Simonyan makes a stand

PASADENA — Arcadia High finished tops in Pacific League boys' tennis this season, but the final day of the league tournament at Pasadena High on Wednesday belonged to Burroughs, with Garrett Auproux capturing the singles title and the duo of Oscar Lam and Wen Yao Lin beating the Apaches' reigning league-champion tandem to take the top prize in doubles.

Hoover's Oleg Simonyan made sure it wouldn't be an all Arcadia-Burroughs final by making a run to the singles final, where he was stopped by the top-seeded Auproux, 6-2, 6-0.

"I was happy to make the finals, but the finals was really hard because I was so tired and it's so hot," Simonyan said. "I tried my best."

Simonyan made his way to the final round with a 6-3, 6-3 win over Arcadia's Andrew You in the semifinals earlier Wednesday after notching a 6-1, 1-6, 10-7 win against another Arcadia player in Monday's quarterfinals.

"He won two very tough matches to get to that final," Hoover Coach Julie Hoppe said of Simonyan. "Garrett is just a great player."

Simonyan said of his semifinal triumph, "I was just relaxed and stuff and I moved my feet and again I did my best."

While the heat took its toll on most players Wednesday, Auproux hardly seemed bothered, dispatching Glendale's Nick Shamma in the semifinals, 6-0, 6-1, and showing little sign of fatigue by the end of his finals win.

In doubles, Lam and Lin clinched their title with a 6-4, 6-2 win over Arcadia's George Chiu and Hardy Lou, where each set started out close before the Indians duo found an extra gear to pull away each time.

Arcadia, Burroughs, Glendale and Burbank had already qualified their teams for the CIF Southern Section Division II playoffs by finishing in the top four in league. Champions and runner-ups from Wednesday's tournament also gain qualification for the CIF Southern Section Individual Sectionals on May 21 at a site to be determined. Third-place finishers from the league tournament receive alternate status for the Sectionals, as well as all-league first-team acknowledgment.

Glendale's senior duo Jeff Asano and Elliot Kim fell in a grueling semifinal battle that saw the first two sets go to tiebreakers and which ended in a super tiebreaker. The 6-7, 7-6, 10-7 hard-luck loss to Lam and Lin was reminiscent of Asano and Kim's super-tiebreaker loss to Chiu and Lou in last year's title match, their second straight runner-up finish.

Asano and Kim finished third after beating Burbank's Keon Park and Clayton Pauff, 8-4, in the consolation final.

"Jeff and Elliot have had a great run," Glendale Coach Bob Davidson said. "Tennis comes down to one or two points and they were one really close call away from winning that super tiebreaker [on Wednesday].

"I felt like if they had won, they would have had a great chance to win [the title]."

Shamma, a freshman, earned third-place status by beating an exhausted You in the consolation final, 8-0.

"We knew [Auproux] was a tough draw for him, he's one of the top players in Southern California," Davidson said. "But this has been a great experience for him and for him to win the next match and get third as a freshman, I think is a great accomplishment."

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