FRESNO, Calif. -- The NAIA’s top-ranked Azusa Pacific knew it was in for a fight against the new kid on the block, No. 10-ranked Fresno Pacific.
At the end of the day, however, the defending national champion Cougars did not want to earn a spot in the history books.
In the first ever meeting between the 2 programs, the Cougars scratched out a hard fought, 6-3, win over the Sunbirds.
The anticipation of this early season match-up has been building since the schedule was released and head coach Mark Bohren knew his team would have to play well in order to win.
“Fresno Pacific is a very good team and I was glad we got the win,” he said. “They are a tough team.”
The Cougars took an early lead in the match winning 2 of the 3 doubles matches. The No. 1 doubles team of Boris Bakalov and Tom Jelsma trounced Matt Carroll and Marco Foelz, 8-2. The undefeated duo improved their record to 4-0.
Azusa Pacific (4-0, 2-0) was able to control singles play winning 4 matches in straight sets. The Sunbirds (0-2, 0-1) fought back with wins at No. 4 and No. 5 singles but it wasn’t enough to offset the dominance Azusa Pacific displayed at the top of the ladder. Fresno Pacific is still looking for its first ever win.
With the victory, the Cougars completed a stretch of 3 matches in 4 days undefeated and will participate in the Cal Poly Pomona Tournament, Feb. 17-19.
1 – Boris Bakalov (APU) d. Matt Carroll (FPU), 6-3, 6-2
2 – Patrick Kur (APU) d. Roberto Bianco (FPU), 6-4, 4-1, retired
3 – David Goodman (APU) d. Anthony Zafiris (FPU), 6-3, 6-3
4 – Victor Medina (FPU) d. Tom Jelsma (APU), 6-4, 2-6, 6-3
5 – Marco Foelz (FPU) d. Cole Billings (APU), 6-1, 6-3
6 – Art Fatkiev (APU) d. Greg Jackson (FPU), 6-1, 6-3
1 – Bakalov/Jelsma (APU) d. Carroll/Foelz (FPU), 8-2
2 – Kur/Goodman (APU) d. Bianco/Sitnikov (FPU), 8-6
3 – Zafiris/Medina (FPU) d. Billings/Fatkiev (APU), 8-6