GLENDORA, Calif. -- The NAIA’s No. 3-ranked Azusa Pacific suffered just its second defeat of the season in a 6-3 loss to No. 5-ranked Vanguard, effectively ending the Cougars’ GSAC title hopes Saturday afternoon at Citrus College.
Bay Daniels and Peggy Bell scored an 8-4 win at No. 1 doubles, but Vanguard’s No. 2 doubles tandem of Amy Brown and Zuzana Zustakova came back from match point to earn a valuable swing point with a 9-7 win after Vanguard won the No. 3 doubles to take a 2-1 lead heading into singles play.
“We started singles pretty flat,” said Cougar head coach Mark Bohren, whose squad had won by a combined 92-7 score during its 11-match win streak. “We haven’t had that many good, tough matches this season, so I think that has a little to do with (the result today). We got pressed today and just didn’t do it.”
Daniels was again victorious for the Cougars, earning a hard-fought 7-5, 7-6 victory over Betyel Tesfa at No. 2 singles, and Jennifer Dao collected a 6-1, 6-2 win in the top singles spot, but Vanguard swept the remaining 4 singles points to complete the win and remain 1 match behind No. 2-ranked Fresno Pacific in the conference standings.
With the loss, Azusa Pacific drops to 14-2 on the season, 6-2 in GSAC play, while Vanguard improves to 14-2 overall, 7-1 in GSAC. Before that match, Azusa Pacific will travel to Hawaii to take on the University of Hawaii and BYU-Hawaii April 9-10 before returning to the mainland to close out the regular season.
“We have some tough battles ahead to get us ready,” said Bohren. “We’ll take a couple days off and then off to Hawaii we go.”
The Cougars have 1 conference match remaining, an April 14 visit to The Master’s in Santa Clarita.
#1 - Jennifer Dao (APU) def. Amy Brown (VU), 6-1, 6-2
#2 - Bay Daniels (APU) def. Betyel Tesfa (VU), 7-5, 7-6
#3 - Hana Jurcovicova (VU) def. Kim Tran (APU), 6-0, 6-0
#4 - Zuzana Zustakova (VU) def. Peggy Bell (APU), 6-4, 6-2
#5 - Damia Donkervoort (VU) def. Katy Jelsma (APU), 6-4, 6-2
#6 - Olivia Amstad (VU) def. Jessalyn Lau (APU), 2-6, 6-3 (10-5)
#1 - Bay Daniels/Peggy Bell (APU) def. Hana Jurcovicova/Damia Donkervoort (VU), 8-4
#2 - Amy Brown/Zuzana Zustakova (VU) def. Kim Tran/Jennifer Dao (APU), 9-7
#3 - Betyel Tesfa/Olivia Amstad (VU) def. Katy Jelsma/Lindsey Cloninger (APU), 8-5