In this year’s boys tennis playoffs, Glendale High looked tougher than its record and ranking may have suggested.
“When I researched, I was a little surprised that we would end up with a draw like (Glendale) in the first round, but sometimes that’s just the way it goes,” Arroyo Grande coach Lori Hollister said.
Glendale won at Arroyo Grande 10-8 on Wednesday afternoon, advancing to the second round of the CIF-Southern Section Division 2 postseason.
Glendale (13-5) finished the regular season in third place in the Pacific League, and was unranked in the division’s final top-10 coaches poll. The Eagles (17-3) were ranked ninth after going undefeated in the PAC 7.
Hailing from the same league as second-ranked Arcadia (20-0), Glendale lived up to its billing as a deceptively tough third-place draw.
“I’m sure they’re the toughest third-place team (in the bracket),” Hollister said. “I’d consider them a first-place team in any league that we’ve played against this year.”
The Nitros won all but one doubles set Wednesday, with Jeff Asano and Elliot Kim enjoying the best day at 6-0, 6-0, 6-3.
“I told the guys they certainly didn’t lose due to a lack of effort,” Hollister said. “This is the toughest team we’ve faced, depth-wise, the whole year.
“And it was good, competitive tennis,” Hollister added. “There were well-fought matches, and the outcome could’ve gone either way.”
In singles, Eli Whittle and Sean Hollister continued to be bright spots for Arroyo Grande.
Whittle went 6-0, 6-0, 6-1, while Hollister had a 6-1, 6-4, 6-3 day.
Jordan Hayashi won a singles set 6-4, and the Eagles’ other win came courtesy of Evan Lange and Danny Williams in doubles, 6-3.
“It’s been a good season,” Whittle said. “It’s too bad it had to end today at home.”
The loss brought to a close a storybook year for Arroyo Grande, which won its second straight league championship marked by a memorable sweep of longtime rival San Luis Obispo.
The Tigers hadn’t lost to the Eagles for 26 years prior to the current four-match streak Arroyo Grande will bring into 2012.
“We’ve had a phenomenal season, and it’s unfortunate that it has to end in the first round,” Hollister said. “It’s been a great run. Two years of being undefeated in league is not an easy thing to accomplish.”
Whittle and Hollister, both sophomores, will still move on, competing at the section’s individual tournament at Cate High in Carpinteria on May 20.
“Both of them played very well today,” Hollister said. “I’m hoping they can carry that through to next week.”
Whittle, who improved his overall record this season to 54-2, recently won his second PAC 7 singles title in a row, while Hollister finished as the league’s runner-up.
A year ago, Whittle won his first two matchups in Carpinteria before being eliminated in the final round, 7-5, 6-3 by Oaks Christian’s Jack Sanford, who’s now a senior rated as a top-45 player in the state.
Whittle, who has almost gotten back to full strength following a recent injury, said he’s confident heading into next week.
“My shoulder is still kind of hurting, but it should be fine by next Friday,” he said. “So I’m not too worried in that case.”
If Whittle and Hollister advance, they’d then play in the 32-player field at Whittier Narrows Tennis Club in South El Monte on May 26. The round of 16 will be held May 27 at Seal Beach Tennis Center.
Foothill 11, San Luis Obispo 7
San Luis Obispo’s doubles team of Adrian Angulo and Mason Hansen swept 6-3, 6-4, 6-4, but the Tigers (13-6) lost in the first round of the Division 2 playoffs.
Zach Hutkin and Alec Stallman picked up a doubles win in their last set for San Luis Obispo, and the Tigers’ top three singles players, Josh Milla, Coco Angulo and Shahrukh Syed, all won one set apiece.
“It was a really good match against the number six-seeded team,” San Luis Obispo coach Ken Peet said. “We probably played one of our best matches of the year, overall, against a really good opponent.”
Valencia 15, Atascadero 3
Devin Barber won 5-7, 6-4, 6-1, and Kyle Barber lost 2-6, 3-6, 7-6 (7-2), representing all of the wins for the Greyhounds (10-6) against the fourth seed in Division 2.
The Barber twins, the reigning PAC 7 doubles champions, will also play May 20 at the individual tournament in Carpinteria.Tribune staff contributed to this report.