Men’s Tennis

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Cougars Rally Past Eagles

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Photo by Chris Baker
Ben Eger's three-set match clinched the Cougars 14th consecutive victory.

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Published
March 13, 2013
By
Chris Baker
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AZUSA, Calif.-- The last time the Azusa Pacific men’s tennis team opened the year with a double-digit winning streak Emory (Ga.) snapped it at 12 with a 5-4 win back in 2006. On Wednesday it appeared that the Eagles were on their way to upsetting the Cougars again, taking the first two doubles matches and going up 7-4 in the other. But Azusa Pacific staved off a doubles sweep at No. 2, winning five straight games before taking five of six singles matches to clinch the 6-3 victory and improve to 14-0 on the year.

Ben Eger sealed the win, staying perfect in a three-set marathon at No. 4 after the fiery junior won easily in the first set, and fell in the second. He then hung on for a dramatic 6-4 third-set victory (6-1, 5-7, 6-4) to notch the Cougars’ fifth point. Azusa Pacific’s top-three put the Cougars in position for the comeback, winning in straight-sets at No. 1, 2, and 3 to overcome the 2-1 deficit and position Eger for the victory.

20th ranked Jan Meyer started things off, beating Elliott Kahler 6-1, 6-3 at No. 2 just before 6th ranked Jochem Hoefnagels tabbed a 6-0, 6-2 victory over 14th ranked (NCAA Division III) Alex Ruderman. 31st ranked Frederik Wilkens grabbed the Cougars’ third singles win, defeating 23rd ranked Ian Wagner 6-4, 6-0.

Whitman Hough fell at No. 5 to Will Adams 6-3, 6-3, and Gary Yam closed the day with a dominating 7-0 tiebreaking performance to record a 3-6, 6-3, 7-6 (7-0) victory over Simon Lavoie-Perusse.

In doubles the Cougars avoided a 3-0 hole with an impressive comeback on court two when Yam and Wilkens broke the Eagles three consecutive times to overcome a 7-4 Emory advantage and post a 9-7 win. Hoefnagels and Meyer fell 8-6 to Wagner and Kahler, while Eger and Hough lost a tough 8-6 contest.

Azusa Pacific, which has allowed only one opponent to score more than three points all season, will look to stretch its streak to 15 when it welcomes Westmont for a 1:30 match on Friday.