AZUSA, Calif. -- Not yet. Not today. Not this year.
In a year when many GSAC observers thought that the GSAC title tables could possibly turn on Azusa Pacific by a fast-approaching Vanguard, the Cougars had other ideas.
Unwilling to give up its throne, the NAIA’s No. 1-ranked Cougars swept all 3 doubles’ matches then did their job in singles’ play to make a bold statement with a 7-2 GSAC win over the fifth-ranked Lions, clinching an unprecedented fourth straight GSAC title.
With the win, Azusa Pacific improves to 17-3 overall, 7-0 GSAC and move within 1 victory of clinching its fourth consecutive perfect 8-0 campaign in GSAC play. Vanguard falls to 11-4, 5-2 with both of its GSAC losses coming to the Cougars.
The Cougars easily picked up 2 quick points with quick wins at No. 2 (Tom Jelsma/Boris Bakalov), 8-3, and No. 3 (Gordon Hong/David Goodman), 8-2, doubles. Then in a thrilling match at No. 1, Vanguard’s Dieter Weislmaier and Christoph Schramm broke the Cougars’ Sam Fletcher and Adam Davidson to go up 5-4 and seemingly snatch the momentum. However, Fletcher and Davidson turned up the intensity and took full control by winning the next 4 points to give the Cougars a 3-0 lead with an 8-5 win.
That effort set the tone for the rest of the afternoon as the Cougars would only surrender just one point on the court. Cyril Conty narrowly downed David Goodman at No. 3 (7-6, 3-6, 6-1). The Lions’ only other point came when Boris Bakalov defaulted because of an injury at No. 2. Other than that, the Cougars were flawless, winning 3 of the 4 remaining matches in straight sets.
The Cougars become the first team in the history of the GSAC to win 4 straight titles and they have now run their GSAC-record winning streak to 31 straight conference victories with their last GSAC loss coming in March 31, 2001 ironically to Vanguard.
1 - Sam Fletcher (APU) d. Andreas Guertner (VU) 6-0, 6-4
2 - Dieter Weislmaier (VU) d. Boris Bakalov (APU) Default
3 - Cyril Conty (VU) d. David Goodman (APU) 7-6, 3-6, 6-1
4 - Adam Davidson (APU) d. Andreas Reckziegel (VU) 6-3, 6-4
5 - Gordon Hong (APU) d. Christoph Schramm (VU) 6-4, 4-6, 6-3
6 - Tom Jelsma (APU) d. Calle Holmgren (VU) 6-2, 7-6
Fletcher/Davidson (APU) d. Weislmaier/Schramm (VU) 8-5
Bakalov/Jelsma (APU) d. Guertner/William Strom (VU) 8-3
Hong/Goodman (APU) d. Reckziegel/Conty (VU) 8-2