Nitros, Tornadoes still alive in league tournament

GLENDALE — In the past two seasons, the Glendale High boys' doubles tennis tandem of Jeff Asano and Elliot Kim have normally breezed through the Pacific League prelims en route to reaching the finals.

While the duo won their two sets during the prelims Monday afternoon at Pasadena High, it sure wasn't easy.

Asano and Kim opened with a comfortable first-round win before needing to advance to Wednesday's semifinals by winning in a super tiebreaker.

"They didn't play their best tennis on the day, but they played on their experience," Glendale Coach Bob Davidson said. "They just battled and dug in deep."

The other local athletes to move into Wednesday's semifinals were Glendale singles player Nick Shamma and Hoover singles player Oleg Simonyan.

Asano and Kim came through with a 6-4, 6-1 first-round victory against a team from Arcadia. Then they encountered some difficulty in the second round.

Going up against a tandem from Burroughs, Asano and Kim dropped the first set, 6-4, before rallying for a 7-5 win and forcing the tiebreaker. Asano and Kim then won, 10-3, to advance to the semifinals, which will be held at 1 p.m. Wednesday at the same site.

Shamma shared a similar fate like Asano and Kim in singles. He posted a 6-0, 6-1 first-round win against a Burbank athlete and then a 6-4, 1-6, 10-5 win in the second round against a player from Burroughs.

"He regrouped in the tiebreaker after letting down a bit in the second set," Davidson said.

Simonyan posted a 6-2, 6-1 first-round win against Justin Chong of Crescenta Valley. He then registered a 6-1, 1-6, 10-7 win against an Arcadia player.

"We talked about being aggressive and playing for the big shots and he didn't let down," Hoover Coach Julie Hoppe said.

Mike Unanian of Glendale won a first-round singles set, 6-4, 6-3. In doubles, Jeremy Cho and Tim Chong of Crescenta Valley posted a 6-4, 6-1 doubles win against Rene Glandian and Sam Sarian of Glendale. Alex Levin and Edgar Hakobyan of Glendale bested a Burbank team, 6-3, 6-2.

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