MOBILE, Ala. --The Azusa Pacific men's tennis team returned to the National Christian College Athletics Association Championship match with a 5-0 win over No. 44 Palm Beach Atlantic to earn a chance to defend its title on Friday. One year after winning its first national title in eight years, the Cougars have claimed four consecutive wins, including three sweeps to return to the national title match, where they will take on McMurry, which defeated Roberts Wesleyan 5-0 in its semifinal.
At No. 1 doubles, No. 21 Jan Meyer and Gary Yam upset No. 19 Romain Nowaczyk and Nicolas Uryson, 8-4. Frederik Wilkens and Tomas Aranguiz won 8-2 at No. 2 doubles, and Pascal Engel and Alan Leahy defeated Kevin Reifler and Asti Adams 8-3 at No. 3 doubles.
The nation's No. 5 singles player Meyer claimed the Cougars' fourth win with a 6-0, 6-3 straight sets victory over No. 50 Nowaczyk to put Azusa Pacific one match away the championship. At No. 4 singles, Leahy got the clinching win, defeating Adams 6-1, 6-2.
Engel was one game away from winning when the match was halted, leading 6-1, 5-3. Yam and Wilkens each led by a set and were ahead by one game in the second set when Leahy finished his match.
Azusa Pacific is now 23-6 on the season, including 4-0 at the NCCAA Nationals. The Cougars will play at 9 a.m. (CDT) on Friday against McMurry as they attempt to repeat as National Champions.