LA CRESCENTA — Crescenta Valley High boys’ tennis Coach Sam Hyun wasn’t expecting Glendale Coach Bob Davidson to put his usual top doubles team in the No. 2 slot Tuesday afternoon.
When Hyun came to the realization, however, he had a good feeling of how the match was going to play out.
“Their No. 2 doubles team was better than their No. 1,” said Hyun, who is in his first year at the helm after Sarah Wiggins retired after 12 seasons. “I expected a tight match in the beginning. Later on, in the second and third rounds, we came out strong.”
That was precisely how the match unfolded, as the two Pacific League squads were knotted after two rounds of sets before Crescenta Valley picked up the crucial points en route to winning the later sets and prevailing, 10-8, over the Nitros at Crescenta Valley High.
Glendale’s duo of Sam Sarian and Mike Akopians, the doubles team that Hyun was quick to mention after the match ended, won the only two sets in doubles play for the Nitros.
Sarian and Akopians defeated Crescenta Valley’s No. 2 team of Jason Chang and Allen Chang, 6-3, and No. 3 Robert Lee and Robert Peak, 6-4, before dropping a 7-5 set to No. 1 Patrick Meserkhani and Greg Manouchehri.
Meserkhani and Manouchehri finished the day with a sweep of their three sets, 6-0, 7-5 and 7-6 (7-0). Jason Chang and Allen Chang won two of three in a 6-3, 3-6, 6-3 line. Lee and Peak also took two of three, 6-2, 4-6, 7-6 (10-8).
The two tiebreakers came against Glendale’s No. 3 team of Mher Krikor and Matthew Davidian, who held leads in both tiebreaker sets.
“We’re young and just not winning the close sets,” Davidson said. “We were up, 6-4 and 4-2, in the two tiebreakers. We win those two then we’re leading, 8-4, going into the final round.”
The Nitros (2-6, 0-5 in league) return just three starters from a squad that finished the Pacific League season in third place last year and earned a playoff berth. The loss to the Falcons (4-3, 3-3) is the latest example of good effort not translating into getting the clutch points, according to Davidson.
“Another frustrating match,” he said. “Except for Burroughs, we’ve been close in every match. They’re competing well, just not getting to the top of the mountain.”
Glendale took advantage of the Falcons being without their No. 1 singles player, sophomore Albert Chtchyan, and won six of the nine sets.
Arin Meserkhani and Nawaf Tokatly both swept Crescenta Valley’s Aren Abrahamian, James Ho and Edward Kim.
Meserkhani posted a 6-4, 6-2, 7-6 (7-1) line, while Tokatly finished the day with a 6-1, 6-4, 6-3 showing.
Abrahamian, Ho and Kim were able to post wins over Glendale’s No. 3 Artiom Ambartsoumian, 6-2, 6-4, and 6-4, respectively.
Hyun wasn’t surprised by the results in singles play, though.
“Singles is an insurance — an ‘in case,’” Hyun said. “We stacked doubles.”