SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. – Arizona Christian freshman Tyler Cawthorne (Mansfield, Tex./Mansfield H.S.) knew that the match was tied at 4-4 and that he was playing the last match of the day at number two singles against Enzo Correa. After splitting the first two sets with Correa, 4-6, 6-4, Cawthorne won the decisive third set, 6-3, and gave Arizona Christian (3-4, 1-0 GSAC) a 5-4 collegiate men's tennis victory over Hope International University (1-2, 0-1 GSAC), Tuesday, February 12, at La Camarilla Racquet and Fitness Club in Scottsdale, Arizona. The victory was the first GSAC match ever and first conference home match for the Firestorm.
Arizona Christian won the first three singles positions and first two doubles spots for the 5-4 win. Junior Andrew Barnett (Tucson, Ariz./Tanque Verde H.S./Pima CC) and freshman Ian Glessing (Scottsdale, Ariz./Desert Mountain HS), who are 5-1 this season, teamed for an 8-5 number one doubles win over Hope's John-Douglas Owens and Leonardo Pires, and Cawthorne and freshman Michael Munguia (Yuba City, Calif./Sutter Union HS), who are undefeated at 7-0 this season, paired up for an 8-6 number two doubles victory over Correa and Thiago Brito.
Arizona Christian led 2-1 after the doubles competition, and Hope added a point by default at number six singles, and Tyler McDonald defeated Arizona Christian's Geoffrey Leu (Clinton, Iowa/Clinton H.S./Clinton Community CC), 6-0, 6-0, at number five singles and gave the Royals a 3-2 match lead. Glessing, now 3-5 in singles this season, won 6-4, 6-4 at number three singles over Jake Barnard, and Barnett (4-2, 1-0 GSAC) was the next player off the court after scoring a 6-3, 7-5 number one singles win over Owens and Arizona Christian led 4-3.
Pires tied the match at 4-4 with a 1-6, 6-2, 6-3 number four singles win over Munguia, and set up Cawthorne's heroics. Cawthorne lost set one, 6-4, to Correa, and then won set two, 6-4. A 6-3 win for Cawthorne in set three gave Arizona Christian a 5-4 win and evened Cawthorne's record at 4-4.