MOBILE, Ala. -- Auburn Montgomery was looking to exact revenge on an Azusa Pacific team that knocked it out of the postseason last season.
The Senators took more than their pound of flesh by beating the Cougars, 5-0, to claim the NAIA’s national championship and denying Azusa Pacific the chance to repeat.
After losing No. 1 and No. 2 doubles, the Cougars were hoping to salvage a point and No. 3 doubles. David Goodman and Cole Billings came to play from the outset and jumped out to a 5-2 lead. However, Anton Brykalin and Tim Mudrick battled back to draw even at 6-6.
They went on to pull out the win in a tiebreak after fighting off Goodman and Billings, who had 4 match points thwarted. The loss gave the Senators a 3-0 lead after doubles play and put them in a commanding position.
Auburn Montgomery capitalized on its doubles success by quickly earning the win as Victor Sanakaipapi beat Goodman, 6-2, 6-3. Alex Petropoulis finished off Art Fatkiev, 6-2, 6-1 to clinch the sixth championship in the history of the Senators program.
The Cougars were making their fourth straight appearance in the championship match.
“We came out a little flat and had our chances but the momentum changed on us,” said head coach Mark Bohren. “It was their day today.”
The loss finished one of the most successful seasons in the history as the Cougars concluded the campaign at 26-2.
“It has been a good run for our seniors,” said Bohren. “They went to 4 championship matches and won the title last year. I don’t know too many programs that have been able to accomplish that. I’m very proud of them.”
#1 - Daniel Plasa (AUM) vs. Boris Bakalov (APU), 7-6, 2-0
#2 - Anton Brykalin (AUM) vs. Patrick Kur (APU), 6-4, 0-1
#3 - Victor Sanakaipapi (AUM) def. David Goodman (APU), 6-2, 6-3
#4 - Joel Kusnierz (AUM) vs. Tom Jelsma (APU), 6-3, 5-2 DNF
#5 - Nikola Miskovic (AUM) vs. Cole Billings (APU), 3-6, 2-3
#6 - Alex Petropoulis (AUM) def. Art Fatkiev (APU), 6-2, 6-1
#1 - Sanakaipapi/ Miskovic (AUM) def. Kur/Fatkiev (APU), 8-4
#2 - Plasa/Kusnierz (AUM) def. Bakalov/Jelsma (APU), 8-5
#3 - Brykalin/Tim Mudrick (AUM) def. Goodman/Billings (APU), 9-8 (8)