APU improved to 15-1 on the season after a dominant victory over rival Biola
Azusa Pacific men’s tennis continues to excel this season after crushing Biola 4-0 on Friday. This was APU’s second shutout of the year against Biola; they beat the Eagles 5-0 in February, increasing APU’s lead in the cornerstone cup rivalry.
The Cougars started off the afternoon by winning all three doubles matches to earn the first point of the match. Ryan Nuno, part of the second seeded doubles team, praised the Cougars’ collectiveness in the sweep of doubles matches.
“The doubles were extremely important in allowing us to gain moment for the rest of the match,” Nuno said. “We were able to all stay together and take care of our doubles.”
Nuno also won his solo match in straight sets. Although he dominated on the scoreboard, Nuno credited his opponent for putting up a fight.
“Today, I was feeling really good. My opponent definitely looked like he was aware of my weaknesses and tried to get me on my backhand, so I credit him for making it tough on me,” Nuno said.
Jakob Schnaitter, the Cougars’ top singles player, won in straight sets as well. Schnaitter battled through moments of adversity and shrugged off his Eagles’ opponent to secure another point for the team.
Head coach Mark Bohren loved the way his team played.
“I felt we competed well today,” Bohren said. “It was unfortunate that they didn’t want to finish out the five and six (ranked matches) because once you clinch the match, it stops.”
Biola opted not to finish out the match, ending the day a little early. Bohren said he understood their decision, since they will play another match soon and want their players to be well rested.
Bohren was pleased with the outcome of the matches but said the team has to keep focused for the rest of the season.
“This is a point in the season that is tough on the guys because it’s just past the middle part of the season,” Bohren said. “It’s not quite the final stretch, but it’s a time where some guys start to get a little tired.”
Bohren said these games are important preparation for the PacWest tournament at the end of the regular season.
The Cougars have had a strong year and are looking to go deep into the postseason again. With the victory over Biola, the team improves to 15-1 on the season. The Cougars will remain at home for their next game against Middlebury on Tuesday, March 26 at 2:30 p.m.