RIVERSIDE, Calif. --- The NAIA’s No. 4-ranked Azusa Pacific jumped out to a 2-1 lead after doubles and then had to come back from a 4-2 deficit for a slim 5-4 win over No. 10 California Baptist University at the Pentz Tennis Center Friday afternoon.
The loss is the Lancers’ second straight as they fall to 1-3 overall, 0-2 GSAC, while the Cougars improve to 2-0, 2-0.
“This is a tough loss and a big missed opportunity against a highly ranked team,” said CBU Head Coach Chris Taylor. “We have to learn from our mistakes and move ahead. We have to regroup at Westmont tomorrow or else we’ll dig ourselves into a deep hole right from the start of the season.”
The Cougars pulled out narrow 8-6 wins at No. 2 and No. 3 doubles and then nearly completed the sweep before Marcela Montanha and Dunya Wren squeaked out a 9-8 win at No. 1 to salvage a point for the Lancers.
CBU then won the first three singles matches to take a 4-2 lead, needing just one more point for the win. Aurelie Hascoet at No. 3, Wren at No. 6 and Jelena Savic at No. 5 all won in straight sets to put the Lancers out in front.
After Casey Wetzig defeated Raquel Vescovi at No. 2, 2-6, 7-5, 6-4, to pull the Cougars within 4-3, the Lancers had match point with a 5-4 lead in the third set at at No. 4 singles. However, Natalie McNall staved off defeat and then edged out Maiara Oliviera, 7-6, 2-6, 7-6, at No. 4 to eve the match at 4-4.
All eyes then turned to the No. 1 court where Sheryl Bon came from a one-set deficit to defeat All-American Marcela Montanha, 5-7, 6-2, 7-5 and clinch the match for the Cougars.
All three singles’ matches that the Cougars won went the distance.