GLENDALE — Having already clinched playoff berths, the Glendale High and Hoover boys’ tennis teams still entered the final match of the regular season against each other Thursday with plenty left to settle.
Of significant importance was overall placement in the Pacific League. Thanks to another strong performance from Glendale’s doubles teams, the Nitros enjoyed quite a windfall.
Glendale won eight of nine doubles sets Thursday to pick up a 13-5 league road win against its cross-town rival.
Glendale improved to 12-4, 9-3 in league and finished tied for second with Crescenta Valley (11-4, 9-3) in league.
Crescenta Valley registered a 12-6 upset league win Thursday against league-champion Arcadia (11-1 in league).
Though Glendale and Crescenta Valley finished with identical league records and split the two head-to-head season matchups, Glendale earned the second seed out of the Pacific League by virtue of winning 20 of 36 sets against Crescenta Valley. Hoover dipped to 9-8, 7-5 in league for fourth place.
Glendale, which didn’t qualify for the playoffs last season, got sweeps in doubles from Michael Akopians and Nick Zatikian (6-0, 6-4, 6-2) and David Casaburi and Mheir Krikorion (6-1, 6-2, 6-0) to finish the season series sweep of Hoover. Glendale won eight sets in doubles to record a 12-6 win in the first meeting against Hoover on April 1 at Glendale.
“We got those eight wins in doubles and that was clearly the difference today,” Glendale Coach Bob Davidson said. “We have excelled in doubles during the last few matches.
“It’s great to get second place after not even making the playoffs a year ago. We still do have a young team, but we have come a long way.”
The Nitros also got a pair of doubles victories from Artiom Ambardsoumian and Matt Davidian (6-1, 6-2). Casaburi and Krikorion worked together to post a 6-1 win against Sang Ha and Julio Armas to give the Nitros the match-clinching 10th win.
Akopians, a senior, said he and Zatikain have worked well together since the freshman was called up to the varsity team near the midway point of the season.
“We’ve really worked well together since he came here,” Akopians said. “He’s been a great partner.
“We started off a little shaky today, but we were able to come back and get into a groove. Doubles has been the strongest part of the team throughout the season. It’s really big to get second in league and maybe we can get a home playoff match next.”
The Nitros picked up two singles victories apiece from Arin Meserkhani (7-6 (7-0), 6-0) and Melvin Issaei (7-6 (7-3), 6-4) and one from Davit Ismalian (6-4).
Hoover, which made a playoff appearance last season, was led by senior singles standout Emile Ohanyan. Ohanyan swept his three sets, 6-2, 6-1, 6-0, to improve to 34-2 on the season.
Ohanyan’s performance proved to be the bright spot for the Tornadoes.
“I’m happy with the way Emile finished up,” said Hoover Coach Julie Hoppe, who received a 6-1 singles win from Hrant Aghanyan. “We battled and we are getting better.
“Glendale is just a better team than we are. We just don’t match up with them, especially in doubles. We have struggled during the second half of the season in doubles.”
The Pacific League prelims will next take place at 1 p.m. Monday at Pasadena High. The semifinals and finals will be held at 1 p.m. Wednesday at the same location.
The CIF Southern Section team playoff pairings will be released May 12.
Follow Charles Rich on Twitter: @TCNCharlesRich.