Glendale High girls' tennis easily dispatches rival Hoover

GLENDALE — In the final chapter of the cross-town rivalry between the Glendale and Hoover high girls’ tennis teams, the result was all but determined with a strong first round from the Nitros, specifically their singles.

Glendale’s Veronika Galstyan opened the Pacific League match with a big win and the Nitros’ Julie Darbinyan rallied from a four-game deficit to earn a first-round victory. Glendale went on to cruise to another 15-3 rivalry win, the same score it posted on Sept. 10, at Hoover High after taking a 5-1 lead in the first round.

“I think those were two sets in the first round that made a big difference for us,” Glendale Coach Bob Davidson said of Galstyan and Darbinyan’s early victories. “I think in the first round we played really well and that gave us momentum early.”

Hoover Coach Julie Hoppe felt there was little hope of a comeback after the first round.

“We knew we had to have a perfect match to beat Glendale today,” she said.

Galstyan would go on to sweep, 6-2, 6-1, 6-1, after defeating Hoover’s Sara Kim in a battle of No. 1s. Kim posted a 6-4 win over Galstyan and went on to sweep on Sept. 10.

“It felt good because I wanted to get my revenge,” Galstyan said. “That was my first [set] and I hadn’t played before, so it was good I got that win, it gave me confidence. I am proud of the way I played today and the team also.”

Darbinyan trailed Hoover’s Natalie Kelechian, 4-0, in the first round, but rallied for a 7-5 victory and was subbed out after that.

“I think like any freshman she thought, ‘I could win it’ and started to play scared instead of trying to go take it,” Hoppe said of Kelechian. “As a freshman, I don’t blame her for that. This is all experience for her this year.”

Hoover fell to 4-6, 2-5 in league and picked up a win each from Kim (6-1), Rozie Tatevosyan (6-1) and Angelina Khouradjian and Alin Torosian (6-1).

The Nitros (5-5, 4-3) also got a sweep in No. 3 singles from Kellie Gong (6-4, 6-0, 6-0). Glendale also took eight of nine doubles sets, including two 7-5 wins, a tiebreaker and forfeit to end the day. The victory kept the Nitros in chase of the fourth and final playoff spot in the Pacific League.

“This really helped us as far as getting into the top four, which was our goal at the beginning of the season,” said Davidson, whose team will look to upset Crescenta Valley on the road Tuesday afternoon. “This puts us in really good shape for that.”

Imani Story and Dani Fabian led Glendale’s doubles lineup again with a 7-5, 6-3, 6-1 sweep. Amanda Lieu and Ruth Kachatorian posted a sweep in the No. 3 slot with a forfeit and 7-6 (7-4), 6-1 wins. Rouzana Hakobyan and Mary Pailevanian also won two sets (7-5, 6-0) for Glendale.

“I hope our team gets a chance to go to CIF again, that’s what our main goal is,” Galstyan said. “We’re hoping to work hard and play like we did today and hopefully we can get there again.”

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