MOBILE, Ala.-- The good times kept rolling for the Cougars, and after another dazzling performance the Azusa Pacific men’s tennis team is positioned perfectly heading into the National Christian College Athletics Association semifinals. The Cougars (25-2) didn’t lose a set in their final match of pool play, defeating Indiana Wesleyan (19-8) 5-0 to finish the first segment of the national championships with a 15-1 mark in three pool play contests, and setting up a date with Shorter (Ga.) in the semifinals on Thursday.
“We took care of what we supposed to do. I think the team is getting better and better as the week progresses, and I am very happy about it,” said head coach Mark Bohren. “They’re really excited about being in the final four tomorrow, and seeing what will happen after that. I think we’re ready. I think we’re playing as good as we’re going to play.”
Ben Eger and Gary Yam highlighted the day with their 8-0 sweep at No. 2 doubles where the duo lost just 12 points in a 17-minute, 8-0 victory against Leonard Mathews and Brandon Dubuque. Jochem Hoefnagels and Jan Meyer fared equally well in their sweep at No. 1 doubles, beating Kyle Johnson and Daniel Stoddard 8-0, before Daniel Sosnowski and Joseph Remington grabbed their first win as a team in an 8-3 defeat of Brooks Ayers and Daniel Smith.
In singles the Cougars didn’t surrender a set, holding the Wildcats to three games or fewer in each set, while blanking them four times. Hoefnagels reassumed his role as the finisher, clinching his third straight match for Azusa Pacific with a 6-0, 6-2 win at No. 1 after Hough’s opponent retired with a 5-0 deficit in the first set.
Eger was leading 6-3, and Wilkens was on the verge of his 19th win of the season with a score of 6-1, 5-0 when Azusa Pacific clinched the victory. Yam was working on a 6-0, 2-1 match, and Meyer was maneuvering his way towards a win (6-1, 2-1) when the fifth point was tabbed.
Azusa Pacific will now face a Shorter team that went 2-1 in pool play at 9:00 a.m., with the winner advancing to face the winner of the Fresno Pacific/McMurry match on Friday at 9:00 a.m.