Hoover loss is future gain

SANTA MONICA — A few minutes after seeing its season end Wednesday afternoon, the Hoover High boys' tennis team began focusing on 2013.

After finishing fourth in the Pacific League, the Tornadoes got another taste of what it's like to participate in the postseason for the second straight year. That's something Hoover Coach Julie Hoppe said could prove to be a boon for the returning cast next season.

"It was an invaluable experience," said Hoppe, whose team suffered a 17-1 CIF Southern Section Division II road loss to second-seeded Santa Monica. "We walk away not feeling bad at all and we lost some close sets.

"We should be better next season and the returners will come back with more confidence."

Hoover (9-8) began its playoff run Tuesday with an 11-7 wild-card road victory against Mission Viejo.

With little time to prepare for their next contest, the Tornadoes found themselves matched against Santa Monica (10-4), which advanced to the finals last season against top-seeded Palm Desert.

Hoppe, the reigning All-Area Coach of the Year, said the Tornadoes weren't fazed competing against the Vikings, who won the Ocean League championship.

"Santa Monica is very experienced, but we weren't intimidated," Hoppe said. "That allowed us to go in a play a little more looser.

"Just to get this far is a testament to our guys. They kept working hard."

Hoover received a 6-3 victory from sophomore singles player Emile Ohanyan.

Ohanyan, who reached the semifinals of the league's singles tournament May 3 at Pasadena High, said he gained some additional experience.

"It was good for me," Ohanyan said. "I thought I could do better, but at least we got one win [Wednesday].

"I don't think we were tired from playing [Tuesday]. Santa Monica is just a better team. We got better this year and I think we will be stronger next year."

The Vikings, who have won eight matches in a row, received a sweep in singles from Brett Friedland (6-0, 7-5, 6-0). Santa Monica's doubles teams of Alan Blieberg and Will Wolf and Chris Yuan and Cyrus Bry each swept. Blieberg and Wolf won, 6-2, 7-5, 6-4, and Yuan and Bry were victorious, 6-2, 6-2, 7-6 (7-3).


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