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HPU men No. 1 Pac West tennis champs
by Baxter Cepeda, associate Sports editor

The Division II No. 11-ranked HPU men’s tennis was crowned the first Pac West Conference Champions after upsetting No. 1 ranked Brigham Young University- Hawai‘i 5-1 in the conference championship match April 13 at Laie.

The Sea Warriors avenged two losses this season to the Seasiders with the win.

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“It was a real boost for our guys,” said head coach Henry Somerville. “We needed some confidence going into post season play,” and “you couldn’t ask for any more confidence than that,” added Somerville.

HPU got off to a 3-0 lead after sweeping the three doubles matches.

After the doubles, Somerville gathered his players and told them to stay focused and to take care of business. The Sea Warriors responded by winning two of the first three singles matches to clinch the team win. “They did that,” Somerville said. “They really came through well.”

Junior Jan Tribler picked up the clinching fifth point for the Sea Warriors with a 6-3, 7-5 win over junior Eddie Merc in the singles No. 4 match.

The lone BYU-H point came from freshman Jan Krejci’s 6-1, 6-2 win over sophomore Mikael Maatta in the No. 1 singles match. Individually, Krejci is ranked second in Division II while Maatta is ranked fourth.

HPU went up 4-0 after sophomore Matey Pampulov won 6-1, 6-2 over senior Andrew Makarevich in the singles No.3 match.

Tribler/Maatta teamed to win the doubles No. 1 match 8-2 and the first point of the match over the Seasiders Korean team, freshman Hing-Tae Kim and sophomore Hung-Soon Park.

(Maatta/Tribler) were executing shots well, closing the net, and returning excellent,” Somerville said. “It was a real flawless effort by our number one team.”

Junior Stefan Pampulov and senior Karl Sloss picked up the second point for HPU after beating junior Dauda Ndiaye/ Makerovich 8-6 in the doubles No. 2 match. S. Pampulov/ Sloss squandered a 4-0 lead, but then broke at six all and served out the match for the win.

In the doubles No. 3 match, M. Pampulov teamed with junior Blaz Jurjec to beat Kreji/ Merc 8-6. M. Pampulov/Jurjec went down a break before coming back. “For our team to come back and win, that was a fantastic effort because they had to break twice in a row to win the match,” said Somerville.

Women second in Pac West

The Division II No. 14 HPU women’s tennis team lost to powerhouse No. 1 BYU-H 1-5 in the championship match of the inaugural tennis Pac West Conference Championships April 13 at Laie.
“The BYU-H women are really in a league of their own,” Somerville said. “They are an extremely strong team.”

Freshman Shakti Stream picked up the only Sea Warrior point against BYU-H in the singles No. 6 match.

The Lady Sea Warriors had no problems getting to the Pac West final, beating UH-H 7-2 and Western New Mexico 9-0. The Lady Sea Warriors have now beaten UH-H three times in a row after losing the first meeting of the season.

The Lady Sea Warriors will get a first round bye in their half of the NCAA Division II West Regionals.

 

 

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