Nitros double up rival Tornadoes

SOUTHEAST GLENDALE — With his team appearing to have lost its momentum entering the final round against its cross-town rival, Glendale High boys' tennis Coach Bob Davidson didn't panic.

Davidson had confidence that his three doubles teams were capable of winning their final three sets. And Davidson saw the Nitros regain their form late.

Glendale won five of six sets in the final round to record a 12-6 Pacific League home victory against Hoover on Thursday afternoon.

"We knew that it would be a close match and we needed to win seven or eight sets in doubles," said Davidson, whose team improved to 6-2, 3-1 in league. "I felt like we had to count on our senior doubles guys for us to win, and we were able to get those three doubles wins."

Glendale's No. 1 doubles team of Jeff Asano and Sam Sarian swept, 6-2, 6-3, 6-2. The 6-3 victory gave Glendale a 9-5 lead and it needed one more win to dispatch Hoover (4-4, 3-3). Elliot Kim, who normally competes with Asano, worked with Rene Glandian to win two sets (6-3, 6-2) for the Nitros, who also received a pair of wins from Alex Levin and Edgar Hakobyan (6-3, 6-2).

The Nitros also got a sweep from No. 1 singles player Mike Unanian (7-5, 6-3, 6-2). Unanian picked up a 6-3 win against Oleg Simonyan to give the Nitros a 10-5 advantage.

Glendale's Nick Shamma won two sets (7-5, 6-1).

"Mike played his best tennis, and that was a key for us," Davidson said. "Our singles players had a great day and that was a huge bonus for us, especially with Nick winning two out of his three sets."

The Tornadoes got two singles victories from Simonyan (6-2, 6-4). Hoover also received one singles win apiece from Ejmin Mehranian (6-4) and Emile Ohanyan (7-5). Ron Glandian and Sage Barry of Hoover posted wins of 6-4, 7-5.

Glandian and Barry posted a 7-5 win against Levin and Hakobyan to cut the deficit to 7-4. Simonyan's 6-5 win against Shamma brought the Tornadoes to within 7-5.

Hoover Coach Julie Hoppe, whose team lost its second match in a row, said things looked positive for the Tornadoes entering the final round.

"We had some momentum after we won our last two sets in the second round, but the only thing we could do was win the sets that we could get," Hoppe said. "We couldn't do that at Nos. 1 and 2 in doubles.

"Glendale has got a lot more depth in doubles and their singles played well. We knew coming in that we had to play a perfect match to beat them. I'm still not that disappointed.

"Mike beating Ejmin in the first round was a turning point. The first round set the tone. We were trying to make it 3-3, but Glendale got to 4-2 and that's a big deal psychologically."

The teams will meet again at 3:30 p.m. April 28 at Hoover.

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