OJAI, Calif. -- Five players representing the NAIA’s No. 5-ranked Azusa Pacific men’s tennis team competed in collegiate independent division in the 110th Annual Ojai Valley Tennis Tournament, the West Coast’s most prestigious individual spring event. All 3 Cougars who participated in the singles portion won at least 1 match, and Azusa Pacific also sent a doubles team to Sunday’s championship match.
Senior Matthijs Bolsius and freshman Jochem Hoefnagels, Azusa Pacific’s top doubles pair and the tournament’s second overall seed, brought home the Cougars’ top finish, advancing to the championship match of the doubles field, where they suffered a 3-set defeat to Fresno Pacific’s unseeded duo of Maxime Adam and Martin Vaisse. Bolsius and Hoefnagels defeated fourth-seeded Carlos Lima and Bryan Cox of Westmont in straight sets in the semifinals by a 6-3, 7-6(3) score to reach the championship match.
The other doubles pair representing Azusa Pacific was the Cougars’ regular No. 3 tandem of senior Ronald Chow and sophomore Alex Lane. They were defeated in straight sets (6-4, 6-1) by Westmont’s Diego Almeida and Mattias Neuman in their first contest of the tournament.
In singles play, Bolsius was the tournament’s second seed, but he was upset by Vaisse in the quarterfinals, the same round which fellow senior Mathias Weber also exited with a straight-sets loss to the tournament’s top seed, Fresno Pacific’s Xavier Smith. Lane posted back-to-back straight-sets wins to reach the quarterfinals, and he rallied from an opening-set tiebreaker defeat for a 6-7, 6-2, 6-1 win over Denny Fafek of Fresno Pacific Saturday morning to reach the semifinals. Lane fell in straight sets (6-2, 6-3) to Vaisse, the eventual singles tournament champion.
Azusa Pacific takes its record of 16-4 into the final week of the regular season, where the Cougars will host Biola to wrap up Golden State Athletic Conference play on Tuesday, April 27, then visit Claremont-Mudd-Scripps on April 30 in a non-conference matchup that closes out the regular season.
Round of 32
Mathias Weber (APU) def. Szymon Gas (Grand Canyon), 7-6(5); 0-6; 6-2
Alex Lane (APU) def. Patrice Giraldi (Grand Canyon), 6-1; 6-1
(2) Matthjis Bolsius (APU) def. Brent Worthington (Biola), 6-2; 6-2
Round of 16
Mathias Weber (APU) def. Ryan Mc Namara (CUI), 6-3; 7-6(10)
Alex Lane (APU) def. (4) Carlos Lima (Westmont), 6-4; 6-2
(2) Matthjis Bolsius (APU) def. Sam Rodgers (UC Santa Cruz), 6-0; 6-2
(1) Xavier Smith (Fresno Pacific) d. Mathias Weber (APU), 6-3; 6-3
Alex Lane (APU) def. Denny Fafek (Fresno Pacific), 6-7(9); 6-2; 6-1
Martin Vaisse (Fresno Pacific) d. (2) Matthjis Bolsius (APU), 6-1; 6-2
Martin Vaisse (Fresno Pacific) def. Alex Lane (APU), 6-2; 6-3
Round of 16
Almeida/Neuman (Westmont) def. Chow/Lane (APU), 6-4; 6-1
(2) Bolsius/Hoefnagels (APU) def. Bowman/Myers (PLNU), 7-5; 6-3
(2) Bolsius/Hoefnagels (APU) def. Bianco/Olson (Sonoma State), 4-6; 6-4; 1-0(3)
(2) Bolsius/Hoefnagels (APU) def. (4) Cox/Lima (Westmont), 6-3; 7-6(3)
Adam/Vaisse (Fresno Pacific) def. (2) Bolsius/Hoefnagels (APU), 7-6(5); 4-6; 1-0(9)