NAIA Region II Finals
COSTA MESA, Calif -- Azusa Pacific seniors Sam Fletcher, Adam Davidson and Gordon Hong have never lost to a GSAC opponent in 4 years. They weren’t about to let that change Friday.
The NAIA’s No. 2-ranked Cougars were put to the test, but they passed it with flying colors and got a 5-3 win over No. 5 Vanguard in the finals of the 2005 NAIA Region II Playoffs at the Costa Mesa Tennis Center to claim their sixth straight regional title.
With the win, the Cougars win their eleventh in a row and move to 23-3. It is their 14th straight win over Vanguard, which drops to 15-5.
Since the regional reorganization in 2000, no other team has won the NAIA Region II crown, and the Cougars quickly jumped out a 2-1 lead for this year’s title. Davidson and Fletcher gutted out a 9-8 (7-3) win at No. 1, and Boris Bakalov and Tom Jelsma swamped Andreas Reckziegel and Dieter Weislmaier, 8-1, at No. 2.
Hong quickly gave the Cougars a 3-1 lead with a win over Christoph Schramm, 6-3, 6-1, at No. 5, but the Lions roared back with wins at No. 2 and No. 4 to tie the match. Jelsma then upended Calle Holmgren, 6-1, 1-6, 6-3, at No. 6, and fittingly, Fletcher put an end to it with a 6-0, 6-7, 6-2 win over Andreas Guertner at No. 1.
“The guys really played a good match to win this title,” said Azusa Pacific head coach Mark Bohren, who is the 2005 NAIA Region II co-Coach of the Year. “They showed a lot of heart to win today’s against a Vanguard team that was ready to play. They were at home and had strong fan support, but our guys were up to it. Hopefully, this will give us a boost as we head to nationals.”
The Cougars earn the region’s automatic bid to the 2005 NAIA National Tournament May 16-20 in Mobile, Ala. The Cougars will likely earn a top 2 seed. They have been to 2 straight championship matches.
1 - Sam Fletcher (APU) d. Andreas Guertner (VU) 6-0, 6-7, 6-2
2 - Dieter Weislmaier (VU) d. Boris Bakalov (APU) 6-3, 6-2
3 - David Goodman (APU) vs. Cyril Conty (VU) DNF 7-5, 6-7, 5-4
4 - Andreas Reckziegel (VU) d. Adam Davidson (APU) 6-3, 6-3
5 - Gordon Hong (APU) d. Christoph Schramm (VU) 6-3, 6-1
6 - Tom Jelsma (APU) d. Calle Holmgren (VU) 6-1, 1-6, 6-3
1 - Davidson/Fletcher (APU) d. Guertner/Schramm (VU) 9-8 (7-3)
2 - Bakalov/Jelsma (APU) d. Reckziegel/Weislmaier (VU) 8-1
3 - Holmgren/Conty (VU) d. Goodman/Hong (APU) 8-5