Tornadoes finally best rivals

NORTHWEST GLENDALE — When it came to the previously one-sided girls' tennis rivalry between Hoover High and Glendale, it seems that both sides stopped keeping count sometime ago.

"It hasn't happened in the seven years I've been coaching here," Hoover Coach Julie Hoppe said of a Tornadoes' win.

Concurred her counterpart, Bob Davidson, who has coached the Nitros for 15 years: "I'm not sure when the last time was [that we lost to Hoover]. It's been quite a while."

However long its lasted, the Nitros' run of dominance over the Tornadoes came to an end Tuesday, as Hoover relied on some new blood to turn the tables with an 11-7 Pacific League home victory.

Freshman Arpe Bagumyan swept out of the No. 1 singles spot and junior transfer Meghedi Mooradian won two sets, 6-0, 6-0, in the No. 2 spot, while freshman Lillit Manukian teamed with Zar Chavdarian to win two key doubles sets for Hoover.

"My girls were pumped up by having two freshmen additions that were competitive," Hoppe said. "Our lineup was energized by having that new competitive blood.

"They decided they didn't want to lose to Glendale on their home turf. They were bound and determined to beat Glendale for the first time [in a long time]."

Bagumyan set the tone right away with a 6-1 win against No. 1 singles player Adrine Babakhanyan, then posted an equally dominant 6-1 win against Eugena Bagdassorian in the No. 2 spot, before formally clinching the match for Hoover with a 6-4 win against Tatevik Hovhannisyan.

Kristine Advhemyan also won two singles sets for the Tornadoes, 6-1, 6-4.

"Hoover won all of the key sets, there were three or four that really turned the match," said Davidson, who got a pair of 6-1 victories from Babakhanyan. "They deserve all the credit. They flat out outplayed us today."

Hoover (1-1 in league) held only a 5-4 advantage in sets halfway through the match, quickly sped to the verge of victory by taking a 9-4 lead and then put away the contest on Bagumyan's final win after the Nitros (1-1) had closed the gap.

Manukian and Chavdarian posted wins of 6-4, 6-1, and were supported in doubles by wins from Deena Hovsepian and Colette Hamamah (6-1), and Annie Lee and Karmela Castro at 6-0.

Glendale received doubles victories from Mariam Khahtryan and Hana Jang at 6-2, 6-2, 6-3. It also received a 6-4, 6-3 win from Cecelia McLean and Rachelle Lingat.

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