Despite the teams' different results a year ago, both will likely
find themselves battling for postseason spots this season.
"I'm hoping that we can make the playoffs this season, maybe
getting the third spot in league," Burroughs Coach Roy Bernhardt
said. "That's what we are striving for this season."
It looked as if Burbank was a shoo-in for one of the three
playoffs spots, led by Katy Nikolova, who was the All-Area Singles
Player of the Year as a freshman last season. However, Bulldog Coach
Paul McNiff said he got word Wednesday that Nikolova has transferred
to Palisades High.
"I didn't see [Nikolova] all summer, and really nobody had heard
from her at all," McNiff said. "She just wasn't around. So, I really
wasn't that surprised when I was told that she was transferring out.
"I had told my girls that because she hasn't been around that we
shouldn't expect her to be with the team.
"But even with [Nikolova], we still would have probably finished
behind Valencia. But without her, that means that we will probably be
battling for a playoff spot. Hart is probably comparable to us."
Playing No. 1 singles for the Bulldogs, Nikolova went 47-10 and
finished third in the league tournament.
With the season set to begin next week, here is how the teams are
Along with their second-place league finish, the Bulldogs went
15-4 a year ago and advanced to the second round of the playoffs,
losing to No. 1-seeded Campbell Hall, 14-4.
Along with dealing with the departure of its top singles player,
Burbank also lost its No. 2 and No. 3 singles players, Lucy
Youchkovets and Natalie Rafaelian, to graduation.
McNiff paired Youchkovets and Rafaelian in the league tournament
and the duo won the doubles championship despite being seeded third.
Relying on a trio of seniors from last season's squad, McNiff is
hoping a crop of players from the junior varsity team will help fill
"It looks like all three of our singles players will be from last
year's JV team," McNiff said. "The good thing is they all had success
at that level last year. But it's a little different when you move up