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Duo sees run end

Tennis: Kevakian and Ataian fall in first day of CIF Individuals Tournament in South El Monte.

November 18, 2011|By Charles Rich, charles.rich@latimes.com

Andrea Kevakian and Karen Ataian arrived Friday morning at Whittier Narrows Tennis Center in South El Monte battle tested and ready to compete in the CIF Individuals Tournament.

Kevakian of Flintridge Prep and Ataian of Crescenta Valley High looked to extend their stellar seasons going in the prestigious event.

Unfortunately for the duo, their respective seasons ended on the first day of the competition.

Kevakian fell in the third round and Ataian was eliminated in the second round.

Kevakian, a freshman, opened with a 6-0, 6-0 win against Walnut's Kassie Truong. She then recorded a 6-2, 6-4 victory against Rebekah Anderson of Whittier Christian. Sarah Gealer of San Marino then posted a 6-0, 6-3 win against Kevakian in the third round.

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Flintridge Prep Coach Ron Catano said playing three rounds in less than five hours proved to be exhausting for Kevakian.

"By the time Andrea got to the third round, she was mentally exhausted," Catano said. "For a freshman to do this well in her first try in this tournament is outstanding.

"She's got a lot of tournament experience and she's familiar with a lot of these players. She was able to hang in there."

Ataian, who won the Pacific League individual championship, had a first-round bye. The junior then suffered a 6-3, 6-1 loss to Westridge's Maral Tavitian in the second round.

Crescenta Valley Coach Sarah Wiggins said Ataian started off well against Tavitian, whose opponent defaulted in the first round, but ran into trouble during parts of the match.

"Maral was really on and didn't miss anything," Wiggins said. "She was like a wall and she hit everything from Karen back and quick.

"On the points Karen won, Karen was super aggressive. She just couldn't keep her game up. Karen was more aggressive in the second set by being able to come to the net and getting some points. She peaked the day she won league and we hoped that would continue [Friday]. She played her best, but just came up short."

Each of the participants arrived at the venue not knowing who they would face until 30 minutes before the first serve in their opening-round matches.

Those getting through Friday's rounds will next take part in the round of 32, which will start at 1 p.m. Nov. 30 at Whittier Narrows. The round of 16 and quarterfinals will be held at 11:30 a.m. Dec. 1 at Seal Beach Tennis Center. The semifinals and finals will begin at 11:30 a.m. Dec. 2 in Seal Beach.

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