SOUTHEAST GLENDALE — Looking to challenge one of the front-running squads in the Pacific League, the Crescenta Valley boys' tennis team came out swinging. And, although their opening efforts weren't enough to take a lead, things were certainly close coming out of the first round.
It didn't stay that way for long, though, as host Glendale swept the second round and had little trouble holding off the Falcons down the stretch of a 13-5 win that firmly entrenched the Nitros in second place behind league-unbeaten Arcadia with the first half of league play in the books.
"I feel like we're improving and we're playing really about as well as I can expect right now," said Davidson, who team won all but one doubles set and got two singles wins apiece from Mike Unanian (6-1, 6-4) and Nick Shamma (7-5, 6-1). "Our doubles have kind of been carrying us all year and our singles have been improving."
Glendale and Crescenta Valley split the first four sets and the Falcons had leads early in the final doubles and singles matches of the first round.
"We were ahead and Bob [Davidson] was actually looking a little [worried]," Falcons Coach Sarah Wiggins said.
But Unanian rallied to beat Arin Abrahamian, 6-4, in the No. 3 singles bracket and Glendale's No. 1 doubles Alex Levin and Edgar Hakobyan staged a comeback to defeat counterparts Jeremy Cho and Justin Chung by a 6-4 margin, as well.
"That was a big swing," Davidson said. "Instead of it being 3-3 or us down, 2-4, we went up, 4-2. In the second round we played really well, but I think, mentally, that made a big difference — the fact that we got those two — to free us up to play so well in the second round."
Glendale would go on to dominate doubles, getting sweeps from Levin and Hakobyan (6-4, 6-1, 6-3) and Jeff Asano and Elliot Kim (6-1, 6-1, 6-2), as well as two wins from Rene Glandian and Sam Sarian (6-1, 6-4).
The whole season, we're having trouble closing things out," said Wiggins, who got two singles wins apiece from Chris Kim (6-1, 6-4) and Tim Chong (6-4, 6-1). "It's like they start off playing the way they know how to play the game and as the game goes on, they just get tight."