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Girls' tennis squads find themselves in opposite positions

Burbank has share of returners, while Burroughs lost key athletes to graduation.

August 24, 2012|By Jeff Tully, jeff.tully@latimes.com

Burbank High girls' tennis Coach Loi Phan and his counterpart at Burroughs, Roy Bernhardt, are dealing with two vastly different situations with their respective teams this season.

The Bulldogs return almost their entire squad from a year ago and have even added a solid singles player that could give the team a boost.

"We have pretty much have our whole roster back from last season, so that's nice," Phan said. "We really just lost a doubles player. We should be stronger in singles and doubles this year. It's good to have some players who have experience."

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For the Indians, they lost a big group to graduation, including Kathy Henry, who fell to sop-seeded Francis Dean in the Pacific League Tournament semifinals last season.

"We have eight seniors, but we have a few girls who are up from the JV team," Bernhardt said. "We lost a good group from last year."

With the season set to begin next week, here is a closer look at how the teams are shaping up.

BURBANK

The Bulldogs went 10-7 in 2011 and placed third in the Pacific League.

Two of the Bulldogs' most successful returners are senior Ashley Basco and junior Meredy Gharabegi. The two played primarily at singles a year ago, but have teamed up to form a formidable doubles pair the last two seasons in the league tournament.

In 2011, Basco and Gharabegi defeated Arcadia's Elizabeth Liev and Nadia Pacheco-Amaro to advance to their first Pacific League championship match.

"Those two girls have been with the program for a few years," Phan said. "They know what is expected of them and they know what they have to do."

Joining the singles ranks is sophomore Lilit Bardanyan, who was injured prior to the start of the 2011 season and didn't play for the Bulldogs. Junior Elizabeth Sanchez will also play singles, giving the team four solid players.

"All four of those girls are battling for singles spots," Phan said. "That's good competition for them."

Doubles players will include seniors Dana Gibson and Brianne Waller and juniors Gabrielle Markari and Veronica Mendoza.

Phan said he is confident that his team will be able to qualify for the CIF Southern Section playoffs this season. However, winning a Pacific League championship might be a stretch.

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