After a nine-year stretch of missing the CIF Southern Section playoffs, the members of the Flintridge Sacred Heart Academy tennis team will have an opportunity to experience the postseason.
The Tologs finished third in the Mission League and punched their ticket to the postseason for the first time since 2002, when they fell to Calabasas in a Division I first-round match.
Flintridge Sacred Heart (6-8) will get another taste of the playoffs when it meets third-seeded University in a Division I first-round road contest at 3 p.m. Wednesday.
Flintridge Sacred Heart, Glendale and Crescenta Valley were the only local teams to qualify for the playoffs after the playoff pairings were unveiled Monday afternoon.
Flintridge Sacred Heart won its final Mission League match of the season against Chaminade on Thursday to clinch third place. University, based in Irvine, took first in the Pacific Coast League.
“It’s amazing because we have five freshmen on the team who all started,” Flintridge Sacred Heart Coach Ron Zambrano said referring to Lana Sarkisian, Nicolette Harutunian, Camille Katz, Breanna Ryan and Holly MacVaugh. “We changed the mentality of our team, starting with believing that we will win our matches.
“Our freshmen were able to pull through. They have gotten better. We will get some good experience and they will have a chance to get better for next season as well.”
The winner of the Flintridge Sacred Heart-University match will meet Brentwood or San Clemente in a second-round match at 2 p.m. Friday.
Crescenta Valley and Glendale will participate in Division II wild-card road matches at 2 p.m. Tuesday after finishing third and fourth, respectively, in the Pacific League.
Crescenta Valley (12-5), which last finished as low as third in league in 1994, will face Fullerton, which finished third in the Freeway League. The winner would then face Santa Monica, which captured the Ocean League crown, in a first-round tilt at 2 p.m. Wednesday at Santa Monica.
Crescenta Valley will be led by singles player Alex Gregorian and doubles players Viktoriya Shumakova and Jackie Dilanchyan.
The trio advanced to the semifinals of the league tournament at Pasadena High last week.
“We know that Fullerton has a good team,” Crescenta Valley first-year Coach Sam Hyun said. “We like the matchup.”
Glendale (7-8) will be pitted against Ayala, which placed third in the Sierra League. The winner will take on top-seeded San Marino in a first-round match at 2 p.m. Wednesday at San Marino. San Marino won the Rio Hondo League title.
Emily Levin, Danielle Fabian and Imani Story are among Glendale’s top athletes.