Hoover High boys' tennis knocks off Glendale

GLENDALE — The Hoover High boys’ tennis team knew where its set wins would come from in Thursday’s Pacific League match against visiting Glendale.

The Tornadoes realized that their top singles players, Oleg Simonyan and Emile Ohanyan, as well as their No. 1 doubles team of Arthur Arutunyan and Danny Kim, likely would sweep their three sets, and if not win all three, they would win at least two each.

Hoover’s reliable athletes came through.

Ohanyan and the Tornadoes’ top doubles team each won three sets and Simonyan took two to lead Hoover to an 11-7 victory.

“The coach counts on us,” said Ohanyan, who dropped just four games in his three victories.

Tornadoes Coach Julie Hoppe also needed wins from others to secure the victory, which improved Hoover to 5-5, 3-3 in league, and dropped the Nitros to 2-7, 0-6.

Freshman singles player Chris Ghadimi provided a lift for the Tornadoes, winning two sets by 6-0 scores, and the doubles team of Hrant Agakhanyan — also a freshman — and Edward No won one set.

“Even if we win all of our sets, that’s only nine and we need someone else to win one,” Arutunyan said. “We know other guys can step up.”

Added Hoppe: “The guys have stepped up to the challenge. That’s what I like about this team. They push each other and work hard at practice to get better.”

The Nitros had their doubles teams of Sam Sarian and Mike Akopians and David Casaburi and Artiom Ambartsoumian each win two sets, but Glendale Coach Bob Davidson needed more help to pull off the upset.

“For us to win, it almost had to be a perfect storm,” said Davidson, who also received two victories from singles player Arin Meserkhani and a win from the doubles team of Nawaf Tokatly and Mher Krikor. “They have two strong singles players and a strong doubles team.”

The Nitros have seen their share of close matches in league. They’ve lost a pair of 10-8 matches against Crescenta Valley and after tying Burbank, 9-9, in sets and, 81-81, in games, lost in a super tie-breaker.

“We don’t have the confidence that we can win a close match,” said Davidson, who returns just two players from last year’s playoff squad. “The way to get over that is to win a close match.”

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