Glendale wins big in opener, 13-5

SOUTHEAST GLENDALE — Just minutes prior to his 23rd season opener as head coach, Bob Davidson was feeling confident about this year's squad, mainly due to what he calls one of the best doubles groups during his tenure.

Playing Alhambra on Monday afternoon, the Glendale High boys' doubles pairings got their first chance to prove their coach's words valid.

In the end, they did just that by notching straight set victories from their No. 1 and No. 2, paving the way for a convincing 13-5 victory for the host Nitros.

"For us to have a good year, our doubles are going to have to play well all year for us," said Davidson, who also saw all three of his singles players drop just one set. "I think it's going to be our strength all season."

The senior tandem and most experienced of the Nitros (1-0) doubles teams, Jeff Asano and Elliot Kim, dropped one game in each of their three sets (6-1, 6-1, 6-1) to Alhambra's Michael Vu and Raymond He, Elbert He and Derrick Zhang and Steven Hoang and Sam Chen.

Asano and Kim advanced to the Pacific League finals the past two seasons and earned All-Area accolades — success Davidson hopes is duplicated again this year.

Glendale's Alex Levin and Edgar Hakobyan also cruised to a 7-6 (7-4), 6-0, 6-2 sweep.

"We started to play with confidence after our first set win," Levin said. "We're going to keep practicing every day and hope to get similar results rest of the season."

Alhambra took two of three from Sam Sarian, who played with Thomas Lim for two sets and one with Rene Glandian.

Against the Moors, Glendale's singles play complemented its doubles game well. Davidson cited Alhambra's top two singles players as the team's strength. The Nitros swept No. 2 Ryan Lu, but Nitro Mike Unanian was the only player to get a win playing No. 1 Brendan Ma.

On the flip side, Unanian was the lone Nitro to fall to Kenneth Gov, the Moors' No. 3 player.

Overall, John Azizian posted a 5-7, 6-4, 6-4, while Nick Shamma also won two of his three sets 5-7, 6-4, 6-1.

"I came in with confidence," said Unanian of his 6-3, 6-1, 5-7 day. "[Against Ma], while I started out slow, I also saw his flaws and capitalized on them."

The two teams were tied at three sets apiece after the first round of matchups, then Glendale won five of six to take an 8-4 advantage.

"After the first round, I thought we played well," said Davidson whose team qualified for the playoffs last season. "If we're going to be successful, we need to improve at other spots."

Glendale will begin Pacific League play at 3:30 p.m. today against host Pasadena before taking on visiting Burbank at 3:30 p.m. Thursday.

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