BOYS TENNIS DOUBLES TEAM OF THE YEAR: LINCOLN HOPPE & NICK JARAMISHIAN• Vitals: Sophomores (both), Bullard
• Qualifications: After playing together only a few times during the regular season, Hoppe and Jaramishian won the County/Metro Athletic Conference doubles title, advanced out of the North Area Tournament to become the top seed for the Central Section Individual Championships and navigated that 16-team bracket to capture the title. Hoppe and Jaramishian completed a 4-0 run through the individual tournament with a 6-4, 6-1 victory over Buchanan's second-seeded Josh Comes and Ben Liang in the final. They finished 13-0 as a team, including a 6-3, 6-4 win over Clovis West's Jacob Huls and Jacob Vander Beek in top-seeded Bullard's 6-3 win for the section Division I team title. "It was the greatest thing to win with my team," Hoppe said. "That made the doubles even better. It's surreal winning both, just awesome."
• Becoming a unit: Knights coach Daren Carter said he could see early in the season that Hoppe and Jaramishian had the potential to develop into a strong doubles team. By pairing the left-handed Hoppe with the right-handed Jaramishian, it allowed both of their powerful forehand shots to come from the outside. They also both feature big serves. "We definitely have good chemistry," Jaramishian said. "We both know what the other is thinking. And when one of us misses, the other knows what it feels like because we both want perfection in our game." Where they differ is Hoppe likes to work the corners to set up winners, while Jaramishian typically hits everything deep with power while controlling the point. "And the thing about these two guys is they are only going to get better," Carter said. "Even though they are sophomores, they played like seniors. You could tell they were on a mission to not only win team Valley, but to also get that individual doubles Valley."
• The title chase: Being the favorites and a shorter-than-normal amount of time to warm up took a toll on Hoppe and Jaramishian during the first day of the individual tournament. Both said they struggled in a 6-2, 6-3 win over Lemoore's No. 16 Lukas Brown-Michael Sinaga in the opening round and a 6-2, 6-2 victory against Sanger's ninth-seeded Robert Cardenas-Connor Bennett in the quarterfinals. "Being the favorite is tricky sometimes," Hoppe said. "Nerves got to us the first day." They were much more pleased with their 6-2, 6-3 victory over Clovis West's fourth-seeded Addison Weil-Sean Lindenau in the semifinals the next day. "We had to focus on what we could do to play better," Jaramishian said. "We just said, 'All right, let's go get this and stay positive.' Then we started playing a lot better."
• Individually speaking: Both players went 19-0 in singles and were first-team All-CMAC selections, with Jaramishian at No. 2 on the Knights' ladder and Hoppe at No. 3. Jaramishian was first-team All-Bee last season while Hoppe was honorable mention.