SOUTHEAST GLENDALE — After a couple of winnable doubles sets didn't bounce his team's way early in Tuesday's Pacific League match against visiting Arcadia High, Glendale boys' tennis Coach Bob Davidson said his team suffered a blow to its confidence and things snowballed from there.
The snowball became an avalanche by the time it was all said and done, as the Nitros suffered their first league loss of the season, 16-2.
"Basically, I'm extremely disappointed," said Davidson, whose team's success was limited to a pair of doubles wins by Jeff Asano and Elliot Kim. "Our doubles really had a poor day. The first round, I thought we played well, but we lost all the close sets and then we just kind of totally lost our confidence after that. And Arcadia, their confidence really built up as ours went down.
"It was a total meltdown today for us, really."
Without freshman singles standout Nick Shamma, who was ill, Glendale (3-2, 2-1 in league) needed an even stronger day from its doubles teams and things started out well enough in that respect.
Nitros No. 1 doubles Rene Glandian and Sam Sarian had a 3-2 lead over Arcadia's reigning league-champion tandem of George Chiu and Hardy Lou in the first round. But Glandian and Sarian would not win another game, en route to losing, 6-3. Each of the final four games went to deuce under the non-advantage scoring system.
In a first-round matchup of No. 3 teams, Glendale's Alex Levin and Edgar Hakobyan led Eric Gau and Dustin Lieu, 4-3, but suffered a similar collapse and fell, 6-4.
"That was really kind of the difference in the whole momentum," Davidson said. "We knew that we were in trouble in singles without [Shamma], but in doubles, I felt like we should be very competitive with them.
"We just didn't play well, we got dominated. That's very disappointing."
Arcadia (4-0, 2-0), the reigning league champion, which also entered ranked third in CIF Southern Section Division II, made quick work of Glendale's singles behind a 6-0 sweep by No. 1 Travis Tu, while No. 3 Albert Chen only lost three games.
"We knew we were stronger in singles that they were and they're also are missing their No. 1 freshman player," Arcadia Coach Jerry Dohling said. "I think that made a huge difference because we knew going in there that we were going to be stronger than them in singles. …I think our doubles played real well, we won some close sets.
"Overall, I thought our kids competed real well. [The Nitros] have strong doubles and our kids were a little bit stronger today in some of the close sets and that makes a huge difference."
Davidson stressed the need for his team to not let Tuesday's loss carry over psychologically to the next league match.
"The key now is that we don't get discouraged from this," Davidson said. "We've got to shake it off and learn from it and come back stronger.
"We had a really bad day and they played great, that's basically, in a nutshell, what happened."