AZUSA, Calif. -- Azusa Pacific extended its winning streak to 4 matches, winning back-to-back matches to start a stretch of 5 straight matches in as many days, as the NAIA’s No. 4-ranked Cougars defeated NCAA Div. III’s No. 4-ranked Emory (Ga.), 6-3, in a non-conference dual match Wednesday at the Munson & Bavougian Tennis Complex.
Emory was the fifth straight ranked opponent Azusa Pacific has faced, and Wednesday’s victory was the closest win the Cougars have had in their current 4-match winning streak.
Azusa Pacific won 2 of 3 doubles matches to take the lead into singles, just the third time this year the Cougars have not swept doubles. Still, the 2-1 lead was more than enough, as another 4 of the 6 singles results went in Azusa Pacific’s favor.
Sophomore Jochem Hoefnagels won his opening set at No. 2 singles, 6-2, at which point his opponent, Chris Goodwin, retired from the match. Freshmen Benedikt Eger and Frederik Wilkens, along with junior Ilja Ikonnikov, were all straight-set winners. The only Cougar defeats in singles play came in a tough 3-set No. 1 singles matchup between junior Janosch Apelt and Emory’s Dillon Pottish, along with a narrow 7-5, 7-6 loss at No. 4 singles for junior Whitman Hough.
Apelt and Hoefnagels picked up an 8-2 win at No. 1 doubles, improving to 7-0 in doubles this year, while Hough and Ikonnikov edged Emory’s Simon Lavoie-Perusse and Eric Rothschild in a tiebreaker for the No. 2 doubles point. The Cougar tandem won the tiebreaker, 7-5, for the decisive set in the 9-8 doubles victory.
With the win, Azusa Pacific improves to 5-2 overall, while Emory falls to 8-2 on the year.