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Yes, Virginia, Cougars Win

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Published
May 18, 2005
By
Micah McDaniel
Azusa Pacific 5
Virginia Intermont 1

NAIA Tournament – Quarterfinals

MOBILE, Ala. -- Ever since Auburn Montgomery (Ala.) downed Azusa Pacific to win last year’s championship, the Cougars have been clamoring for a chance at redemption.

The Cougars now have that chance.

After taking 2-of-3 doubles’ matches, the NAIA’s No. 2-ranked Azusa Pacific cruised to a 5-1 win Wednesday over seventh-seed Virginia Intermont in the quarterfinals of the 2005 NAIA Men’s Tennis National Championship Tournament in Mobile, Ala.

The win puts the Cougars in tomorrow’s semifinals for the third straight year where they will meet third-seed Auburn-Montgomery in a rematch of last year’s title won by the Senators. Each of the top 4 seeds, including top-seed Santa Fe (N.M.) and fourth-seed Embry-Riddle (Fla.), advanced to the semis.

It is the Cougars’ 13th straight win as they improve to 25-3 overall, the most victories of any team remaining. The Cobras end their season at 13-4, losing in the quarterfinals for the third straight year.

In a bit of surprise, the Cobras’ No. 1 doubles’ team of Travis Sandlant and Thiago Barbosa, the 25th-ranked doubles’ team in the NAIA, stunned the Cougars’ Sam Fletcher and Adam Davidson, the third-ranked team in the NAIA, 8-6, to avoid getting swept in doubles play. Boris Bakalov and Tom Jelsma continued their dominance at No. 2, knocking off David Holldorsson and Arturo Hernandez, 8-2. It was their second straight 8-2 win.

The 2-1 lead put the Cougars in position to need just a split of the 6 singles’ matches. Bakalov, Jelsma and Gordon Hong made sure that split never came as they quickly put an end to the match. Bakalov downed Barbosa, 6-1, 6-0, at No. 2. Hong upended Jon Jonsson, 6-3, 6-2, at No. 5, and Jelsma defeated Robby Pierce, 6-1, 6-2, at No. 6.

Singles
1 – Travis Sandlant (VIC) vs. Sam Fletcher (APU) DNF (6-4, 3-3)
2 – Boris Bakalov (APU) d. Thiago Barbosa (VIC) 6-1, 6-0
3 – David Goodman (APU) vs. David Halldorsson (VIC) DNF (7-5, 5-0)
4 – Adam Davidson (APU) vs. Milan Kosicky (VIC) DNF (6-4, 1-4)
5 – Gordon Hong (APU) d. Jon Jonsson (VIC) 6-3, 6-2
6 – Tom Jelsma (APU) d. Robby Pierce (VIC) 6-1, 6-2

Doubles
1 – Sandlant/Barbosa (VIC) d. Fletcher/Davidson 8-6
2 – Bakalov/Jelsma (APU) d. Halldorsson/Arturo Hernandez (VIC) 8-2
3 – Goodman/Hong (APU) d. Kosicky/Pierce (VIC) 8-5