GLENDORA, Calif. -- The NAIA’s No. 5-ranked Azusa Pacific suffered its first GSAC defeat of the season in a 9-0 loss to No. 2-ranked and unbeaten national title contender Fresno Pacific Wednesday afternoon at Citrus College. The setback snapped the Cougars’ 13-match winning streak.
The victory was a giant step towards a third consecutive Golden State Athletic Conference title for the Sunbirds, who are the conference’s only remaining unbeaten team with 2 GSAC matches remaining. Fresno Pacific’s only remaining conference contests are against Westmont, which is 3-4 in conference play, and winless Hope International.
A narrow 8-6 win for Amandine Ferot and Katia Sabate over the Cougar tandem of junior Katy Jelsma and freshman Casey Wetzig at No. 2 doubles sent Fresno Pacific into singles play with a commanding 3-0 advantage. The Sunbirds wasted little time clinching the match with straight-sets wins at each of the top 3 singles positions.
Despite the match outcome already determined, the Cougars’ fourth through sixth singles each turned in strong performances in 3-set matches. At No. 4, freshman Sheryl Bon split the first 2 sets by dropping the first and winning the second, both by 7-5 margins, before suffering a 6-3 defeat in the decisive third set. Senior Kim Tran and junior Lindsey Cloninger each won their respective opening sets at No. 5 and 6 singles, and each lost the second set, 6-4, to send their matches to 10-point super tiebreakers. Tran suffered a 10-6 defeat in the tiebreaker to Ferot at No. 5, and Cloninger took Yulia Blinoskayh to the limit before dropping the tiebreaker by a narrow 2-point margin, 10-8.
With the defeat, Azusa Pacific drops to 14-2 overall, 6-1 GSAC, while Fresno Pacific improves to 14-0 overall, 7-0 GSAC. The Cougars drop into a virtual tie for second place in the conference with No. 3-ranked Vanguard, with the teams scheduled to go head-to-head Saturday in Costa Mesa.
Fresno Pacific 9, Azusa Pacific 0
1. Angelina Minova (FPU) def. Bay Daniels (APU), 6-3, 6-1
2. Anna Karavayeva (FPU) def. Casey Wetzig (APU), 6-3, 6-1
3. Katia Sabate (FPU) def. Katy Jelsma (APU), 6-1, 6-1
4. Maria Kolkotsky (FPU) def. Sheryl Bon (APU), 7-5, 5-7, 6-3
5. Amandine Ferot (FPU) def. Kim Tran (APU), 3-6, 6-4 (10-6)
6. Yulia Blinoskayh (FPU) def. Lindsey Cloninger (APU), 1-6, 6-4 (10-8)
1. Karavayeva/Kolkotsky (FPU) def. Bon/Daniels (APU), 8-2
2. Ferot/Sabate (FPU) def. Jelsma/Wetzig (APU), 8-6
3. Blinoskayh/Minova (FPU) def. Tran/Cloninger (APU), 8-1