Azusa Pacific 0
LOS ANGELES, Calif. -- NAIA-power Azusa Pacific gave them a big scare, but NCAA Division I No. 2-ranked UCLA flexed its muscle and cruised to a 7-0 win in both team’s season-opener Thursday in Los Angeles.
The Cougars came out smoking from the opening serve. Although, Mathieu Dehaine and Chris Lam got the ball rolling for the Bruins with a win over David Goodman and Gordon Hong at No. 3, the Cougars rebounded in a big way.
Adam Davidson and Sam Fletcher, one of the NAIA’s top doubles’ teams, cruised past sixth-ranked Alberto Francis and Kris Kwinta, 8-5, at No. 1. Then Boris Bakalov and Tom Jelsma gave Luben Pampoulov and Benjamin Kohlloeffe a run at No. 2 eventually forcing a tiebreaker, but the Bruin duo closed the door and clinched the doubles’ point for the Bruins.
At that point, the Bruins, who are the early-season favorite to make a run at their 16th NCAA national championship, used their superior individual talent to take over. They picked up 4 straight-set wins at Nos. 1, 3, 4 and 5 clinching the win when Kohlloeffe defeated Fletcher (6-3, 6-0) at No. 1 to give the Bruins an insurmountable 5-0 lead.
The Cougars nearly stole a pair of points at No. 2 and 6. Francis had to come back to knock off Bakalov at No. 2 winning 10-6 in the tiebreaker. Jeremy Drean also needed to come-from-behind to knock off Jelsma at No. 6 winning 12-10 in the tiebreaker.
Azusa Pacific, which has played in the past 2 NAIA championship matches, now gets more than 2 weeks off before traveling to San Diego to face NCAA Division II UC San Diego Feb. 5.
1 – Benjamin Kohlloeffe (UCLA) vs. Sam Fletcher (APU), 6-3; 6-0
2 – Alberto Francis (UCLA) vs. Boris Bakalov (APU), 3-6; 6-3 (10-6)
3 – Chris Lam (UCLA) vs. David Goodman (APU), 6-2; 6-2
4 – Mathieu Dehaine (UCLA) def. Adam Davidson (APU), 6-1; 6-2
5 – Kris Kwinta (UCLA) vs. Gordon Hong (APU), 6-3; 6-4
6 – Jeremy Drean (UCLA) def. Tom Jelsma (APU), 3-6; 6-1 (12-10)
1 – Fletcher/Davidson (APU) def. Francis/Kwinta (UCLA), 8-5
2 – Pampoulov/Kohlloeffe (UCLA) def. Bakalov/Jelsma (APU), 9-8
3 – Dehaine/Lam (UCLA) def. Goodman/Hong (APU), 8-6