the season, except if they're
playing other sports," Bernhardt said. "So I can see and help the
players throughout the year.
"Hopefully, it will be an advantage for us. The players will be
playing more, and I hope that will pay off for us down the road."
Across town at Burbank, Coach Paul McNiff is dealing with
bitter-sweet scenarios with his program.
The Bulldogs lost their No. 1 singles player -- and defending
Foothill League champion -- sophomore Marianna Khachatryan, who is
being home schooled and has decided not to come out for the team.
Last season, Khachatryan shocked the league by capturing the
singles title, defeating favorite, Yasaman Sakhakorn, of Saugus, 6-4,
6-1. She spent the summer playing in high-profile United States
Tennis Assn. age-group tournaments.
"Marianna just isn't interested in coming out and playing for us
this season," McNiff said.
"At first, the girls on the team were a bit unnerved by that news.
But then, as they started to think about it, they realized that we
still have position players that, if they do their jobs, we can will
a lot of matches.
"It just puts a little more pressure on the players to do their
own jobs. Everyone is just going to have to step up one level."
The good news for the Bulldogs is they should be playing in a new
facility in a matter of days. Construction on their new on-campus
tennis courts is almost complete, and the venue will finally give
Burbank a place to call home.
During construction at the school the last few years, the team has
had to practice and play matches at the Burbank Tennis Center.
"I actually met with the construction guys [recently], and they
have all the materials ordered, they just need to put up the fences,
the nets and the windscreens," McNiff said. "But the courts should be
The placement of courts is unique. Instead of being at ground
level, they will be atop a new two-story parking structure. The
rooftop facility is at the northwest corner of the campus at Delaware
Road and Third Street.
With nonleague competition beginning next week, here is a look at
how the teams are shaping up.