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What A Difference A Dao Makes

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February 2, 2008
Joe Reinsch

GLENDORA, Calif. -- The younger sister of Azusa Pacific’s former 4-time NAIA All-American first-teamer Jennifer Dao helped the NCAA Division II’s No. 34-ranked UC San Diego post a 5-4 victory over the Cougars Saturday afternoon.

Last year, the elder Dao helped lead Azusa Pacific to a 5-4 road win over the Tritons, who finished the 2007 season ranked 20th in NCAA Division II. With Jennifer now graduated, it was her younger sibling, freshman Cindy Dao, who helped UC San Diego turn the tables on the Cougars, recording a 6-4, 6-3 win over Cougar freshman Sheryl Bon at No. 4 singles.

Dao’s singles point also helped avenge UC San Diego’s lone doubles defeat at the No. 2 spot, when she and Dalya Perelman dropped an 8-2 match to Bon and senior Bay Daniels. The Tritons’ No. 1 and 3 tandems cruised to relatively easy 8-1 and 8-2 wins, but alternating victories down the singles ladder helped keep the Cougars within reach.

Daniels posted a 3-set victory over Ina Dan at No. 1 singles, and freshman Casey Wetzig collected a 3-set victory, 7-5, 3-6 (10-6) at No. 3 singles. Senior Kim Tran won in straight sets, 6-2, 6-3, at No. 5 singles.

With the loss, Azusa Pacific drops to 1-1 on the young 2008 season, while UC San Diego opens the season at 1-0. The Cougars continue a challenging non-conference slate, hosting NCAA Division III’s No. 12-ranked Claremont-Mudd-Scripps on Wednesday, Feb. 6, at the Citrus College tennis courts, with first serve scheduled for 2 p.m.

UC San Diego 5, Azusa Pacific 4

1. Bay Daniels (APU) def. Ina Dan (UCSD), 6-3, 4-6, 6-2
2. Dalya Perelman (UCSD) def. Katy Jelsma (APU), 6-2, 6-4
3. Casey Wetzig (APU) def. Justine Fonte (UCSD), 7-5, 3-6 (10-6)
4. Cindy Dao (UCSD) def. Sheryl Bon (APU), 6-4, 6-3
5. Kim Tran (APU) def. Molly Sullens (UCSD), 6-2, 6-3
6. Natalie Varnay (UCSD) def. Jessalyn Lau (APU), 6-4, 6-4

1. Taskeen Bains/Dan (UCSD) def. Jelsma/Tran (APU), 8-1
2. Bon/Daniels (APU) def. Dao/Perelman (UCSD), 8-2
3. Fonte/Valerie Tang (UCSD) def. Cloninger/Wetzig (APU), 8-2