GLENDALE — The Hoover High boys' tennis team had already defeated Crescenta Valley once before this season. The Tornadoes were confident that they could beat the Falcons again in Thursday's rematch at Hoover.
A relaxed Hoover squad relied on its singles players and its top doubles team to upend the Falcons for the second time, defeating CV, 11-7, in a Pacific League match.
Just like they did in their first meeting against the Falcons — a 12-6 victory on Feb. 28 – Oleg Simonyan and Emile Ohanyan, Hoover's top two singles players, each swept their three sets.
Simonyan allowed one less game than he did in February against the Falcons, winning 6-4, 6-2, 6-0. Ohanyan won, 6-1, 6-2, 6-2, also surrendering one less game than in his first meeting against CV. Hoover's No. 3 singles player, Chris Ghadimi, won his first two sets before dropping a 6-2 decision to CV's Aren Abrahamian in the final set of the afternoon.
"Their singles players are good," Ohanyan said. "We knew we had to be patient and play long points. We took our chances when we saw an opportunity."
Hoover's top doubles team of Arthur Arutunyan and Danny Kim were just as confident as the Tornadoes' singles players. However, Arutunyan and Kim dropped their first set, a 6-3 setback against CV's Patrick Merserkhani and Gregory Manouchehri, before winning two of the Tornadoes' three doubles sets.
"I wasn't expecting much of a difference from the first time, but I still lost once because I felt cocky," said Arutunyan, who teamed with Kim to sweep the Falcons in their first meeting.
Merserkhani and Manouchehri thought that they could lead the Falcons to an upset victory.
"I thought we were going to win," Manouchehri said. "I thought we had a better chance."
Added Merserkhani: "I thought all of our doubles would win and we could get a set or two in singles."
Merserkhani and Manouchehri swept their three sets, and the No. 3 doubles team of Jason Chang and Allen Chang won two sets, but it was not enough for the Falcons, who dropped to 4-5, 3-5 in league while the Tornadoes improved to 6-5, 4-3. CV's No. 2 doubles team of Alex Jang and Youngjun Jang took one set, as did Hoover's No. 2 duo of Hrant Agakhanyan and Edward No.
Hoover knew it had to win to continue its quest to advance to the postseason.
"We had to beat them twice to feel confident about making the playoffs," Tornado Coach Julie Hoppe said. "If you split, you're vulnerable to missing the playoffs."