Boys' tennis teams learn draws for opening playoff matches

After finishing up their respective regular seasons with strong showings, four local boys' tennis teams will look to continue their success in the postseason.

The Glendale High, St. Francis, Crescenta Valley and Hoover squads learned their playoff matchups after the CIF Southern Section office released its postseason pairings for all five divisions Monday.

Glendale, St. Francis and Crescenta Valley will all head north to take part in Division I first-round matchups Wednesday. Hoover will take part in a Division I home wild-card match Tuesday. All contests are scheduled to begin at 3 p.m.

Glendale, which finished tied for second in the Pacific League with Crescenta Valley, but was given the nod as the league's No. 2 representative after winning 20 of 36 sets against Crescenta Valley, will meet Santa Barbara. The Nitros, who didn't qualify for the playoffs last season, are 12-9. Santa Barbara, which finished second in the Channel League, is 13-3.

"Santa Barbara has a rich tradition in tennis and they've had a lot of success in CIF," said Glendale Coach Bob Davidson, who saw his doubles team of Michael Akopians and Arin Meserkhani win the league's doubles championship crown Wednesday. "So, we know going in that they are very good.

"It will be a tough matchup and we will go up there and give it all we got. We played well coming down the stretch and I think we are playing our best tennis right now. Either way, it will be a great experience."

The winner of the Glendale-Santa Barbara match will face top-seeded Irvine University, Marina or West Torrance in a second-round match Friday.

Crescenta Valley (11-4) will travel just past Santa Barbara to take on Dos Pueblos (16-3) in Goleta. Dos Pueblos took first in the Channel League.

"We are coming into this after beating Arcadia, which finished first in our league," Crescenta Valley Coach San Hyun said. "I think that's a good sign going into the playoffs, so we will go up there and do our best."

The Crescenta Valley-Dos Pueblos winner will battle Servite or Corona del Mar in a second-round match Friday.

St. Francis will have the shortest trip, traveling about 40 miles to face Westlake. St. Francis (14-4) took third in the rugged Mission League and posted its best record since 1982, according to Coach Ron Zambrano. Westlake (19-0) won the Marmonte League championship.

Zambrano said the Golden Knights are eager to test the playoff waters for the second time in the last three seasons.

"The school is proud of the team and so am I," Zambrano said. "It's going to be a great experience for our players, especially the younger ones.

"Our only losses have come against Loyola and Harvard-Westlake."

The winner of the St. Francis-Westlake tilt will face San Clemente or Mater Dei on Friday in a second-round match.

Hoover (9-8) will take on visiting Northwood (14-6) in a wild-card match. Hoover took fourth in the Pacific League and Northwood received an at-large berth out of the Pacific Coast League.

The winner will advance to the first round and face host Santa Margarita in a first-round match Wednesday.


Follow Charles Rich on Twitter: @TCNCharlesRich .

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