Indian Wells, CA- Hope International Men's Tennis team beat Arizona Christian 5-3 in their first-round GSAC Tournament match on Wednesday morning. Senior Tyler McDonald and Junior Jake Barnard combined to win three of the five Hope International points.
Starting with doubles, Hope International did not show up well in the first two doubles as Arizona Christian won without much resistance 8-3 and 8-1. The outcome was reversed however on the number three doubles court where McDonald and Barnard won easily 8-0.
In singles play, the Royals (5-15) found their groove in a big way as they won four of the five finished singles matches.
Freshman Leonardo Pires and Sophomore Thiago Brito cruised through their matches both winning 6-0 and 6-0.
Barnard had a tougher road against Arizona Christian's Tyler Cawthorne in number three singles. Barnard won the opening set 6-2 and was up to begin the second set. But Cawthorne came back to win the second set 6-4. However, Barnard responded by winning the third set 6-0.
McDonald and Michael Munguia of the Firestorm (5-17) played a very close match on court number five. The two started out tied 1-1 before McDonald broke Munguia's serve and went on to lead for good and win 6-4. In the second set, Munguia actually built a 5-3 edge but McDonald answered by winning the last four games. The comeback for McDonald gave Hope International their fifth and deciding point.
Because the teams are playing team tournament style, once a fifth point is earned by either team all other matches immediately end. Junior Enzo Correa and Arizona Christian's Ian Glessing had their match go down as unfinished. Glessing won the first set 6-2 but early in the second set he cramped up and Correa was taking advantage. He won the second set 6-1 and was winning the third set 3-2 when the team match went final.
Head Coach Ryan Young stated, "Our guys showed a lot of heart and courage to come up with a great effort in singles. We talked after doubles about picking up our energy and just going out and competing and that is exactly what we did. I asked if they wanted their season to end today, and they really responded well to the challenge."
For the Firestorm their season ends with the loss. For the Royals, they live to face another day as they will play top seeded Vanguard at 9:00 am on Thursday.