Hoover tennis ousted by No. 3 Harvard-Westlake

VALLEY GLEN — Hoover High boys’ tennis Coach Julie Hoppe knew her team had a daunting task in traveling to face third-seeded Harvard-Westlake for its CIF Southern Section Division I match on Wednesday.

And while the match at L.A. Valley College didn’t result in a major upset, rather a 15-3 win for Harvard-Westlake, Hoppe was pleased with her team’s effort and overall showing against the Mission League champion Wolverines.

“We knew coming in they were a really good team,” said Hoppe, who coached the Tornadoes to a 9-7 record and third-place finish in the Pacific League. “We were competitive in singles and I don’t think it was a walk over. It was a good battle.”

Hoover’s No. 1 and No. 2 singles competitors, Oleg Simonyan and Emile Ohanyan, respectively, combined to win all three sets for the Tornadoes. The duo showed consistency and solid play all season in pacing the team and setting the tone.

Against the Wolverines, Simonyan was locked in and had opportunities to win each of his three sets but ultimately finished the day with a 4-6, 4-6, 6-4 line over Jaird Mayer, Parker Chusid and Jason Vranek, respectively.

Simonyan will be Hoover’s lone representative in the CIF Individual Tournament, which starts on May 23. He lost in the first round last year as a sophomore.

Ohanyan won the team’s first set, 6-2, over Chusid, and was victorious in the third round of sets, as he posted a 6-4 win over Hunter Brookman. Ohanyan lost in a tiebreaker to Sam Hummel, 7-6.

“Staying relaxed and playing my game,” Ohanyan said when asked what his approach was versus the Harvard-Westlake competition. “Taking some risks.”

Harvard-Westlake’s double’s tandems overwhelmed Hoover’s, as they gave up just eight games and won all nine sets.

Harvard-Westlake’s No. 1 duo of Harris Kalt and Dylan Eisner were dominant in losing just one game in the match.

“Their doubles are better than their singles, but our singles are better than our doubles,” Hoppe said.

The Wolverines (19-5) will advance to Friday's second round to face Westlake or Dos Pueblos.

Hoppe has coached the Tornadoes to the playoffs in three consecutive seasons, and has seen progression after each regular season from petitioning for a playoff bid in 2011 to a fourth-place finish last year and third this campaign.

“We’re going for first or second next year,” she said.

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