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Gamble nearly pays off for CV

Tennis: Falcons girls fall to San Marino in second round of CIF playoffs after drastic lineup shuffling.

November 15, 2010|By Grant Gordon,

LA CRESCENTA — As evening fell upon Crescenta Valley High, the tandem of Emily Borkowski and Jackie Dilanchyan did its best to fight off distraction, tension, controversy and a formidable opponent.

As the duo's set with San Marino's Vivian Le and Michelle Gaudawidiayu played out on center stage under the lights, it overshadowed the doubles set on the court next to it that ultimately decided the match. Borkowski and Dilanchyan rallied for a dramatic win to tie the match, but the games tally had long been decided — along with the match.

San Marino's doubles pairing of Tammy Le and Marsha Chang, due to the Titans' sensational singles bracket, defeated the pairing of Erin Levoir and Viktoriya Shumakova to secure a ninth set victory to clinch a 9-9 (85-62) CIF Southern Section Division II second-round win over the host Falcons on Saturday.


The choice to put the likes of Borkowski and Levoir in the doubles bracket came as Falcons Coach Sarah Wiggins strategized stacking her doubles bracket in the hopes of taking all nine sets, while banking on singles player Karen Ataian to take at least one singles set in the hopes of a 10-8 victory.

"What can I say? It almost worked," said Falcons Coach Sarah Wiggins, who received doubles sweeps from Dilanchyan and Borkowski and Sarah Ali and Talia Moradkhanian. "It came so close. It was working and it worked 'til the final [set]."

Almost the final set to be exact.

Crescenta Valley (14-4) had maintained its plan of action thanks in large part to Levoir and Shumakova winning a nailbiting 7-5 set over Le and Gaudawidiayu. The win tied the match at 8 after the Falcons tandem of Ali and Moradkhanian had prevailed in their final set and cut the lead of San Marino (13-1) to 8-7.

Thus, the consensus became that the match would likely come down to Borkowski and Dilanchyan against Le and Gaudawidiayu, but it was the Levoir/Shumakova-Le/Chang set that inevitably sealed the fate of the Falcons.

"That second [set] was fun," said Levoir, who, along with Shumakova, won their first set, 6-1, before the 7-5 victory and a 1-6 loss to end the day. "After that second one, we had spent so much. By the third one, we had no energy left."

Borkowski and Dilanchyan, despite the match's outcome having been decided, still rallied to finish a 7-5, 7-5, 6-2 sweep.

"I'm especially proud of Emily and Jackie," Wiggins said. "To win that last one, even if it was a moot point, they still had the heart to finish it out."

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