» Petr Michnev
» HPU tennis
» No. 1 singles
It was the perfect match for Petr Michnev. Tennis and college.
“Where I’m from, you have to choose one of two things,” the native of Ostrava, Czech Republic, said. “Either you study or you play sport.
“Coming to (Hawaii Pacific) was a good opportunity to play and study at the same time. And living in Hawaii … everything is perfect.”
And so was Michnev’s record at No. 1 singles for his first 11 matches. The 21-year-old didn’t drop a set during the first five weeks of this season, a run that included an upset of the top-ranked singles player in NCAA Division II: Barry’s Emanuel Fraitzl on March 13 in San Diego.
The Sea Warriors traveled north to Las Vegas the next day, but Michnev’s game went south. He lost a tough 7-6, 7-5 match to No. 15 Leandro Ferreira of West Florida on March 14 and, in his fourth match in as many days, dropped another heartbreaker to second-ranked Eudalso Bonet of Armstrong Atlantic, 7-5, 4-6, 10-8.
“I didn’t play my game,” Michnev said of his two losses. “I was a little bit tired. But the win (over Fraitzl) was one of the best of the season.”
He regrouped with victories over the next two days, including last Thursday, when he won the super tiebreaker in a 6-2, 5-7, 10-6 victory over Fresno Pacific’s Kirill Sinitsyn.
“My game was good,” said Michnev, who improved to 13-2. “I started playing it safe and we had to go to the super tiebreak. I managed to win it.”
Michnev is studying finance, eyeing a degree in international business. His goal is to play on the ATP tour, a dream that began when he picked up his first racket at age 7 and continued after seeing Andre Agassi win an ATP tournament in Michnev’s hometown.
“He is my idol,” Michnev said of Agassi. “I like his game. It’s very aggressive.”
The move to Hawaii wasn’t a hard transition, he said.
“But my grandmother was a little mad that I was leaving,” Michnev said. “She’s OK with it now.”
He’s adjusted to the 11-hour time difference from home, helped by the occasional trips to Sandy Beach and Waikiki sand volleyball courts.
“I like beach volleyball,” he said. “I’ve been able to play a little. And Sandy’s has been a wonderful experience.”
Patton, Fujita earn weekly honors
Hawaii Pacific’s Erin Fujita was named the player of the week and Breanne Patton the pitcher of the week in PacWest softball yesterday.
Fujita, a sophomore right fielder, helped the Sea Warriors to a 4-0 week, hitting .556 (5-for-9) with two doubles, a triple, two RBIs and four runs scored.
Patton, a junior right-hander out of Campbell, went 2-0 during the week, including two complete-game shutouts, to improve to 10-0.