NORTHEAST GLENDALE — There's plenty of motivation this season for Marel Tavatian.
Before embarking on helping the Westridge tennis team try to win a second straight Prep League championship, the No. 1 singles player spent time working on her conditioning. It's helped make a difference during the early portion of the season.
Tavatian's work on the court has been impressive as a result.
“I've been working on my fitness, and it's helped me improve being quicker,” said Tavatian, who swept her three sets without losing a game Wednesday afternoon in Westridge's 18-0 league win against rival Flintridge Prep at Scholl Canyon Tennis Center. “I finished runner-up in league last season, so I want to try to be the best singles player in league.”
Tavatian improved to 15-0 this season.
Westridge improved to 4-1, 2-0 in league. Flintridge Prep dropped to 2-7, 1-1.
The Tigers only lost two games in singles and seven in doubles to dispatch the Rebels in the first of two head-to-head meetings.
Lena Tavatian, Maral's younger sister, swept without losing a game. Erin McDonald lost twice en route to a sweep for Westridge.
“For us, it's about getting at lest seven or eight points in singles,” Westridge Coach Jerry Rivera said. “We know teams in our league will be shooting for us, so we have to play extra hard and have that extra motivation.”
In doubles, Westridge's No. 1 tandem of Amanda Matthiessen and Cameron Marsh won, 6-2, 6-0, 6-0. The No. 2 team of Eileen Kwon and Jordan Cruz swept, 6-2, 6-0, 6-0, Emily Trojan and Annsley Matthiessen won two sets, 6-2, 6-1. They were replaced by Rachel Dillman and Sarah Vernallis, who worked together to register a 6-0 victory.
Flintridge Prep first-year Coach Patti Baron, who took over the program from Ron Catano, said the Rebels are trying to piece things together after opening league with a win against Mayfield.
“We are definitely a work in progress,” Baron said. “We have talent, but we are not using it.
“We could have done better, but it wasn't there today. We have to work more on the mental status of our game.”