Fresno Pacific has been participating in men’s tennis since their program’s inaugural year in 2006. From that point in time, to the 2013 season, they have defeated Westmont Men’s Tennis 15 times in 15 matches.
In six of FPU’s first seven years (2007-12) as a program, they were members of the Golden State Athletic Conference alongside Westmont. The Sunbirds appeared in the NAIA National Tournament all seven years that they were members of the NAIA, were crowned GSAC champions five consecutive years from 2008-12, and finished as National Runner-Ups (2008, 10, 12) or National Champions (2009, 11) of the NAIA in each of those five years.
The 13th ranked Sunbirds are now members of the NCAA Division II, and just as powerful as ever. However, the Warriors (1-0) pulled off a major coup Saturday afternoon as they defeated the Sunbirds (0-1) in dramatic fashion by a score of 5-4.
“It was a really exciting come from behind win for us,” voiced a jovial Mark Basham – Westmont’s head men’s tennis coach. “Doubles tend to be a strength of ours, but our team really got it done in singles. We were up 2-1 after doubles, so we were certainly encouraged by our early success. It really motivated our team on into the individual matchups.”
After five singles matches, the two squads were all knotted up at four points apiece. Westmont’s Tim Goranson, at number two singles, was now the team’s hero in waiting.
“Tim won the first set 6-2, and then was cramping deep into the second set,” described Basham. “Sergio Ibarra (one of Westmont’s athletic trainers) came out and really helped him. Even so, Tim was down 3-5 in the third game as it was getting dark, but rallied back. He really broke down his opponent, and ended up taking four straight games to win 7-5.
“It’s obviously really exciting for us to start the season this way. To get this result against a very good team that we have never beaten is a fantastic feeling,” continued Basham. “Today was a very exciting sign for the state of the program. Hopefully it provides some momentum for the season to come. I know it surely boosts team morale.”
This upcoming Saturday, the Warriors travel to La Mirada for a 10 a.m. showdown with the the Eagles of Biola (1-0) to kick off GSAC play. If they secure a victory, Westmont will start the season off 2-0 for the first time in over ten years.
#4 Westmont 5, #13 Fresno Pacific (NCAA II) 4
February 01, 2014 in Santa Barbara, Calif. (Lynn Abbott Tennis Courts)
1. SCHAEFER, Rodrigo (WC) def. TYMKIW, Michael (FPU) 6-2, 6-4
2. GORANSON, Tim (WC) def. GELY, Thomas (FPU) 6-2, 2-6, 7-5
3. ROWE, Kyle (FPU) def. BERTRAM, John (WC) 6-3, 6-0
4. BARNARD, Joshua (WC) def. AGUILAR, Brendan (FPU) 6-4, 6-4
5. URQUIDI, Leonardo (FPU) def. KIMSEY, Travis (WC) 6-4, 6-2
6. LOOP, Stefan (FPU) def. SZYNDLAR, Nicholas (WC) 7-5, 6-3
1. SCHAEFER, Rodrigo/BARNARD, Joshua (WC) def. #2 GELY, Thomas/ROWE, Kyle (FPU) 8-5
2. TYMKIW, Michael/AGUILAR, Brendan (FPU) def. GORANSON, Tim/BERTRAM, John (WC) 9-8 (8-6)
3. KIMSEY, Travis/SZYNDLAR, Nicholas (WC) def. URQUIDI, Leonardo/LOOP, Stefan (FPU) 8-6