SURPRISE, Ariz.-- The No. 13 ranked Azusa Pacific women’s team couldn’t sustain its hot start, falling 5-2 to No. 4 ranked Hawai’i Pacific in the Pacific West Conference semifinals Friday morning. The Cougars led 2-1 after doubles, but the Sea Warriors swept through singles action to advance to the PacWest final at the Surprise Tennis & Racquet Club.
Azusa Pacific (18-6) dropped the first match of the day with an 8-3 loss from Lindsey Yeom and Danae Ingwaldson at No. 2. But The Cougars quickly bounced back to knot the score at 1-1 thanks to Emily Harris’ and Natalie Johnson’s 8-6 defeat of Celina Goetti at No. 1.
The Cougars then put HPU (17-6) in a rare hole with a narrow 9-8 (3) win from Kim Koetterheinrich and Stephanie Quan against Lea Kruse-Utermann and Vivian Hansen at No. 3.
The Sea Warriors, however, gained traction in singles, tying the match at 2-2 with Hansen’s 6-0, 6-2 defeat of Quan at No. 5. Kruse-Ultermann’s 6-2, 6-2 victory over Koetterheinrich at No. 6 pushed HPU ahead 3-2, and Lorena Gheorge registered Hawai’i Pacific’s third straight win with a 6-2, 6-0 defeat of Yeom at No. 4.
HPU clinched its spot in the PacWest championship with 25th ranked Karen Ramirez’ 7-5, 6-2 win against No. 22 Harris at No. 1. The Cougars were battling on courts two and three when the match was sealed, with Johnson leading Goetti 7-6 (3), 2-3, and Ingwaldson trailing Magdalena Smejova 7-5, 4-3.
Azusa Pacific will face No. 14 ranked Academy of Art in the third place match Saturday morning before competing in the NCCAA national championships in May.