Humbled by Hoover's Sam Tadevosian and Sergey Vagramian, McCullough
took out his frustrations on his racket, slamming it to the ground
repeatedly in the 17-1 loss against the Tornadoes.
Even though he was able to regroup against Hoover's No. 3 singles
player, Eddie Choi, barely winning, 7-5, for the lone Rebel set victory,
it was clear that McCullough (16-2 this season) had met his match.
Tadevosian, ranked No. 19 in the USTA Southern California 16-and-under
rankings, beat McCullough -- ranked 47th in the same age group -- 6-2,
and Vagramian, ranked 25th in the 16-and-under bracket, triumphed, 6-1.
"This was a learning experience for our team, and a good one,
especially for Tom," Flintridge Prep co-Coach Andres Rojas said. "Now he
knows there's somebody better than him. We know that Hoover was highly
talked about, so we saw this coming. But we're still a bit shocked as to
how good they were."
Hoover improved to 5-0 on the season, and the quick disposal of the
Rebels (2-4) was nothing new.
Lynn Santamaria's group has been running roughshod over its opponents,
often times without its best player, Dylan Kim, who again didn't play
against the Rebels because of a conflict in his practice schedule.
So without Kim, Tadevosian played No. 1 singles, improving to 13-0 on
the year. The two games he lost to McCullough were the first two of his
high school career.
"I hadn't lost any games this year, and when I lost those, I got
really mad," said Tadevosian of his match against McCullough, whom he had
beaten three times prior in USTA tournament matches.
Added McCullough of his set against Tadevosian: "My strings were
strung way too loose, and when they're loose like that, hitting the ball
hard is impossible, because you can't control the ball."
Vagramian, a sophomore, is now 12-0 on the year. He beat Flintridge
Prep's No. 2 singles player, Alex Chao, 6-0, before being substituted by
Jack Karapetian in the final set.
Karapetian, a freshman who is ranked 49th in the 14-and-under group,
won 6-0 against Ely Magel.
In addition to Kim -- ranked 35th in the 18-and-under bracket,
Tadevosian, Vagramian and Karapetian, Hoover has two more ranked
Hagop Tadevosian, a sophomore who played No. 2 doubles, is 46th in the
16-and-under rankings, and Choi, a junior, is 213th in the 18-and-under
Hoover 17, Flintridge Prep 1.
SINGLES -- S. Tadevosian (H) d. McCullough, 6-2, Chao, 6-0, Magel,
6-0; Vagramian (H) won, 6-1, 6-0; Karapetian (H) won, 6-0; Choi (H) lost,
7-5, won, 6-2, 6-0.
DOUBLES -- Weber/E. Kim d. Kang/Noritake, 6-1, d. Hardt/Newman, 6-3,
d. Chen/B. Kim, 6-1; H. Tadevosian/Abedian (H) won, 6-0, 6-1; Ritzel/Lee
(H) won, 7-5; J. Kim/Kassabian (H) won, 6-0, 6-0, 6-0.