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Falcons look to maintain league success

Girls' tennis: Crescenta Valley High one of five teams ready to begin respective seasons.

August 31, 2011|By Charles Rich, charles.rich@latimes.com

Don't pity the Crescenta Valley High girls' tennis team for losing three of its key players to graduation. There's still plenty of talent coming through the pipeline to keep the Falcons in contention for the Pacific League championship.

Gone are Erin LeVoir, Sarah Ali and Talia Moradkhian, who helped the Falcons finish either first or second in league during the last four seasons. The newest cast will look to keep the tradition going in the Falcons' quest to win their 10th league title since 1995.

Ali and Moradkhian were tabbed as the All-Area Girls' Doubles Team of the Year after going 38-1 last season. LeVoir, a former All-Area Singles Player of the Year, went 48-9 and 36-4 in league en route to receiving All-Area recognition.

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"When you lose people like that, it's tough," Crescenta Valley Coach Sarah Wiggins said. "I don't think we have as much depth, but we have some good players in place.

"The goal is the same and that's for them to have a purpose for every shot and be aggressive."

The Falcons will return senior Emily Borkowski, along with juniors Karen Ataian and Viktoriya Shumakova and sophomore Jackie Dilanchyan. All will be counted on by Wiggins to help the Falcons battle with defending league champion and main rival Arcadia for first place.

Ataian stepped up in singles last season, going 41-7. She later teamed with Ali to win the league's doubles championship before the two marched to the round of 16 at the CIF Individuals Tournament.

Borkowski, Shumakova and Dilanchyan will look to improve on last season's success, as the trio might see time at doubles.

"A lot will depend on how well we do in doubles," Wiggins said. "We'll have to get the players to strategize a little better.

"They are eager to learn and perform."

Crescenta Valley will also have the senior doubles team of Amanda Lockwood and Sally Jo back, and the players will be counted on to provide the Falcons with leadership. Senior doubles player Sydney Farzadkish also returns for Crescenta Valley.

Flintridge Prep returns top singles players Kira Lee and Jenise Vargas. The Rebels placed third in the Prep League last season, but saw Lee and Vargas have their customary stellar seasons.

Lee, the two-time reigning All-Area Singles Player of the Year, went 30-0 in the regular season and was named the league's most valuable player. She also reached the round of 32 at the individuals competition for the first time.

Vargas finished 57-3, including going 29-1 in league and 5-1 in six postseason sets.

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