GLENDALE — For the first time in recent memory, it appears the race is wide open to nab the Pacific League championship in boys’ tennis.
Burroughs and Arcadia have usually enjoyed top billing in league the past few seasons. Now, there are other teams in the mix who have cast their championship aspirations. Among those teams in the group are Hoover and Crescenta Valley, squads that met for the first of two head-to-head meetings Tuesday.
Hoover turned to its budding trio of singles players to capture seven sets en route to a 10-8 home win.
“A lot of the teams are right there,” said Hoover Coach Julie Hoppe, a former All-Area Boys’ Coach of the Year who saw her team improve to 5-3, 3-1 in league. “When you can get a win like this, it really boosts your confidence.
“CV has got a good team and both teams fought hard. We’ve learned that you can’t take anybody lightly and that it might come down to every match being important.”
Emile Ohanyan paved the way for the Tornadoes in turning back the Falcons (4-1 overall and in league). The senior, who has advanced to the semifinals in each of the last two seasons in the league tournament at Pasadena High, lost just two games.
Ohanyan said the Tornadoes needed to excel in doubles to have a shot at topping the Falcons.
“We knew we had to be good across the board by being patient,” Ohanyan said. “We had to be mentally ready and not make many unforced errors.
“We had to have everybody on their game and staying sharp.”
Hoover also received a sweep in singles from Hrant Agakhanyan, 7-5, 6-1, 6-1, and one victory from Armond Kirakosyan, 6-4. The Tornadoes picked up two wins in doubles from their top group of Danny Kim and Arthur Arutyunyan, 7-5, 6-2, and one victory from Chris Ghadimi and Harutin Adzhinyan, 7-6 (8-6).
Crescenta Valley fared better in doubles, getting a sweep from its No. 1 tandem of Aren Abrahamian and Jason Chang, 6-4, 6-2, 6-0. The Falcons No. 2 team of Robert Lee and Young Peek won a pair of sets, 6-3, 6-1.
Crescenta Valley Coach San Hyun said the Falcons will look to regroup.
“We had some struggles with our singles teams,” Hyun said. “Hoover is very good in singles.
“We are going to have to be a bit better in doubles. We’ll practice a little more and see what happens next. It’s a wake-up call and that’s a good thing.”
Crescenta Valley got one singles victory from Ted Yang, 6-3, and a 6-2 doubles win from Alexander Jang and Jae Yoon.
The Tornadoes and Falcons will meet again at 3:30 p.m. April 23 at Crescenta Valley.