LA CRESCENTA — It had definitely improved from the first meeting against its Pacific League foe. Its coach noticed the improvements, as did its rivals, but for all of the progress the Hoover High girls’ tennis team made, it still wasn’t enough to defeat Crescenta Valley on Thursday.
Despite playing without standout doubles player Jackie Dilanchyan (knee injury) and losing another doubles player, Sarah Yaghoubi, to a strained right calf muscle in the first round, the Falcons had enough depth to defeat Hoover, 12-6.
“They got a lot better,” Falcons Coach Sam Hyun said.
Crescenta Valley defeated Hoover, 13-5, on Sept. 5, notching six 6-0 scores and three 6-1 wins in the process.
Less than a month later, the Falcons (9-3, 5-2 in league) prevailed once more, but this time, Hoover (2-7, 2-5) provided a tougher challenge.
“Judging from how they played today, they improved from the last time,” Falcons doubles player Sarah Oh said. “The biggest thing was not to underestimate them.”
Oh teamed with Angela Seo to win their sets, 6-5, 6-0, 6-0, with Alexa Gregorian, the Falcons’ No. 3 singles player, taking her team’s only other 6-0 win. Gregorian won her two other sets, 6-1, 6-4.
Natalie Davidian took two sets and Selin Auvazian captured one in singles play for the Falcons.
In doubles, the Falcons were already left without Dilanchyan, who has rested a knee injury for a week. They were forced to sideline Yaghoubi in her first set when she hurt her calf. Melanie Voskanian replaced Yaghoubi and teamed with Viktoriya Shumakova to win two sets, with Karin Saran and Annie Park also winning one.
Yaghoubi had trouble walking at the end of the match, but said she will be ready to play when the Falcons play league-leading Arcadia on Tuesday.
“Arcadia is one of our rivals,” Gregorian said. “We really have to step it up.”
Hoover has made progress throughout the season.
“A set here and there and we’re in a tiebreaker against a very good team,” Tornadoes Coach Julie Hoppe said.
Singles players Audria Amirian, Petra Beglarian, and Sara Kim each won a set, as did the doubles team of Alin Torosian and Angelina Khourdajian. Hoover’s No. 1 doubles team of Diana Karapetyan and Kristine Adzhemyan won two sets.
“They were much better today,” Hoppe said. “I hope we stay going in that direction, where they get better and better. They believe in themselves. They believe they can compete.
“We have had injuries, but they’ve done a good job of responding to expectations to compete and play hard. There have been a few bumps in the road and tears here and there, but the girls have played hard."