AZUSA, Calif.-- With the 17th ranked NCAA Div. II team on the opening day schedule the NAIA’s 7th ranked Azusa Pacific women’s tennis team was likely expecting a battle. Instead the Cougars won the first seven matches of the day en route to an 8-1 win over UCSD on Saturday afternoon.
“It was a good competitive match. They competed hard we competed hard,” said head coach Mark Bohren. “We got a lot of things to go our way, and you usually win when that happens. The score wasn’t really indicative of how close it was.”
Azusa Pacific began the day by sweeping the doubles matches. The No. 1 team of Emily Harris and Kim Koetterheinrich posted an 8-2 win over the Tritons’ Haley Perrotte and Melissa Breisacher. In the No. 2 doubles Leah Hoffee and Danae Ingwaldson took an 8-3 win while Natalie McNall and Molly Ruby cruised to an 8-3 victory in the No. 3 doubles.
With the three-point cushion the Cougars needed just two singles wins to seal the match. Hoffee ran through UCSD’s Perotte, going unscathed in a 6-0, 6-0 rout, and Harris clinched the win with a 6-3, 6-0 defeat of Samantha Yeung. Azusa Pacific registered another win after Ruby came back from a 3-6 opening set defeat. The sophomore from Paradise Valley, Ariz. Steamrolled through set No.2 with a 6-2 win and held on for a tight 11-9 victory in the third set.
Following Ruby’s match Ingwaldson notched a 6-1, 7-6 win, but the Cougars’ run ended there as the team’s No. 1 singles player, McNall, suffered a tough 7-6, 6-4 defeat to make it 7-1 in favor of Azusa Pacific. Koetterheinrich ended the day with a come from behind win (4-6, 6-4, 10-6) in No. 5 singles play to finalize the match at 8-1.
Azusa Pacific improves to 1-0 with the win, while UCSD drops to 0-1 on the year. The Cougars next match is on Feb. 13 at Fresno Pacific.