Falcons' hot start halted, 15-3

ARCADIA — After rolling to lopsided wins in its first three matches to open the season, the Crescenta Valley High girls’ tennis team had yet to really be challenged on the court.

Perhaps the hot start was more of a curse than a blessing, or so it seemed to Falcons first-year Coach Sam Hyun, who saw his team struggle mightily against Pacific League-champion Arcadia on the road Thursday afternoon in a 15-3 loss.

“It was too easy,” Hyun said of his team’s 3-0 start, which included a league-opening 15-3 win over Hoover on Tuesday. “We were slacking off a little bit, we were lazy and all of a sudden we were [playing] a strong team.”

The Apaches’ strength was on display early and often Thursday, especially in singles, where Arcadia’s No. 1 and No. 2 players, Francis Dean and Angelica Zhou, combined to win all five sets they played without dropping a game. Alexa Gregorian defeated Tina Yuen, 6-3, for the Falcons’ lone win in the singles bracket.

Things didn’t go much better for Crescenta Valley (3-1, 1-1 in league) in doubles, where the Falcons’ top doubles team of Jackie Dilanchyan and Viktoriya Shumakova, who played in the No. 3 slot on Thursday, were swept, 6-0, by Arcadia’s No. 1 team of Annie Tung and Elizabeth Lieu. Dilanchyan and Shumakova managed a 7-5 win over Arcadia’s No. 2 team, but fell to the Apaches’ No. 3 team, 6-3.

“They are going in the right direction, but the No. 3 doubles is actually our No. 1 doubles,” Hyun said. “They are supposed to beat [Arcadia’s] No. 3 doubles, but they lost, so we have to work on that. The first match they made a lot of errors, so we have to cut down the errors.”

Hyun said Dilanchyan may have been still feeling the effects of an ankle injury suffered on Tuesday, which kept her from practicing.

“She still has a little tenderness there,” Hyun said. “We have to take care of that.”

Crescenta Valley’s No. 1 doubles team of Sarah Yaghoubi and Selin Auvazian put a positive end to the day when they beat Christina Gao and Janice Kim, 6-4, in the final set of the afternoon.

Crescenta Valley, which next plays Glendale at home on Tuesday, will play host to Arcadia (2-0, 1-0) in an Oct. 2 rematch.

“They are a better team,” Hyun said. “We are lacking fundamentals — serve-return, forehand, backhand misses, volley misses everywhere. We have to practice those fundamentals when we come back.”

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