GLENDORA, Calif. -- A pair of missing starters from Azusa Pacific’s lineup made Saturday’s matchup with the NAIA’s No. 13-ranked Point Loma Nazarene very tight, but the No. 2-ranked Cougars extended their GSAC-record conference win streak to 58 matches.
Junior Patrick Kur was out for the second straight match battling illness, and sophomore Robby Dabbs, who is 4-0 in conference singles this season, was also unable to play Saturday against the Sea Lions. Without the pair, the Cougars lost 2 of the 3 doubles matches and needed wins in 4 of 6 singles matches.
The match came down to a 3-set battle at the No. 1 spot between sophomore Matthijs Bolsius and the Sea Lions’ Curt Wheeler. After splitting the first 2 sets, each by 6-4 margins, Bolsius pulled away to take the third set, 6-3 and clinch the match win for the Cougars.
Sophomore Mathias Weber edged Joel Myers at No. 2 singles in a 7-5 opening set before pulling away for a 6-2 second-set win for the sweep, and sophomore Ronald Chow and freshman Daniel Moore accounted for the Cougars’ other 2 singles points at the No. 4 and 5 spots, respectively.
Chow and Moore also teamed up for a key 8-2 win at No. 3 doubles that kept the Cougars within a point heading into singles.
With the win, Azusa Pacific improves to 12-2 overall, 6-0 in GSAC play. Point Loma Nazarene drops to 6-4 overall, 2-3 GSAC. The Cougars have just 2 conference matches remaining, both against NAIA Top 25 programs (No. 2 Fresno Pacific and No. 16 Vanguard). Before the April 2 Fresno Pacific match, however, the Cougars have 5 more non-conference matches lined up, all at their home courts located at Citrus College, beginning with a Tuesday, March 18 contest against No. 18-ranked Lewis-Clark State (Idaho).
Azusa Pacific 5, Point Loma Nazarene 4
1. Matthijs Bolsius (APU) def. Curt Wheeler (PLNU), 6-4, 4-6, 6-3
2. Mathias Weber (APU) def. Joel Myers (PLNU), 7-5, 6-2
3. Jonathan Bowman (PLNU) def. Art Fatkhiev (APU), 6-3, 6-4
4. Ronald Chow (APU) def. Craig Johnson (PLNU), 6-2, 6-2
5. Daniel Moore (APU) def. Travis Albaugh (PLNU), 6-3, 6-2
6. Landon Hilker (PLNU) def. Jan Friedrich (APU), 6-3, 6-4
1. Bowman/Myers (PLNU) def. Bolsius/John Phillips (APU), 8-6
2. Hilker/Wheeler (PLNU) def. Fatkhiev/Weber (APU), 8-3
3. Chow/Moore (APU) def. Albaugh/Johnson (PLNU), 8-2