New coach, same mission

With Wiggins taking over for Gossard, Falcons look to be primary contender again for Pacific League championship.

September 07, 2010|By Charles Rich,

GLENDALE — Though there will be a new coach on board, the concept will remain the same for the members of the Crescenta Valley High girls' tennis team.

After taking over the program in 1995 and leading the Falcons to nine Pacific League championships, veteran Coach Tom Gossard retired following last season. Gossard's squads finished no worse than second in league, leading to instant respectability in the area and region.

Now, Sarah Wiggins, Gossard's successor, will look to uphold the tradition.

"It's always a challenge to make sure you keep moving the program forward." said Wiggins, who is also the school's boys' coach. "I'm a different style coach than Tom.


"There are going to be some things that I want to do differently. We will have some new players, but I think we will have a strong team."

Crescenta Valley, Glendale and Flintridge Prep qualified for the CIF Southern Section Division II playoffs last season. Hoover and Flintridge Sacred Heart Academy didn't advance to the postseason last year and will seek immediate improvements with their respective personnel to reverse course.

The Falcons should have a good mix of talent and depth to challenge for the league championship with Arcadia, which won it last season after the Falcons went undefeated in league action in 2007 and 2008. Crescenta Valley will have senior Erin LeVoir, a former All-Area Singles Player of the Year, back in the fold. She will be joined by senior Sarah Ali, who didn't play last season and is a former All-Area Singles Player of the Year, as well.

Wiggins said LeVoir and Ali will be counted on to provide leadership and experience for the younger Falcons.

"We hope to have a cohesive group," Wiggins said. "Having Erin and Sarah around will help.

"Erin is a top-notch player and Sarah carries herself professionally and we look forward to them being strong leaders."

Glendale lost its top doubles team of Sevana Zargarian and Samantha Sismundo to graduation. The duo teamed up to win the Pacific League doubles championship the past two seasons and proved to be gigantic pillars in the Nitros' lineup.

With Zargarian and Sismundo gone, Glendale Coach Bob Davidson is left searching for a new top-notch doubles team.

"They were very successful and our team leaders," Davidson said. "It's definitely going to be a year where we are going to rely on our younger players and those who we have coming up from the JV team.

"Sometimes you have to rely on the program and hope for the best."

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