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Falcons, Rebels tennis enter season short in singles

Tennis: Local girls' teams hope for good showings in their respective leagues despite CV, Prep missing stars from 2011.

August 25, 2012|By Andrew Shortall,

With several key players set to return, it appeared the Crescenta Valley High and Flintridge Prep girls' tennis teams were set to build on impressive 2011 seasons in which they enjoyed appearances in the CIF Southern Section Division II playoffs and sent players on CIF Individual Tournament runs.

Once the Falcons and Rebels, who both bring in new coaches with Sam Hyun and Patty Baron, respectively, began practice this season they noticed they were without their top singles player — or two — from last year.

Crescenta Valley will look to take back the Pacific League title from rival Arcadia for the first time in three years, but will have to do so without Karen Ataian, who would have likely been its ace and most dominant player in No. 1 singles player if she returned for her senior year after she upset Arcadia's Francis Dean for the league singles title in 2011.


"[Ataian] isn't with us anymore, I think she is just doing private [junior] tournaments now," said Hyun, who replaces two-year coach Sarah Wiggins after the Falcons placed second in league with a 16-3, 10-2 in league record.

Flintridge Prep also seemed poised to contend for the top spot in the Prep League after its most dominant player Andrea Kevakian, a sophomore who advanced to the third round of the CIF Individuals as a freshman, and former All-Area standout Jenise Vargas, a senior, were set to return.

"Neither one of them are back so far," said Baron, who replaces Ron Catano after the Rebels went 14-5, 8-2 in league in 2011. "I had heard all about them before I got here, but I am not sure if Andrea is coming back or not. Her [personal] coach has flipped her whole schedule around. It's the same thing with Jenise.

"Right now I am going under the assumption I do not have them so it looks like I will be building my singles roster."

Hopes of a winning a league title are still alive for CV, which brings back its No. 1 doubles team of Jackie Dilanchyan and Viktoriya Shumakova.

"We are hoping for No. 1 [in league]," he said. "I heard from our captains that a lot of Arcadia's team graduated or decided not to play. We have to see when we play them. We have to find out if that's true, and if that's the case we have a chance to beat Arcadia."

Alexa Gregorian moves into the No. 1 singles slot for CV, but doubles figures to be the Falcons' strength with the departure of their top two singles players.

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