GLENDALE — With a lengthy drive and a ranked opponent in front of it, the Glendale High boys' tennis team had a tough task in the first round of the CIF Southern Section Division II boys' tennis playoffs.
But, provided he got a stellar performance from his doubles bracket, Nitros Coach Bob Davidson was confident his team could turn in a competitive match with host Arroyo Grande.
Davidson got the doubles performance he was hoping for and the Nitros had a long drive home to celebrate a 10-8 win over the host Tritons on Wednesday afternoon in the opening round of the playoffs.
"It's the biggest win of the year for us," said Davidson, whose team moves on to Friday's second round, where it will face either eighth-ranked Walnut at a site to be determined. "I felt all along that our doubles were the key.
"I thought our doubles played as well as they have all year. They were awesome."
Glendale (13-5) took eight of nine doubles sets from Arroyo Grande (17-3), the Pac-7 League champion, to pull off the upset. How big of an upset it was is up for debate, however, as Davidson believes his team is coming out of a strong Pacific League that boasted league champion Arcadia, the No. 2 seed in the tournament, and second-place Burroughs, which Davidson feels has as much talent as any team around.
"I really feel like we're a very strong third-place team," Davidson said.
Leading the way in doubles was the No. 1 tandem of Jeff Asano and Elliott Kim, which swept, 6-0, 6-3, 6-0.
"They were really on today," Davidson said. "They played really well today."
As dominant as Kim and Asano were, the No. 3 Nitros pair of Rene Glandian and Sam Sarian was just as clutch, providing a 7-5, 6-4, 6-1 sweep.
"They definitely played the best they've played all year," Davidson said. "That was really the difference in the match."
In particular, Glendale got off to a 4-2 advantage after the first round thanks in large part to Sarian and Glandian's 7-5 victory.
"[Arroyo Grande] put their best team at No. 3, probably thinking they'd get going with an easy win. That kinda backfired on them," Davidson said. "That was a big momentum shift for us."
Glendale's No. 2 team of Alex Levin and Edgar Hakobyan also collected two set wins, 6-1, 6-2.
In singles, Glendale's Nick Shamma and Mike Unanian each won a set, 6-2, 6-0, respectively.