ORANGE, Calif. – It wasn't easy, but the Chapman University men's tennis team turned up on the right side of several close matches on its way to an 8-1 win over visiting Arizona Christian University on Sunday afternoon at the Chapman Tennis Courts. The win marks the first time since 2006 the Panthers have begun the season with back-to-back wins.
Four of the six singles matches between the Panthers and visiting Firestorm went three sets or ended with a tiebreaker with Chapman winning four of those battles. And in doubles play, each of the first two courts were decided 9-8 with the Panthers taking both.
Chapman (2-0 overall) top doubles pair senior Troy Akin and sophomore Brett Buford edged NAIA's No. 16-nationally ranked duo of Andrew Barnett and Ian Glessing, 9-8. Freshmen Charlie Werman and Sam Mittledorf began the season 2-0 with a 9-8 win of their own on the No. 2 court.
Junior Justin Thompson helped lead the Panthers to five singles wins with his own three-set victory over Barnett, who is also ranked No. 26 in NAIA, 6-3, 3-6, 6-3. Thompson improved to 2-0 this spring with both of his wins coming against regionally-ranked competition.
Only Buford and Mittledorf earned straight-sets wins for Chapman on Sunday, Buford's coming from the No. 3 position 6-2, 6-3 over ACU's Tyler Cawthorne. Mittledorf won 6-1, 6-2 on the No. 5 court.
The Panthers will host its first Division III opponent of the season on Thursday against Brandeis (Mass.) in another non-conference match at the Chapman Tennis Courts beginning at 2 p.m.
by Doug Aiken
Sports Information Director