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Extra time serves the Nitros well

Tennis: Glendale High boys start playoffs with 15-3 win; will next meet top-seeded Palm Desert.

May 12, 2010|By Charles Rich

SOUTHEAST GLENDALE — An elongated break leading up to the CIF playoffs couldn’t have been more conducive to success for the members of the Glendale High boys’ tennis team.

Glendale senior singles player Ashot Papikian needed the time to work on some facets of his game. So did his teammates. The extra time paid huge dividends for the Nitros.

Papikian lost just one game in his three sets to help spark host Glendale to a convincing 15-3 victory against Righetti on Tuesday afternoon in a CIF Southern Section Division II wild-card match.

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The reward for Glendale is a 260-mile round trip to the Coachella Valley to face top-seeded Palm Desert in a first-round match at 3 p.m. today.

Glendale (8-9) needed about two hours to dispatch Righetti (8-9). Papikian made sure he didn’t spend too much energy while completing his sweep against a Righetti squad that placed fourth in the PAC-7 League and traveled more than 300 miles round trip.

“We had a lot of time to prepare after the Pacific League tournament last week,” Papikian said. “We got in a lot of practice matches and I think that helped our confidence.

“It’s always nice to get a win and, when you play well, it can boost your confidence even more.”

Mike Unanian, Glendale’s No. 2 singles player, swept his three sets at 6-4, 6-4, 6-0. Unanian earned a 6-4 victory over Ben Payne to give the Nitros a decisive 10-1 lead.

The Nitros, who finished fourth in league behind Arcadia, Burroughs and Crescenta Valley, saw their No. 2 doubles team of Jeff Asano and Elliot Kim sweep at 6-1, 6-1, 6-2.

Veteran Glendale Coach Bob Davidson said the extra time allowed the Nitros to channel their focus toward the postseason.

“The league tournament was very competitive and we had some good practices since,” Davidson said. “This was a good draw for us in getting another fourth-place team.

“I thought we played well right from the start. We had a 5-1 lead after the first round and we carried it from there.”

The Nitros got 6-3, 6-1 wins from No. 3 singles player Jon Azizian. Glendale’s No. 3 doubles team of Sam Sarian and Rene Glandian worked together to win a pair of sets at 6-2, 6-0. Alex Levin and Edgar Hakobyan, Glendale’s No. 1 doubles team, paired up for a 6-2 win. Andrew Lingat then substituted for Habobyan and worked with Levin to secure a 6-1 victory.

Davidson said Palm Desert (17-2) will present a tough challenge. Palm Desert captured the Desert Valley League championship.

“I always feel like, as a coach, you play as hard as you possibly can and be competitive for every single point,” Davidson said. “That’s what we are going to try to do.”


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