Vulcans drop Concordia, to face Sharks for trip to tennis nationals

  • RUSS BLUNCK/UHH Martin Soukal earned wins in singles and doubles Friday in a West Regional semifinal victory against Concordia.

Another installment of an interisland tennis rivalry to determine a trip to nationals, anyone?

UH-Hilo and Hawaii Pacific punched their tickets Friday to the West Regional final in Surprise, Ariz., setting up a fifth meeting this season.

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The top-seeded Vulcans (9-2) bounced Concordia (9-8) for the second time this season, 4-0, while Sharks (6-4) upset Azusa Pacific (17-5) 4-2.

UHH has won three of four matches against the Sharks heading into Saturday, when the Vuls will vie for a repeat trip to the NCAA Division II Championships.

“They are very, very good,” Vuls coach Kallen Mizuguchi said of HPU in a release. “All of our matches against them have very difficult.”

UHH earned the double point Friday courtesy of Luca Checchia and Joshua Liu, who won 6-0, and, Martin Soukal and Santiago Di Loreto, who pulled through 7-6 (7-5).

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The Vuls tacked on singles win by Soukal (6-3, 6-3), Wu (6-1, 6-2) and Liu (6-4, 6-0).

“I’m happy with how we played,” Mizuguchi said. “We started out slow but moved into it after that. Doubles gave us the starting point and we played off of each other in terms of energy.”

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