Fanselow, Guillermo and Issara Pick Up WCC Player of the Month Awards
MALIBU, Calif. – The Pepperdine men’s and women’s tennis teams both finished the fall season on high notes, and were awarded today for their success by the West Coast Conference. Sebastian Fanselow was named the November Men’s Singles Player of the Month, while teammates Lorraine Guillermo and Khunpak Issara were tabled the Women’s Doubles Team of the Month.
Fanselow (Essen, Germany/Kaplan College Prep) reached the title match at the USTA/ITA National Indoor Intercollegiate Championships to put the finishing touches on his fall season. The senior, who hadn’t seen action since September due to injury, was granted a wildcard entry into the national tournament by virtue of his high preseason ranking of #3. In his first match in over two months, the senior defeated #10-ranked and eighth seeded KU Singh of Georgia, 7-6, 6-4. His quarterfinal match pitted him against local rival Ray Sarmiento of USC. Fanselow easily advanced following a 6-1, 6-2 victory.
In the semifinals, Fanselow went toe-to-toe with top-seeded and #8-ranked Alex Domijan of Virginia. After winning the first set 6-4, Domijan took the second 6-3. Fanselow’s service game improved in the final set, and the two top-tier players battled all the way to a 5-5 tie. After holding serve and up 6-5, Fanselow was faced with either breaking Domijan’s serve or heading to a tiebreaker. The senior was brilliant in the final game, holding Domijan at love to break the Cavalier’s serve and win 7-5.
Fanselow would suffer a loss to Domijan’s teammate, #2-rankled Jamare Jenkins in the finals to finish the month with a 4-1 record. Fanselow concluded the fall campaign with a team-best 6-2 record.
Additionally, Fanselow was honored as the USTA/ITA Sportsmanship Award by a panel of coaches, officials and tournament committee members.
This is the first time this season and sixth overall Fanselow has garnered WCC Player of the Month honors.
Doubles pair Issara (Bangkok, Thailand/Bangkok Patana School) and Guillermo (Walnut, Calif./Walnut HS) went 3-1 in November after reaching the semifinals of the USTA/ITA National Indoor Intercollegiate Championship. Issara and Guillermo, ranked #7, earned the automatic bid after winning the consolation draw at the ITA All-American Championships in October.
The tandem -- unseeded amongst the 20 teams participating -- opened the national tournament with an 8-3 win over Cristina Stancu and Stefania Hristov of Texas A&M. In the round of 16, the Wave pair faced #30-ranked Kate Fuller and Lauren Herring of Georgia, who had received a first-round bye. Issara and Guillermo handily won again by a score of 8-3.
Issara and Guillermo won an exciting match against Tennessee’s Brynn Boren and Kata Szekely in the semifinals. Although Boren and Szekely were the tournament’s No. 2 seed and favorited to move on, Issara and Guillermo powered through to fight off match point and win 9-7.
In the semifinals, which transitioned from an eight-game pro-set to a best-of-three sets format, the Waves dropped a close 7-5 decision to Stephanie Nauta and Li Xi of Virginia. With the momentum in their favor, the Cavaliers took set two 6-2 to end the Waves’ run.
Issara and Guillermo concluded the fall season with a 7-2 record.
This is the second-straight month the Pepperdine duo has been awarded WCC Player of the Month and fifth time overall.
In addition to Fanselow’s success, Finn Tearney (Wellington, New Zealand/Wellington College) was also impressive in November. The senior went a perfect 4-0 in singles at the Lakewood Ranch Intercollegiate Clay Court Classic to win the tournament.
Both the men’s and women’s tennis teams return to action in January when the dual season begins.