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Cougars Lord Over Kenyon

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Photo by Chris Baker
Frederik Wilkens

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March 11, 2013
Chris Baker
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AZUSA, Calif.-- It hasn’t been easy, despite what the record shows. On Monday the 11th ranked (NCAA Division II) Azusa Pacific men’s tennis team reached the program's second longest mark with its 13th consecutive victory to open the season, defeating the defending NCAA Division III champions Kenyon (Ohio) 7-2, to give the Cougars their seventh win over a ranked opponent this season.

Kenyon, rated No. 1 in Division III, made it close in doubles action before the Cougars closed out the Lords with five wins in singles play. In doubles Jochem Hoefnagels and Jan Meyer got by relatively easy at No.1, winning 8-2 in the opening match. Ben Eger and Whitman Hough followed that up with a narrow 8-6 victory over Kevin Ye and Wade Heerbooth to put Azusa Pacific up 2-0.

At No. 2 doubles Gary Yam and Frederik Wilkens nearly gave the Cougars a doubles sweep, leading 8-7, but couldn’t hold serve to go into a tie breaker. Azusa Pacific struggled in the breaker, opening with a pair of double-faults before falling 7-3 to make it a 2-1 match.

In singles play Eger made quick work on court four, winning his 17th consecutive match 6-3, 6-2. Hoefnagels made it a 4-1 contest with a 6-4, 6-1 defeat of Michael Razumovsky at No. 1, and Kenyon struck back with a 6-4, 6-4 win at No. 5. Yam, however, closed things out at No. 6, recording a 6-3, 6-3 victory to extend the Cougars’ winning streak to 13.

With the match in hand Wilkens registered an impressive comeback over No. 4 Tim Rosensteel. After falling behind a set, Freddy The Sniper Wilkens rattled off a 6-3 set two win, and was on fire in a third-set shutout to post a 2-6, 6-3, 6-0 win. Meyer ended the day with a 7-5, 6-3 victory, extending his perfect record to 12-0 on the year.

The 13-0 start is Azusa Pacific’s second-best in program history (23-0 2004), surpassing the Cougars’ 12-0 mark in 2006. In that season Azusa Pacific won its first 12 before falling to Emory (Ga.), and went all the way to the NAIA Championship match. The Cougars will fittingly take on Emory on Wednesday, looking to extend their record winning streak to 14 matches at 1:30 p.m.