DAY 20 (Aug. 20): Tennis Streaks Still Alive
Although both of the men’s and women’s tennis teams at Azusa Pacific lost their No. 1 players (Janosch Apelt and Natalie McNall) to graduation, both teams bring back significant winning streaks atop their lineups.
In 2012 Jochem Hoefnagels made program history, becoming the first player in over a decade to put together an unblemished record in the regular season. The Asten, Netherlands native ran his winning streak to 24 matches by the end last year, finishing his junior campaign with a 21-0 mark in the regular season.
This year Hoefnagels is expected to play No. 1 singles for the Cougars and brings a career 52-10 record into his senior year. During the 2012 NAIA playoffs he was named the International Tennis Association national Player to Watch for the 2013 season while helping the team to a semifinal run.
On the women’s side Emily Harris brings a 14-match winning streak into the 2013 season. The junior from Scottsdale, Ariz. finished the 2012 season with a 19-1 clip in singles play, including a 2-0 record in the NAIA playoffs. Harris went unbeaten in the NAIA’s toughest tennis league (Golden State Athletic Conference), putting together a 13-0 GSAC record en route to earning ITA West Region Player to Watch honors.
“Tennis is such a difficult sport. When you play near the top and you have any sort of letdown you’re going to lose. For them to have the seasons that they did just shows their level of concentration and preparation,” said head coach Mark Bohren.
Both Harris and Hoefnagels earned NAIA All-American recognition, and have been named team captains for the upcoming season.
“As a coach you usually have maybe one player that’s returning after a year like that. To have one from each team is exciting. It’s the perfect scenario for our move to the Pacific West and NCAA Div. II.”
The Cougars, who have been consistently ranked in the top-10 of the NAIA’s men’s and women’s polls for the last decade, begin play in the PacWest in 2013. The teams’ schedules will be released later this year.