Glendale gives its all in defeat

SOUTHEAST GLENDALE — Glendale High boys’ tennis Coach Bob Davidson had no false illusions regarding his Nitros’ chances against their second-round opponents.

Faced with the daunting task of going up against second-seeded San Marino, Davidson knew his team would have to fight for every single set.

That is, indeed, what the Nitros did, but it wasn’t nearly enough to combat the overwhelming talent of the Titans, which was put on display in their 14-4 victory in a CIF Southern Section Division II second-round match at Glendale High on Friday afternoon.

“They have great talent and depth all throughout their lineup,” said Davidson of the Titans, the Rio Hondo League champions, who improved to 15-4. “They were every bit as good as I’d heard, maybe even better.”

Perhaps the most telling example of San Marino’s prowess was the fact that its doubles contingent swept Glendale’s No.1 duo of Mike Astorian and Nick Daka, 6-4, 6-2, 6-1.

Astorian and Daka, easily the biggest catalyst for the Nitros’ success this year, had not been swept all season.

“They had highly-ranked players playing doubles for them,” Davidson said.

San Marino swept through the first two rounds of play for a 12-0 lead. Hence, all four of Glendale’s wins came in the final round against substitutes.

No. 2 singles player Hovsep Orujyan won a set, 6-2, and No. 3 singles player Suren Aydinyan won a set, 6-4.

In doubles, Glendale’s No.2 duo of Jeff Asano and Elliot Kim, which will play next week in the CIF Individuals Tournament, won a set, 6-2, while the No. 3 tandem of Bushra Abdelmalak and Dongkoon Kim won, 6-1.

Unfortunately for Daka and Astorian, their storied careers, which were highlighted by the last two All-Area Doubles Team of the Year accolades, ended with a hard-fought 6-4 loss. Still, it should be noted that they didn’t face a substitute team at any time.

“Right off the top, there’s a huge leadership void,” said Davidson of losing Astorian and Daka, “We do have some good talent returning next year. ...On the other hand, we have five vacancies to fill. There’s gonna be a lot of question marks.”

Before he sets his sights on next year, though, Davidson was quick to offer admiration for this year’s squad, which finished 15-4 and in second place in the Pacific League.

“I feel like this team accomplished as much as we could have accomplished with the talent we have,” Davidson said. “I felt like they were a bunch of overachievers who competed well.”

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