FRESNO, Calif.-- The NAIA’s No. 7 ranked Azusa Pacific women’s tennis team was brutally close to snapping No. 2 Fresno Pacific’s 92 match streak in GSAC play, but instead the Cougars dropped their first match of the season in a 5-4 loss to the Sunbirds.
Azusa Pacific split singles play to open, before falling 2-1 in doubles play. The Cougars’ No. 1 player, Natalie McNall, suffered a three-set defeat to Katarena Paliivets (7-5, 4-6, 6-3), while Kim Koetterheinrich fell 6-4, 6-2 to Anna Mikhaylova in the No. 4 position.
Leah Hoffee continued to play well in a 6-0, 7-6 win over Erika Januskova in No. 2 singles and Emily Harris posted a 7-5, 6-0 victory against Yukimo Justin in the 3rd spot.
Nakieta Hein improved to 4-0 on the year with a three-set win (6-0, 4-6, 6-4) against Nicole Simoni, but Fresno Pacific evened the score when Elizabeth McFeeters registered a 7-6, 6-3 victory over Danae Ingwaldson.
In doubles play the Sunbirds opened up with two wins to seal the victory at 5-3 with Azusa Pacific capturing the final match to end it at 5-4. The team of Harris and Hein lost 8-2 to Januskova and Paliivets, while Hoffee and Ingwaldson dropped the No. 2 doubles match 8-5.
The Cougars got their only doubles win when McNall and Molly Ruby defeated Mikhaylova and McFeeters 9-7.
On Friday Azusa Pacific plays in its second home match this year when Grand Canyon (Ariz.) comes to the Munson & Bavougian Tennis Complex for a 1:30 p.m. start.