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February 21, 2011
Joe Reinsch
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FRESNO, Calif. -- Azusa Pacific was competitive at the top of the lineup, but top-ranked Fresno Pacific dominated almost everywhere else in a 6-3 victory over the No. 4-ranked Cougars Monday afternoon in Fresno.

Junior Janosch Apelt claimed victories in both singles and doubles, but Azusa Pacific had only 1 more win in 7 other matches with junior Ilja Ikonnikov’s straight-sets No. 6 singles win.

Apelt and sophomore Jochem Hoefnagels posted an 8-3 win over Fresno Pacific’s top doubles team of Cledson Carvalho and Kirill Sinitsyn, and Apelt knocked off Carvalho in 3 sets at No. 1 singles, as well. However, the Sunbirds posted 8-6 and 8-5 wins in the second and third doubles matches, respectivley, then collected straight-set victories in the middle 4 positions of the singles lineup to claim the win.

Freshman Frederik Wilkens lost an opening-set tiebreaker at No. 5 singles to Nathan Martinet in a 7-6, 6-0 defeat, but the Cougars at No. 2, 3, and 4 singles were each unable to pick up more than 3 games in straight-set defeats.

With the loss, Azusa Pacific falls to 0-2 overall, 0-1 GSAC, although the Cougars have scheduled the completion of their originally-scheduled GSAC opener with Hope International that began Friday and will resume Tuesday in Fullerton. The Cougars led the match, 2-0, with wins at No. 1 and No. 5 singles, when the match was halted due to rain, and they won the opening set and led in the second set in the other 4 singles contests.

After Tuesday’s completion of the Hope International match, Azusa Pacific resumes a stretch of 4 consecutive GSAC matches on the road with a Saturday, Feb. 26 visit to No. 6-ranked Vanguard.