AZUSA, Calif. -- Azusa Pacific won all but 1 game in doubles play, then posted straight-set wins in all 6 singles matches in its Golden State Athletic Conference opener, and the NAIA’s No. 8-ranked Cougars started league play with a 9-0 victory over unranked The Master’s Thursday afternoon at Citrus College.
The 9-0 win was the third shutout in 4 matches for Azusa Pacific this year, and it was highlighted by the collegiate singles debut of freshman Kim Koetterheinrich, who posted a 6-1, 6-4 win in the top singles spot over the Mustangs’ No. 1, Maggie Becker. The 6-foot freshman from Germany opened the 2011 season with 3 doubles wins at No. 2 with junior Natalie McNall, and the pair posted an 8-1 win in Thursday’s conference opener before Koetterheinrich collected her first singles victory in straight sets.
In the remaining 5 singles matches, Azusa Pacific won 60 of the 64 games, led by perfect 6-0, 6-0 sweeps from freshman Emily Harris and sophomore Sarita Adhikary at the No. 4 and No. 6 positions, respectively.
Senior Sheryl Bon-Bakalov (No. 2) and freshman Molly Ruby (No. 5) surrendered just 1 game each in straight-set victories, and McNall posted a strong finish in a 6-2, 6-0 victory over Kaitlin Thaxton at No. 3.
The Cougars posted a pair of 8-0 doubles wins to go with the 8-1 win from Koetterheinrich and McNall. Bon-Bakalov and Harris claimed the No. 1 doubles shutout, while senior Casey Wetzig teamed up with sophomore Danielle Hoyme for the 8-0 win at No. 3.
With the win, Azusa Pacific has won 4 straight matches to start the 2011 season, while The Master’s drops to 1-4 overall, 0-2 GSAC. The Cougars return to action with a Friday, Feb. 18 visit to Hope International, the first of 4 consecutive conference matchups on the road.