LA CRESCENTA â€” As the Pacific League boys' tennis race begins to take shape, it was clear that Tuesday's bout between Crescenta Valley and Hoover high would go down to the wire.
Both teams are expected to be among the contenders for the league's fourth and final automatic playoff spot and neither wanted to give the other an edge up in the standings.
So, it was only fitting that the match came down to the very last doubles set as emotions ran high on both clubs.
In the end, the Crescenta Valley pair of Alex Matevosian and Caleb Kim rallied from a 5-4 hole to win their set 7-5 over Hoover's Will Nelson and Juan Peralta and give the Falcons a narrow 10-8 win against the visiting Tornadoes.
If Hoover (2-6, 1-4 in league) would have captured the final doubles set, the match would have been forced to a tiebreaker and the Tornadoes would have prevailed in games.
â€œIt was a pressure game because Hoover and us are probably playing for that fourth spot,â€ Crescenta Valley Coach Sarah Wiggins said. â€œSo, it was important to capture that win.â€
The Falcons (5-3, 3-2) dominated the doubles sets, sweeping all nine, and No. 3 singles player Kenny Kim pulled out a pivotal 6-2 win over Hoover's Andre Ratavovsian for Crescenta Valley's only singles victory.
Hoover won eight of the singles sets, but didn't quite have enough to capture an elusive doubles win.
The Tornadoes pair of Hibert Davitian and Sharo Belgariam came closest, before they fell 7-6 (7-3) to Marcus Barbosa and Matevosian.
â€œOur guys are playing as hard as they can,â€ Hoover Coach Julie Hoppe said. â€œCV has excellent doubles teams and we just couldn't get a doubles set from them.â€
Hoover's No. 1 singles player Ejmin Mehranian won his three sets, 6-1, 6-1, 6-3, while No. 2 player Hayk Muradyan also swept, 6-2, 6-4, 6-0.
Ratavovsian picked up 6-4, 6-4 victories as the Tornadoes saw themselves fall into the same pattern that has plagued them this year.
â€œWe are definitely more solid in our singles,â€ Hoppe said. â€œIf we can get our doubles teams to step up, especially against a team that has strong doubles, then we could have taken the match.â€
Crescenta Valley's No. 1 doubles team of Chan Lee and Eric Khanlarian notched 6-2, 6-3, 6-1 victories, while Jason Cheung teamed with Justin Kim to pull out 6-2, 6-2, 6-1 wins.
In addition to the match-clinching victory, Matevosian and Caleb Kim also picked up a 6-2 victory.
For Wiggins, things couldn't have shaken out much better on Tuesday.
â€œI knew going into it, that it wasn't going to happen in singles,â€ she said. â€œIt's really tough, no matter how good of singles or doubles you have, to take all nine.
â€œAnd for [us] to take all nine and then for Kenny to win in singles, that's big. That's what you are hoping for.â€
Both teams return to action at 3:15 p.m. on Thursday.
Crescenta Valley hits the road to take on Arcadia, while Hoover will host rival Glendale.
?DYLAN KRUSE covers sports. He can be reached at (818) 637-3252 or email@example.com.