GLENDORA, Calif. -- Azusa Pacific’s doubles sweep provided the difference, as the NAIA’s No. 2-ranked Cougars knocked off their highest-ranked opponent to date with a 6-3 victory over No. 8-ranked Concordia Wednesday afternoon at Citrus College. It was the fifth straight doubles sweep and the eighth overall in 12 matches this season for Azusa Pacific.
Sophomores Matthijs Bolsius and Robby Dabbs secured the first doubles point with a commanding 8-1 win at No. 1, and sophomore Ronald Chow and freshman Daniel Moore quickly dispatched of Augusto Elias and Olivier Faber at No. 3 with an 8-2 win.
That left only the Cougars’ No. 2 tandem of junior Patrick Kur and sophomore Mathias Weber to round out the sweep. After teaming up 22 times in 2007, the pair had reunited for doubles just over a week ago, and their 8-5 win was their third in 3 matches, giving the Cougars a 3-0 lead heading into singles play.
Dabbs was quick to the No. 6 singles win, defeating Bryan Newell in straight sets, 6-1, 6-1, and Kur and Chow posted victories at No. 2 and 5, respectively, by identical 6-4, 6-2 margins.
Concordia picked up its points with singles victories at No. 1, No. 3 and No. 4. Tim Kpulun posted a 6-0, 7-5 win over Bolsius at the top singles position, and Daniel Ndlela defeated Weber in a 3-set battle at No. 3. Weber claimed the opening set, 6-2, but Ndlela rallied for a 7-5 second-set to win force the third set, where he edged Weber 6-4 for the victory. Olivier Fabre posted a 6-4, 6-2 win over senior Art Fatkhiev at No. 4.
With the win, Azusa Pacific improves to 11-1 on the season, 5-0 GSAC, and the Cougars’ extended their GSAC-record conference winning streak to 57 matches. Concordia, which made the leap from No. 17 to No. 8 in the latest NAIA Coaches Poll released just hours before the match, drops to 5-2 overall, 2-2 GSAC.
The Cougars are off for the weekend before hosting the NCAA Div. III’s No. 10-ranked Rollins (Fla.) on Monday, March 10, at 2:30 p.m. at the Citrus College tennis courts.
Azusa Pacific 6, Concordia 3
1. Tim Kpulun (CUI) def. Matthijs Bolsius (APU), 6-0, 7-5
2. Patrick Kur (APU) def. Augusto Elias (CUI), 6-4, 6-2
3. Daniel Ndlela (CUI) def. Mathias Weber (APU), 2-6, 7-5, 6-4
4. Olivier Fabre (CUI) def. Art Fatkhiev (APU), 6-4, 6-2
5. Ronald Chow (APU) def. Chris Nguyen (CUI), 6-4, 6-2
6. Robby Dabbs (APU) def. Bryan Newell (CUI), 6-1, 6-1
1. Bolsius/Dabbs (APU) def. Kpulun/Newell (CUI), 8-1
2. Kur/Weber (APU) def. Ndlela/Nguyen (CUI), 8-5
3. Chow/Daniel Moore (APU) def. Elias/Fabre (CUI), 8-2