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2009 Girls’ Tennis Season Preview:

Teams have differing outlooks

Burbank returns most of its team but is still young, while Burroughs looks to fill holes in a quest for a playoff spot.

August 26, 2009|By Jeff Tully

BURBANK — The girls’ tennis teams from Burbank and Burroughs highs won’t have much time to tinker with their lineups in match situations this season.

Both squads will take part in just one nonleague match before embarking on what is shaping up to be a tight Pacific League.

While the Indians start their season Sept. 11 against Sherman Oaks Notre Dame at the Braemar Country Club, the Bulldogs open up the same day on the road against host San Marino.

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With that one contest under their belts, the rivals will meet in their first of two cross-town meetings Sept. 15 at Burbank in a league opener.

“League gets to us pretty quick,” Burroughs Coach Roy Bernhardt said. “We don’t have much time to figure things out before we start league.”

Burbank Coach Loi Phan said he would like to have his team play a few more nonleague matches to gain a little experience before starting league.

“The crazy thing is not only do we have only one [match] before we start league, but we have to open up league against Burroughs,” he said. “Burroughs and us will probably be fighting it out for playoff spots.”

The teams split their contests last season, with the Indians winning the first match, 10-8, and the Bulldogs avenging the loss with a 13-5 victory.

While Burbank began the 2008 season slowly and showed marked improvement late, Burroughs was just the opposite, looking good early and trailing off late in the campaign.

The Bulldogs (10-7, 5-3 in league) placed fourth in league and Burroughs (4-6, 3-5) was fifth.

This season, Burbank has the advantage of having most of its team back. On the other hand, Burroughs lost a group of athletes to graduation and will field a young squad.

Here is a closer look at how the teams are shaping up:

BURBANK

For the second straight season in 2008, the Bulldogs advanced to the CIF Southern Section Division II payoffs.

Burbank also won a postseason match for the second straight year, dumping Westridge, 14-4, in a wild-card match.

With the majority of the team back, Phan experts the Bulldogs to pick up where they left off after surging late last season.

“We have a pretty good group, and we are still very young,” he said. “We should do fairly well this season, and most of them will be back for me next year. So, I have two years left with this group.”

The Bulldogs could be led by a solid group of returning singles players.

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