GLENDALE — In the early going of the Pacific League girls' tennis campaign, Arcadia High, Burbank and Crescenta Valley have emerged as the top three teams, as the three are the front-runners in the race for CIF Southern Section playoffs spots.
That doesn't leave much postseason wiggle room for the four remaining league squads, with essentially just one guaranteed spot likely up for grabs.
Two of those possible bubble teams, Hoover and Burroughs, met Tuesday in a league match. The Tornadoes were able to jump out to a sizable lead after the first of three rounds and hold off the Indians, earning an 11-7 victory at home.
Hoover (1-4, 1-2 in league) was able to bounce back and win against Burroughs (1-3, 1-2) after suffering an 11-7 loss to cross-town rival Glendale on Thursday. The win was especially fulfilling for the Tornadoes, who are playing without a key doubles player, Erlinda Kirakosyan, who suffered a broken hand in a nonleague match Aug. 29.
Tornadoes Coach Julie Hoppe said because there is such parity with four of the league teams battling for one playoff spot, that every match has significance.
"After seeing Burroughs today, there really isn't that much difference between the bottom four teams in our league," Hoppe said. "Every one of those four teams is capable of getting that fourth spot. I think it's going to come down to which team is mentally tougher and who wants it more."
With a young team, Burroughs Coach Roy Bernhardt said his squad is likely the dark horse when it comes to the final postseason berth.
"It's probably going to come down to Glendale and Hoover," he said. "But I wouldn't be surprised if Pasadena comes in to get it. We beat Pasadena, 12-6, but really that match could have gone either way."
The Tornadoes came out and put pressure on the Indians early, jumping out to a 5-1 advantage after the first round.
Hoover was paced by Sara Kim, at No. 2 singles, and the No. 1 doubles team of Kiso Adzhyan and Diana Karapetyan, as both earned sweeps. While Kim rolled to 7-6 (14-12), 6-0, 6-1 wins, Adzhyan and Karapetyan went, 6-4, 6-0, 6-2.
"We had to bounce back in this one because when we lost to Glendale and that was a big disappointment," Kim said. "I think winning today is going to do a lot for our confidence and it proves to us that we just need work to be able to win."
The Tornadoes also received a solid effort from No. 3 singles Petra Beglarian, who won two, 3-6, 6-0, 6-2, and the doubles duo of Alin Torosian and Angie Khourdajian, which also won two, 3-6, 7-5, 6-3.
The Indians had two bright spots on the afternoon. In singles, No. 1 Alicia Singhanate went, 6-1, 6-7 (12-14), 6-3, and the No. 1 doubles team of Maria Garcia and Amanda Trinh went, 4-6, 6-2, 6-3.
"We have some new girls, and I thought that as the season would go on that they would start to get a little more comfortable," Bernhardt said. "But just the opposite is happening. They seem to be getting more and more nervous with every match."