MOBILE, Ala. -- Fifth-seeded Azusa Pacific returned to familiar territory at the 28th Annual NAIA Women’s Tennis National Championship, advancing to its fifth straight national quarterfinals with Tuesday’s 5-1 victory over Golden State Athletic Conference rival Westmont.
Westmont avoided its sixth straight doubles sweep to Azusa Pacific, and the Warriors nearly took a 1-point advantage entering singles play with strong performances from its No. 2 and 3 tandems. Christina Klein and Kristin Lee recorded an 8-6 win at No. 3 doubles, Westmont’s first doubles win over a Cougar pair since 2005, and No. 2 tandem Jennie Dunn and Llisa Mathews pushed the Cougars’ Katy Jelsma and Casey Wetzig to a doubles tiebreaker.
However, Jelsma and Wetzig won the tiebreaker, 8-6, for the 9-8 win in the match. Along with the 8-2 win from Cougars’ No. 1 tandem Sheryl Bon and Bay Daniels over Lauren Combs and Erin McGurty, Azusa Pacific took the 2-1 lead into singles play.
Daniels and Bon kept the momentum going, each wrapping up straight-sets singles wins over Combs and McGurty. Daniels registered a 6-0, 6-3 win over Combs at No. 1, and Bon’s 6-0, 6-2 win over McGurty at No. 3 put the Cougars within a point of clinching the match. Kim Tran sealed Azusa Pacific’s trip to the quarterfinals with a 6-1, 6-3 win at No. 5 singles.
With the win, the Cougars are now 17-5 on the season heading into Wednesday’s quarterfinal matchup with Vanguard, the third meeting this season between the programs. Azusa Pacific won the regular-season conference meeting, 5-4, while Vanguard took the grudge match, 5-1, in the NAIA Region II semifinals in Fresno.
Azusa Pacific 5, Westmont 1
1. Bay Daniels (APU) def. Lauren Combs (WC), 6-0, 6-3
2. Casey Wetzig (APU) vs. Llisa Mathews (WC), DNF
3. Sheryl Bon (APU) def. Erin McGurty (WC), 6-0, 6-2
4. Katy Jelsma (APU) vs. Kristin Lee (WC), DNF
5. Kim Tran (APU) def. Christina Klein (WC), 6-1, 6-3
6. Lindsey Cloninger (APU) vs. Jennie Dunn (WC), DNF
1. Bon/Daniels (APU) def. Combs/McGurty (WC), 8-2
2. Jelsma/Wetzig (APU) def. Dunn/Mathews (WC), 9-8 (8-6)
3. Klein/Lee (WC) def. Cloninger/Tran (APU), 8-6