LOS ANGELES, Calif. -- Azusa Pacific sophomore Jan Meyer won the Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) West Regional singles championship, defeating senior teammate Fredrik Wilkens 7-5, 6-0 in the final at Cal State Los Angeles. In doubles, Meyers and Wilkens paired up to reach the final, where they lost 8-2 to Fresno Pacific's Kyle Rowe and Thomas Gely.
En route to the title, Meyer had to defeat another fellow Cougar, Alan Leahy, who Meyer beat 6-4, 6-3 in the quarterfinals. Meyer only lost one set in the tournament, dropping a tiebreaker to No. 2 seed Martin Choknacki (BYU-Hawaii).
"Winning a draw of 32 in three days shows that Meyer is well-prepared for the season," Cougar head coach Mark Bohren said. "He made good decisions and was striking the ball well. He had a tough match in the semifinals and did well to come through in the match tiebreaker, so it was good to see that he has been improving this offseason."
Wilkens was flawless in his run to the final, winning each of his first four matches in straight sets. The senior defeated Rowe in the semifinals, who toppled the Cougars’ duo in the doubles final and beat the tournament’s top-seed the day prior. Wilkens won the match in 6-1, 6-3 to take his place in the final a year after reaching the semis of the ITA West Singles tournament.
As the No. 2 seed in doubles, Meyer and Wilkens won each of their first three eight-game pro sets to reach the final, defeating No. 4 seed (UC San Diego) 8-4 in the semifinals. The Cougars other doubles pairing of Gary Yam and Pascal Engel reached the semifinals, before losing to the eventual champions 9-8 (8).
"They did a good job to reach the final, but unfortunately by the time they played they looked pretty tired, because they had just finished the singles final," Bohren said. "Yam and Engel had a match-point against the same team that won the final earlier in the tournament, so you can see that the talent is there."
Engel also lost to Rowe in singles 6-2, 6-4 in the second round. Yam reached the quarterfinals, where he lost to the No. 2 seed 6-2, 5-7, 10-7 in a tiebreaker.
"We are trying to set a tone of winning for the season," Bohren said. "This tournament doesn't mean much for the season other than just trying to see where we are at. Every time we have had a good finish to a season, we have started with a good showing at the ITA tournaments."
Azusa Pacific had four players reach the quarterfinals in the singles bracket and three teams on the doubles side. After winning the regional title Meyer will go to Fort Myers, Fla. to compete in the ITA national championships from Oct. 10-13. Azusa Pacific graduate and Meyer’s former teammate, Jochem Hoefnagels took fifth place at last year’s national singles championships in Mobile, Ala. last year.