AZUSA, Calif. -- Superior depth lifted the NAIA’s No. 5-ranked Azusa Pacific to a 7-2 win over No. 9-ranked Point Loma Nazarene Saturday afternoon at the Munson & Bavougian Tennis Complex, giving the Cougars a key Golden State Athletic Conference victory that extended their longest winning streak in 2 years to 5 straight matches.
Only 2 singles matches went beyond 2 sets, and nobody in the middle 4 of the Cougars’ singles lineup gave up more than 2 games in any set. Point Loma Nazarene’s only victories came at the top singles and doubles positions.
Azusa Pacific’s No. 2 and 3 doubles put away victories of 8-4 and 8-2, respectively, before Point Loma Nazarene claimed a doubles point at the No. 1 doubles position with an 8-4 win.
In singles play, sophomore Alex Lane got things going for Azusa Pacific, registering a 6-2, 6-1 win at No. 3, and freshman Jochem Hoefnagels made it a 4-1 Cougar lead with a 6-2, 6-2 win at No. 4. Sophomore Janosch Apelt was also a 6-2, 6-2 winner, claiming the No. 2 singles point to clinch the match for Azusa Pacific.
Senior Mathias Weber notched a 6-0, 6-2 win at No. 5 singles to run the Cougars’ lead to 6-1, and senior Danny Colten’s 3-set win at No. 6 made it a 7-1 advantage for Azusa Pacific, leaving only the top singles matchup between senior Matthijs Bolsius and Sea Lions junior Joel Myers left to finish. Bolsius claimed a 7-5 win in the opening set but couldn’t hold on to a 5-4 lead in the second, as Myers rallied for a 7-6 win to force the 10-point super tiebreaker for the third set. Myers edged Bolsius once more in the super tiebreaker, 10-8, ending the match with a final team score of 7-2.
With the win, Azusa Pacific maintains its hold on third place in the GSAC, a half-game behind Concordia, with a record of 11-3 overall and 6-2 in GSAC play. Point Loma Nazarene remains in sixth in the conference and drops to 7-8 overall, 3-7 GSAC.
The Cougars take on a pair of teams ranked in the NAIA’s top 15 next week, beginning with Monday’s 1:30 p.m. home matchup with non-conference opponent Xavier University of Louisiana, ranked No. 15 in the most recent NAIA Coaches’ Top 25 poll. The Cougars then return to conference play with a Tuesday visit to No. 7-ranked Westmont.