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Tennis swept by Azusa

Neither of the men’s and women’s teams were able claim a single win in the Cornerstone Cup matchup.  |  Caroline Sommers / THE CHIMES

 

Men’s and women’s tennis welcomed archrivals Azusa Pacific University for their first tennis competition in NCAA Division II and the PacWest conference. The Eagles two squads came into the matches a combined 1-7, while the Cougars boasted a combined record of 8-1. Despite Biola’s best efforts, APU outclassed the Eagles, winning all 18 of the matches between the two teams.

EAGLES FACE STIFF COMPETITION

Biola’s men’s team faced a tough task before the first serve, having to prepare for the fifth-ranked team in D-II while also looking for their first conference win of the season. The Cougars showed their strength early as the top singles matchup finished 6-0 and 6-0, and that set the tone for the rest of the day. The next four singles duals finished with APU winning in dominant fashion, successfully posting straight set victories in all of the matches.

The match between Biola senior Joe Turnquist and APU’s Jesse Haas represented the Eagles’ best chance of getting a singles win. After losing the first set 6-3, Turnquist battled back to have a chance at winning his team’s first set of the game when he held a 6-5 lead. Unfortunately for the Eagles, Haas fought back and sent the set to a tiebreaker, which he won, ending the match and securing a singles sweep for the Cougars.

The Eagles looked to better their fortunes in the doubles competition, but the APU squad proved too powerful for them. The Cougars won two of the matches 8-0, while comfortably winning the other doubles match 8-2, completing the men’s sweep of the Eagles. With the win the Cougars secured five points in the Cornerstone Cup, with a chance of sweeping the Eagles in the season series on March 23 when Biola visits APU.

COUGARS OVERPOWER EAGLES AGAIN

The women’s team looked to perform better than the men’s team, but they faced a challenge against a 4-1 Cougars team. APU started quickly dominating the doubles matches and won all three 8-0, 8-3 and 8-4.

The Eagles started in the same way as the men did in singles, as the Cougars took the first singles match 6-0 and 6-0. The next four matches became eerily similar to the men’s matches as APU players comfortably won those matches in straight sets as well.

Freshman Esther Lee provided a spark of hope for the Eagles as she took APU’s Baumgartnere to a tiebreak in the third set. After dropping the first set 6-4, Lee took the second set 6-2 before going to a tiebreak in the third. Lee could not quite match Baumgartnere, as the tiebreaker ended 10-7 in favor of the APU player, completing the dual sweep of both tennis teams by the Cougars. The result helps APU grab five more points for the Cornerstone Cup with a chance to complete the season sweep the Eagles after the men play on March 23.

The men’s team falls to 1-5 (0-3 in the PacWest), while the women’s team drops to 0-5 (0-3 in the PacWest). Both squads return to action in a nonconference home match against Hope International University on Feb. 22.

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