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Burbank High girls' tennis singles player, Crescenta Valley doubles duo win Pacific League titles

Tennis: Falcons Dilanchyan, Gregorian and Bulldog Vardanyan have to fight back to capture respective Pacific League girls' championships.

October 30, 2013|By Jeff Tully, jeff.tully@latimes.com
  • Burbank High singles player Lilit Vardanyan rallies en route to capturing a Pacific League singles championship on Wednesday afternoon at Pasadena High. (Raul Roa/Staff Photographer)
Burbank High singles player Lilit Vardanyan rallies…

PASADENA — Singles girls’ tennis player Lilit Vardanyan of Burbank High and the Crescenta Valley doubles team of Jackie Dilanchyan and Alexa Gregorian found themselves in tough situations Wednesday in finals matches of the Pacific League Tournament.

Vardanyan, a junior, didn’t play well early in her championship contest against Arcadia’s Sharlene Song and, as a result, trailed in the opening set by four games.

Seniors Dilanchyan and Gregorian also struggled in their first set against Burbank’s Meredy Gharabegi and Elizabeth Sanchez. The Falcons fell in the first set and were two points away from elimination in a third-set tiebreaker.

But both the singles player and doubles team would eventually enjoy impressive comebacks when their matches were complete.

PHOTOS: Locals in Pacific League tennis playoffs

Vardanyan, the No. 1 seed, fought back and won six straight games to capture the first set and finished the comeback by taking the second set against the No. 2-seeded Song, as she walked off the court with a 7-5, 6-3 victory to secure the singles championship.

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Dilanchyan and Gregorian, the No. 2 seed, shook off a first-set loss, rallied in the second and despite trailing by four games in the tiebreaker to the No. 1 Bulldogs pair, battled to earn the title with a 5-7, 6-4, 10-8, result.

Despite earning two victories over Song in their head-to-head meetings during the regular season, Vardanyan got off to a shaky start, as she and her Apaches opponent matched power for power in a baseline-heavy game. Vardanyan then found herself in trouble, trailing, 5-1, in the opening set.

“I wasn’t nervous at all at the start, I just played the wrong game,” Vardanyan said. “You need to play a certain game against certain people, you just can’t play with one game. I started playing with my plan ‘A’ and that didn’t work, so I had to switch to my plan ‘B.’ That seemed to work.”

Vardanyan began to play more of a finesse game, frustrating Song with an array of drop shots and using angles to get the ball past her opponent. The new strategy worked, as Vardanyan went on a roll and finally took the lead, 6-5. Serving for the set, Vardanyan was looking at set-point until Song came back to tie it. Song then had a chance to pull out the win in the game, but an ace by Vardanyan gave the advantage to the Bulldogs player once again and the junior was able to finish it off.

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