LA CRESCENTA — After jumping out of the gates in impressive fashion and winning its first four Pacific League matches, the Crescenta Valley High boys’ tennis team has dropped its last two to foes that appear to be vying for a title, along with the Falcons.
The common denominator of the two defeats — to Hoover on March 11 and most recently, Arcadia, at home on Tuesday afternoon — has been Crescenta Valley’s inability to stay with their opponent in the singles bracket.
The Falcons, similarly to their match with the Tornadoes, garnered just two wins in singles play, and despite getting five out of nine in doubles, fell to the first-place and undefeated Apaches, 11-7.
“In doubles we were competitive and our No. 2 swept, which was impressive,” said Falcons Coach Sam Hyun, whose squad hadn’t played a match since a 13-5 nonleague loss to St. Francis on March 14. “But in singles, we only got two. We need support there to back up doubles.”
Crescenta Valley fell to 6-3 overall, including a 4-2 mark in the Pacific League. Hyun said his singles competitors will need to practice more if they’re going to avenge the two defeats.
“It’s hard to beat Hoover and Arcadia unless we sweep doubles, and that’s hard to do,” he said. “Otherwise, it’s hard to compete. We lost, 10-8, to Hoover, and, 11-7, to Arcadia, so it’s that little difference. I think we have a good shot at Hoover, but Arcadia is a bit tougher.”
On Tuesday, Crescenta Valley’s No. 2 tandem of Robert Lee and Young Peek swept, 7-6 (7-5), 6-4, 6-4. Aren Abrahamian and Jason Chang won a pair of sets, and finished their day with scores of 1-6, 6-4, 6-1.
“We knew we were up against a tough team,” Peek said. “Robert and I told ourselves that we’re not looking to win, but to play our best …not to hit crazy shots, just make the smart ones and that’s what Uncle Sam [Hyun] always tells us.”
Albert Chtchyan and Jonathan Frink picked up the two wins in the singles bracket, with Chtchyan notching a 6-2 over Arcadia’s No. 2 Kevin Yang and Frink climbing back from a 3-0 deficit to defeat No. 3 Anthony Hou, 6-4.
For the most part, however, the Apaches (12-2, 6-0) showed superior play in the bracket, paced by a sweep from their top competitor, Ken Nakamine, who finished with a 6-3, 6-3, 6-2 line.
“We’re solid enough to win five or six [sets in singles],” second-year Arcadia Coach Bo Wintin said. “Usually, we beat one team, one lineup that’s solid in singles and pick up the rest in doubles. I rely on my No. 1 and No. 2 to get me four each and then our No. 3s will get me one, and that adds up to 10.”
Crescenta Valley will host Pasadena on Thursday before another week off, due to Burbank’s schools being on spring break. Hyun said his team will make the necessary adjustments.
“We just need to practice more in singles and I’ve been trying to find the right combination for our No. 3 doubles,” Hyun said. “We’ll need to solidify that.”