SAN DIEGO, Calif. -- For Azusa Pacific tennis the expectations are high and yet when the goals of the season are accomplished their fulfillment is sweet.
With another complete performance from its deep squad, the NAIA’s No. 1-ranked Cougars earned “1 for the thumb,” their fifth straight GSAC championship with a 9-0 win over Point Loma Nazarene in San Diego, Calif.
“I am very proud of this group. They have worked extremely hard this year,” said head coach Mark Bohren. “Winning this league is a tough thing to do and it never gets old.”
While the Cougars did not lose a match it wasn’t as if none were closely contested. Each of the 3 doubles teams captured tough points including the top team of Boris Bakalov and Tom Jelsma held off Christian Gerloff and Jonathan Bowman, 8-6. The duo has been terrific all season long and got Azusa Pacific off and running with the victory.
Patrick Kur and Art Fatkiev, who have both been outstanding in their first season with the team, knocked off Philipp Wulf and Stephen Sheldon, 8-5, to give the Cougars a lead they would not relinquish.
From there it was all about the team that has been ranked No. 1 all season long as David Goodman and Cole Billings completed the doubles sweep. Then the 6 went out and proceeded to all win in singles play.
Azusa Pacific (20-1, 11-0) will look to complete its fifth consecutive undefeated conference season when it hosts Vanguard on April 21.
1 – Boris Bakalov (APU) d. Christian Gerloff (PLNU) 6-4, 6-3
2 – Patrick Kur (APU) d. Wulf (PLNU) 6-1, 6-3
3 – David Goodman (APU) d. John Bowman (PLNU) 6-1, 1-6, 7-5
4 – Tom Jelsma (APU) d. Craig Johnson (PLNU) 6-0, 6-1
5 – Cole Billings (APU) d. Sean Sand (PLNU) 6-2, 6-0
6 – Art Fatkiev (APU) d. Cassidy Crail (PLNU) 6-1, 6-3
1 – Bakalov/Jelsma (APU) d. Gerloff/Bowman (PLNU) 8-6
2 – Kur/Fatkiev (APU) d. Wulf/Sheldon (PLNU) 8-5
3 – Goodman/Billings (APU) d. Sand/Johnson (PLNU) 8-4