MOBILE, Ala. -- Azusa Pacific men’s tennis head coach Mark Bohren was nervous before the second-seeded Cougars’ second-round matchup with unseeded Union (Ky.), and for good reason. The final score may not have showed it in the Cougars’ 5-1 win over Union, the NAIA Region XII champion, but the victory was anything but a blowout.
While Azusa Pacific made quick work of the second and third doubles matches to take a 2-0 lead, the Cougars’ top doubles tandem of Patrick Kur and Mathias Weber suffered a narrow 9-8 defeat to Union’s Anthony Hill and Ivan Mardones, pulling the Bulldogs to within a point of the Cougars heading into singles play.
Again, Azusa Pacific got a pair of quick points out of its lowest singles spots, as Ronald Chow and Art Fatkhiev picked up straight-sets victories at No. 5 and 6 singles, respectively. With the wins, the Cougars needed just 1 victory in the remaining 4 singles matches to punch its ticket to the quarterfinals.
Freshman Matthijs Bolsius came through for the Cougars in his first national tournament appearance, scoring a 7-5, 6-1 win at No. 4 singles to seal the victory, and it was a good thing he did.
At No. 3 singles, Weber split the first 2 sets and trailed 1-0 in the third, and David Goodman was locked into the late stages with a narrow 5-4 lead in the final set of a 3-set duel with Hill at No. 1 singles. At No. 2 singles, Kur also led by just a game in the second set at 5-4 after a 6-3 opening-set victory.
Goodman and Bolsius were 8-3 winners at No. 2 doubles, and Chow and Robby Dabbs posted an 8-4 win at No. 3 doubles for the Cougars.
With the win, Azusa Pacific improves to 25-3 on the season and advances to a quarterfinal matchup with the only remaining unseeded team in the men’s field, Lee (Tenn.), a 5-3 upset winner over seventh-seeded Savannah Art & Design (Ga.). The Cougars are seeking a fifth consecutive NAIA title game appearance. Union finishes the season with a 17-4 record.
#1 - David Goodman (APU) vs. Anthony Hill (UC), 6-0, 2-6, 6-5 DNF
#2 - Patrick Kur (APU) vs. Pablo Costa (UC), 6-3, 5-4 DNF
#3 - Mathias Weber (APU) vs. Ivan Mardones (UC), 0-6, 7-5, 0-1 DNF
#4 - Matthijs Bolsius (APU) def. Juan Lorenzo (UC), 7-5, 6-1
#5 - Ronald Chow (APU) def. David Arrubla (UC), 6-0, 6-1
#6 - Art Fatkhiev (APU) def. Roscoe Moonieyan (UC), 6-2, 6-0
#1 - A. Hill/I. Mardones (UC) def. P. Kur/M. Weber (APU), 9-8
#2 - D. Goodman/M. Bolsius (APU) def. P. Costa/J.Lorenzo, 8-3
#3 - R. Chow/R. Dabbs (APU) def. R. Moonigyan/N. Escobar (UC), 8-4