NORTHEAST GLENDALE — Andrea Kevakian spent the last part of her summer attending numerous Flintridge Prep girls' tennis team practices to help acclimate her to the next level of competition.
Kevakian, a freshman, also used the practice sessions to her advantage to prepare for what she expects to be a grueling upcoming schedule.
Kevakian passed her initial test Thursday afternoon, as she swept her three sets in Flintridge Prep's 10-8 nonleague season-opening loss against visiting Malibu at Scholl Canyon Tennis Center.
"I was kind of nervous going out there because I didn't know what to expect," said Kevakian, who began her day by posting a 7-5 win against Britta Mosser. "After the first three games, I started to feel good.
"I went to almost all the practices because I wanted to get better. I just try to go out there and keep the ball in play and keep moving my opponent around."
Kevakian then earned a 6-1 win against Lauren Louks before wrapping up with a 6-0 victory against a Sharks sub. The Rebels couldn't rally behind Kevakian, as the Sharks (2-0) won the remaining six singles sets.
Catano said Kevakian handled herself well throughout her sets.
"Andrea showed me a lot in that she played well against some good players," said Catano, the reigning All-Area Coach of the Year. "She showed how strong mentally she can be.
"As for the team, I'll have to look at the scores and see who came to play and who got overwhelmed. Did they hang in there tough and lose service breaks or when and where did they get overwhelmed in a certain point in their sets?"
Flintridge Prep and Malibu were tied at 6 entering the final round, but Malibu's experience paved the way in turning back the Rebels, who competed without No. 2 singles player Jenise Vargas because of a left-wrist injury she sustained during the summer. It wasn't clear when Vargas, a reigning All-Area pick, would return, but Flintridge Prep third-year Coach Ron Catano said it might be about a month at the earliest.
With Vargas out, Flintridge Prep was forced to alter its lineup. That included moving No. 1 singles player Kira Lee to doubles with Roya Gheissari. Lee, the two-time All-Area Singles Player of the Year, and Gheissari swept, 6-3, 6-2, 6-3.
Flintridge Prep's remaining two wins came from its No. 2 doubles team of Abby Letts and Young-In Kim. The duo picked up 6-0, 7-5 victories.
Flintridge Prep will next take part in a nonleague home match at 3:15 p.m. today against Marlborough.