NCAA Men's Tennis: Cougars Headed to National Semifinals

Columbus State's Zach Whaanga
Columbus State's Zach Whaanga

ALTAMONTE SPRINGS, Fla. - The third-ranked Columbus State University men's tennis team took down 14th-ranked Azusa Pacific 5-1 Wednesday evening in the national quarterfinals. The match was played at Sanlando Park.

Columbus State (25-3) is now one of four teams still remaining in Division II and will take on second-ranked Barry at 1 p.m. on Thursday.

"We have said all year that this team could go as far as they wanted and here they are as one of the last four standing," head coach Evan Isaacs said. "We still have work to do though, and Barry is a great team."

The Cougars turned in a perfect start to the match, taking all three doubles matches.

Jorge Vargas and Shao-Yu Yu raced past the opposition 8-2 for a win at third doubles. Matei Avram and Zach Whaanga won 8-4 at second doubles and then 22nd-ranked KP Pannu and Maciej Kierkus capped the sweep with an 8-5 win at the top spot.

Avram kept the CSU momentum rolling in singles play with a straight set 6-4, 6-1 victory at fourth singles.

Azusa Pacific then grabbed its only point of the match as KP Pannu fell 6-1, 6-3 to the top-ranked player in the country.

Paul Sprengelmeijer clinched the victory for the Cougars at third singles with a 6-3, 6-2 win.

Yu was up a set when play was stopped, while Vargas was battling in the third set. Whaanga had dropped his first set, but was ahead in the second.

Singles Competition
1. 1 Oliver Frank (APU) def. 32 KP Pannu (CSU-M) 6-1, 6-3
2. Zach Whaanga (CSU-M) vs. 14 Christian Schmid (APU); match was unfinished: 3-6, 4-3
3. Paul Sprengelmeijer (CSU-M) def. Pascal Engel (APU) 6-3, 6-2
4. Matei Avram (CSU-M) def. Shepherd Newcomb (APU) 6-4, 6-1
5. Jorge Vargas (CSU-M) vs. Antonio Pejic (APU); match was unfinished: 6-1, 2-6, 2-3
6. Shao-Yu Yu (CSU-M) vs. Roberto Luconi (APU); match was unfinished: 6-2, 4-5

Doubles Competition
1. 22 KP Pannu and Maciej Kierkus (CSU-M) def. Oliver Frank and Pascal Engel (APU) 8-5
2. Matei Avram and Zach Whaanga (CSU-M) def. Christian Schmid and Shepherd Newcomb (APU) 8-4
3. Jorge Vargas and Shao-Yu Yu (CSU-M) def. Antonio Pejic and Marnix Pluim (APU) 8-2