The Cougars claim the men’s singles and doubles titles at ITA Regionals tournament
Azusa Pacific University’s tennis teams fared well at their first tournament of the season. The Intercollegiate Tennis Association West Regionals were held last weekend between a few locations, one of which was APU.
APU junior Oliver Frank led the Cougars with wins in both the singles and doubles tournaments over the weekend for the second consecutive season.
Frank dominated the singles bracket throughout the entire tournament by not giving up a set and defeated fellow Cougar senior Christian Schmid 6-2, 6-0 to win the regional title.
The Cougars’ strength and depth in singles was shown with four out of the total eight players in the quarterfinals of the tournament. While fellow PacWest team, rival, and past national champion Hawaii Pacific had another three of the eight players.
Also making the quarterfinal round were APU freshman Ryan Nuno and Jakob Schnaitter. Schnaitter also moved on to the semifinals where he lost 6-2, 1-6, 10-3 to fellow teammate, Schmid.
Oliver Frank’s win of the singles tournament continues the run of APU men winning the ITA West Regional title since joining Division II play in 2012.
“It’s a great point to see how competitive we will be during the season, it’s our first real test of the season. This year there was definitely a great performance by all the guys,” Oliver Frank said on the performance of the men’s team at the ITA West Regionals Tournament.
Schmid then joined Frank for the doubles tournament. The duo went on to win the regional championship in a finals match against fellow Cougar’s Schnaitter and senior Antonio Pejic.
Frank and Schmid defeated Hawaii Pacific’s Gerrardo Irarrazabal and Lucas Franco 8-4 in order to move on to the semifinals, while APU’s Schnaitter and Pejic beat Hawaii Pacific’s Benjamin Loccisano and Maxime Gayte 8-5 in order to move on.
“I thought that the new players did a great job—good attitudes, good competition, and played at a pretty high level for their first college event. And obviously having our two seniors win it in doubles and singles was pretty impressive,” head coach Mark Bohren said.
Bohren went on to say that whenever his teams have done well at this tournament they have fared well throughout the rest of the season, so seeing the teams perform well this early on is exciting.
The Azusa Pacific women’s team also played well during the ITA West Regionals.
In the singles tournament freshman Diana Baumgartnere reached the semifinals by beating Cal State L.A.’s Amanda Schneider 6-3, 3-6, 13-11. Baumgartnere then lost to Concordia University Irvine’s Ghazal Pakbaten in the semifinal round of play.
Freshman April Wong reached the quarterfinals at the ITA Regionals this past weekend by defeating the No. 2 seed Monica Stanikova 6-3, 4-6, 10-5 from Academy of Art. Wong was finally defeated in the quarterfinals by the No. 7 seed Klara Thell-Lenntorp, also from Academy of Art.
“Beating the No. 2 seed is a big highlight, it’s fun to see and fun to see our players compete” Bohren said of Wong’s performance.
Junior Kara Hinton also reached the round of 16 before losing to eventual champion Anastasiia Kuprina from Concordia.
The women’s doubles tournament also saw the Cougars performing well. Baumgartnere and Hinton fought all the way to the quarterfinals before falling to the eventual champions and twin sisters Klara and Alma Thell-Lenntorpe.
APU’s doubles teams of senior Jackie Resler and Wong as well as freshman Courtney Page and sophomore Mikayla Rinkler both made it all the way to round eight before falling to their opponents.
After a strong performance by both teams, APU is sending two of their players onto the ITA National Championships on Oct. 11-14 held in Rome, Ga.. Frank will be defending his title as the singles champion.
“Our focus is definitely to be there from the very first second, use the first two days to practice and feel out the competition, and then just go match by match and try to win in both doubles and singles,” Frank said.
Schmid will be joining Frank in the doubles tournament as they seek to win the championship that Frank and now graduate assistant coach Pascal Engel fell just short of last year.
“I want to enjoy every match we have. I definitely see every match as a final, we are playing the regional champions from the other regionals and I want to get as much out of this as I can,” Schmid said of the upcoming ITA National Championship Tournament.
Bohren has high hopes for the upcoming championships and for his tennis programs.
“I want to be the best, I want to be a program that can continue to win national championships,” Bohren said.
From the way that the season is going so far, they seem to be on the right track.