Much of the roster for the Glendale High boys' tennis team has changed from 2010 to 2012, but for longtime Nitros Coach Bob Davidson, it might very well have felt as if nothing much has changed.
Glendale took a very long trip south to play top-seeded Palm Desert in the CIF Southern Section Division II first round, arriving a bit late in the process due to AP testing. And, once again, the Nitros took the very long trip back north after a lopsided loss, as Palm Desert showed no mercy in thumping Glendale, 18-0, on Wednesday.
"Our kids competed. We played as hard as we could and I'm proud of that," Davidson said. "They're just at a different level skill-wise. They're the team to beat [in Division II]."
In 2010, Palm Desert hosted the Nitros in the first round during a match that started late due to the Nitros' AP testing. And, the Aztecs prevailed handily, 17-1.
"I would say their singles are better [this season]," Davidson said, "but I think their doubles two years ago was better."
Indeed, the changes were few and far between, though Palm Desert posted the shutout this time around, as the Aztecs were unrelenting and did not put in any substitutes, reportedly to get their starters some momentum going forward.
In direct contast, Davidson subbed early and often on Tuesday when Glendale (10-7) beat Hart, 11-7, in a wild-card matchup.
Freshman singles player Arin Meserkhani provided the best showing on Wednesday, losing his sets by a pair of 6-2 scores and a 6-3 tally.
"He was very competitive with them," said Davidson, adding that the 105 degree heat plagued Meserkhani along with many of this teammates. "[Meserkhani's] problem was he wasn't used to the heat.
"Our guys aren't used to that, especially when you have to fight like crazy for a point, much less a game."
While the Nitros were shut out in sets, they lost only one, 6-0.
"We have some tired guys, that's for sure," Davidson said. "I'm proud of the effort, we just ran into a superior team."