GLENDORA, Calif. -- Azusa Pacific’s 5-4 defeat to the NCAA Division II’s No. 17-ranked Hawaii Pacific Tuesday couldn’t have come by a slimmer margin, with senior Kim Tran suffering a 2-point defeat in a third-set tiebreaker in the final match of the day for the NAIA’s No. 5-ranked Cougars.
Tran took an early 5-1 lead over Tinka Mihova in the 7-point set tiebreaker after splitting the first 2 sets and battling to a 6-6 tie in the third set of the No. 5 singles match. The teams were knotted at 4 points apiece, and Tran needed just 2 more points to clinch a victory for Azusa Pacific. Mihova, upset by several close calls near the line that had not gone her way in the tiebreaker, collected herself as a call was being disputed by a member of the Hawaii Pacific coaching staff. She then rallied to win 7 of the next 8 points for the shocking come-from-behind 8-6 win in the tiebreaker to clinch the win for the Sea Warriors.
Azusa Pacific took 2 of 3 doubles matches to take a 2-1 lead into singles play, posting victories at the No. 1 and 2 positions in doubles. Senior Bay Daniels and freshman Sheryl Bon combined for an 8-6 win at No. 1, and each went on to win their respective singles matches, as well. Daniels won at No. 1 singles with a straight-sets 6-3, 6-1 victory, while Bon rallied from an opening-set defeat for a 2-6, 7-6, 6-4 win at No. 4.
Junior Katy Jelsma and freshman Casey Wetzig accounted for Azusa Pacific’s other point in doubles, posting an 8-4 win at No. 2.
With the loss, Azusa Pacific drops to 15-3 overall. Thanks to the morning start time, the Cougars were able to board an evening flight to Hawaii, where they will take on NCAA Division I University of Hawaii Wednesday afternoon at 4 p.m. on the island of Oahu. Azusa Pacific’s regular-season, GSAC and home finale is scheduled for Monday, April 14, when the Cougars host The Master’s at Citrus College in Glendora.
Hawaii Pacific 5, Azusa Pacific 4
1. Bay Daniels (APU) def. Ingrid Cseh (HPU), 6-3, 6-1
2. Nina Mihova (HPU) def. Casey Wetzig (APU), 6-3, 6-2
3. Anastasiya Ageychik (HPU) def. Katy Jelsma (APU), 6-1, 6-0
4. Sheryl Bon (APU) def. Elena Hudzikova (HPU), 2-6, 7-6, 6-4
5. Tinka Mihova (HPU) def. Kim Tran (APU), 6-4, 3-6, 7-6
6. Lauren Shin (HPU) def. Lindsey Cloninger (APU), 6-2, 6-2
1. Bon/Daniels (APU) def. Cseh/Shin (HPU), 8-6
2. Jelsma/Wetzig (APU) def. Ageychik/Ralitsa Pirdopska (HPU), 8-4
3. Hudzikova/Mihova (HPU) def. Cloninger/Tran (APU), 8-3