GLENDALE — Though Hoover High’s boys’ tennis team was hosting an at-large entrant, Tornadoes Coach Julie Hoppe was still well-aware that her squad was posed with a daunting opponent, no matter its league finish or homecourt advantage.
“Coming into this match, I told the guys this is gonna be a really good team and they just need to have as much fun as they can,” Hoppe said.
Indeed, Northwood, a fourth-place finisher and at-large selection out of the Pacific Coast League, was as good an opponent as the Tornadoes had faced all season and, ultimately, concluded Hoover’s season.
Northwood, riding a doubles sweep, won, 16-2, over host Hoover in Tuesday afternoon’s CIF Southern Section Division I wild-card matchup.
“I felt we were as competitive as we could’ve been against this very good team,” Hoppe said.
Hoover, which finished fourth in the Pacific League, wrapped up its season at 9-9, while Northwood (15-6) will play host Santa Margarita in Wednesday’s first round.
Hoover No. 1 singles player Emile Ohanyan, whose season will continue in CIF Individual Tournament play, defeated Northwood’s No. 3 player, 6-0, and Hoover No. 2 Hrant Agakhanian defeated a substitute, 6-0. Both wins came after Northwood had already locked up the match after sweeping the first two rounds of play.
Hoover No. 3 Chris Ghadini also lost a pair of tiebreakers 7-6 (8-6), 7-6 (7-4).
In doubles, though, the No. 1 Tornadoes pair of Daniel Kim and Armand Kirakosian came closest with a 7-6 (7-0) loss to a substitute team. Outside of that set, Hoover tallied just six other games in doubles.
“Just like all season long, the singles had a better day than our doubles,” said Hoppe, though she added most of her doubles players will return with valuable experience.
That experience came from playing a very strong Northwood doubles contingent.
“Their doubles were like watching a junior college team,” Hoppe said.
Alas, that’s the competition Hoover and its Pacific League brethren have become accustomed to in Division I.
“It’s really hard for all the schools in our league in Division I,” Hoppe said.
Follow Grant Gordon on Twitter: @TCNGrantGordon.