Westridge girls' tennis team blanks Hoover

NORTHWEST GLENDALE — Piecing together a lineup wasn’t a problem for the Westridge girls’ tennis team. Hoover, on the other hand, would have likely been satisfied having a full compliment of players.

The wide gap between the team’s lineups showed when the Tigers and Tornadoes met Wednesday afternoon in a nonleague match at Hoover.

Aided by three forfeit wins in doubles, Westridge began its season with an 18-0 victory.

Westridge Coach Jerry Rivera, whose team won the Prep League championship last season, saw his team lose just seven games Wednesday.

“We’ve been practicing a lot and we just formed our team last Friday,” Rivera said. “Our strength will be in singles because that’s where we have the most experience.

“Doubles will be a work in progress. I think we have some pretty good athletes.”

Hoover (0-3) played without doubles players Erlinda Kirakosyan and Diana Karapetyan and singles player Petra Beglarian. Kirakosyan suffered a broken left hand during a season-opening nonleague match against West Ranch on Aug. 29 and is likely to miss two weeks or more. Karapetyan missed Wednesday’s match because of illness as did Beglarian.

Hoover Coach Julie Hoppe said she had no other options other to forfeit the three doubles sets.

“It’s very tough when you have to play short-handed,” Hoppe said. “I feel for my players, but these things tend to go in cycles sometimes.

“Westridge is very talented. We are very inexperienced, except in a couple of spots.”

Hoppe said Karapetyan and Beglarian would likely return for Thursday’s Pacific League home match against cross-town rival Glendale.

Westridge’s singles trio of Maral Tavatian, Lena Tavatian and Erin McDonald only lost three games. Maral Tavatian didn’t lose any games, while Lena Tavatian lost once and McDonald twice.

“Maral and Lena give us a plenty of experience,” Rivera said. “It’s great to have them both back, and Erin improved a lot over the summer.”

In doubles, Cameron Marsh and Eileen Kwon won, 6-1, 6-0. The Tigers also received a pair of victories in doubles from Amanda Matthiessen and Emily Trojan (6-1, 6-0). Westridge’s No. 3 doubles team of Jordan Cruz and Sarah Vernallis won one set (6-1). They were replaced in the second round by Annsley Matthiessen and Rachel Dillman, who worked together to earn a 6-1 victory.

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