Glendale, Flintridge Prep boys' tennis players find early success at CIF

For a duo formed less than a month ago, Michael Akopians and Arin Meserkhani proved they could hold their own.

The Glendale High boys' tennis tandem meshed immediately, winning the Pacific League doubles championship. Akopians and Meserkhani looked to sustain their momentum when they participated in the CIF Individuals Tournament on Thursday at Whittier Narrows Tennis Center in South El Monte.


Akopians and Meserkhani enjoyed a successful outing, as they advanced to the third round before falling to top-seeded Robert Carter and Ryan Cheng of San Marino, 6-0, 6-0.

"They have a lot to be proud of and it's a great experience," Glendale Coach Bob Davidson said. "They made quite a run."


Flintridge Prep's Cartier Juan also had a good effort before succumbing in the second round.

Making their first appearance in the prestigious event, Akopians and Meserkhani opened with a 6-4, 7-6 (7-4) win against Brad Brenner and Taiki Shirai of Aliso Niguel.

"I thought the first round was tougher than the second round," said Davidson, whose team finished tied for second with Crescenta Valley in the Pacific League. "They both played real consistently, probably better than they did when they won the league championship [May 7].

"They went up, 4-1, and then 5-2 in the tiebreaker and were able to put it away. You don't want to go to a 10-point tiebreaker in a third set because then anything can happen."


Akopians, a senior, and Meserkhani, a sophomore, then teamed up for a 6-2, 6-4 victory versus Jacob Smooke and Matthew Lurie of Windward.

"They were able to carry over the momentum from the first-round win," Davidson said. "Mike was good at the net and Arin served well and had some good ground strokes."

The duo, which finished 6-1, then saw its season come to a close against a San Marino tandem that recently helped the top-seeded Titans win the CIF Southern Section Division II championship against second-seeded Palm Desert.

"It was a case of them being partly tired and the San Marino team being real good," Davidson said. "Our first round took two hours and the second one went about 90 minutes, while San Marino had a first-round bye and then won their second match in about 30 minutes.

"I'm glad we were able to put Michael and Arin together. It's great they could get to the third round."

Juan, a sophomore making his inaugural appearance in the tournament, started off with a 6-2, 6-4 victory against Chris Nagapetyan of Village Christian. He then suffered a 6-3, 6-2 defeat against Vincent Garrett of Aliso Niguel.

Juan, who felt ill during the tournament, finished a splendid season that saw him finish 36-4 overall and 16-2 in the Prep League.

"I thought he played well," Flintridge Prep Coach Hratchia Sargsyan said. "He came back from a 4-1 deficit to win the second set in that first round and then seemed to get into a flow.


"Cartier started to feel a little dizzy in the second round, but he tried to stay with it. He didn't give in to anybody."


Follow Charles Rich on Twitter: @TCNCharlesRich.