Pepperdine Continues West Coast Conference Action at Portland and Gonzaga
MALIBU, Calif. - The #10 Pepperdine men’s tennis team puts its six-match win streak on the line this weekend with West Coast Conference road matches at Gonzaga on Friday and Portland on Saturday. The Waves, 3-0 in WCC action, are one of two teams left in the league with a perfect record, the other being BYU at 4-0.
MATCH 21 - Friday (April 5) at Spokane Racquet Club: #10 Pepperdine (16-4, 3-0 WCC) vs. Gonzaga (7-9, 0-3 WCC) at 11 a.m.
MATCH 22 - Saturday (April 6) at Louisiana-Pacific Tennis Center: #10 Pepperdine vs. Portland (8-7, 1-2 WCC) at 11 a.m.
LOOKING BACK - The Waves played their first road WCC matches last week and emerged with two convincing victories ... Pepperdine first defeated San Francisco 6-1 before downing Santa Clara by a 4-2 margin ... The week prior, the team hosted three matches at home and topped Loyola Marymount, #53 Princeton and #10 Oklahoma State ... Pepperdine’s 4-3 triumph over the Sooners was its first win over a top-10 ranked program since downing #3 Georgia during the quarterfinals of the 2012 NCAA Tournament.
GONZAGA - The Bulldogs are 7-9 overall in 2013 and 0-3 in league action with losses to Portland, San Diego and Saint Mary’s ... Last time out, Gonzaga defeated New Mexico State 5-2 on March 28 ... Alvaro Nazal holds down the No. 1 spot in the singles lineup with an 11-4 record and is team-best 24-6 in 2012-13.
PORTLAND - The Pilots are 8-7 this season and 1-2 on conference play ... Portland hosts Sacramento State and Loyola Marymount this week before entertaining the Waves ... Portland is coming off a narrow 4-3 loss to Saint Mary’s last week ... Ratan Gill is 8-5 at No. 1 singles, while Michel Hu Kwo is 8-5 at No. 2.
LOOKING AHEAD - The Waves play one more on the road -- April 10 at Stanford -- before hosting the final four matches of the regular season ... Pepperdine plays Saint Mary’s on April 12 at the Riviera Country Club in Pacific Palisades, Calif. ... The Waves return to the Ralphs-Straus Tennis Center on April 13 to host San Diego and conclude the regular season at home vs. UCLA (April 15) and BYU (April 19).
RANKINGS - The Waves are currently ranked #10 in the team rankings, and have reached as high as #5 ... Sebastian Fanselow is currently ranked #10 in singles after reaching as high as #4 ... Alex Sarkissian entered the rankings on Feb. 12, has reach as high as #73 and right now ranks #94 ... Finn Tearney made his first rankings appearance of 2013 at #105 and is up to #77 .... Francis Alcantara broke into the rankings on Feb. 26, reached as high as #53 and currently sits at #70 ... Tearney and Alcantara also broke into the doubles rankings on Feb. 26 at #27 and currently rank #32 ... For complete ITA team, singles and doubles rankings, visit: http://www.itatennis.com/AwardsAndRankings/Rankings.htm
THE LINEUP - Finn Tearney and Francis Alcantara have been holding down the No. 1 doubles spot, followed by Sebastian Fanselow and Alex Sarkissian and No. 2 ... Recently however, the teams flip flopped and Tearney and Fanselow have played together at No. 1 followed by Alcantara and Sarkissian at No. 2 .. Mousheg Hovhannisyan has teamed up mostly with David Sofaer at No. 3 ... In singles Fanselow has held down the top spot, while Tearney, Alcantara and Sarkissian, rotate between the 2-4 spots ... Hovhannisyan and Sofaer typically play at No. 5 and No. 6, respectively ... Kento Tanaka-Tamaki has also made his way into the doubles and singles rotation.
COVERAGE - Live results and recaps will be posted on www.PepperdineSports.com at the conclusion of each match.
TWITTER - Fans can follow the Waves on Twitter @PeppTennis or @PepperdineWaves and “like” us on Facebook by searching for Pepperdine Athletics.
COME ONE COME ALL - Admission to all regular-season men’s and women’s tennis matches at the Ralphs-Straus Tennis Center is FREE.
WCC PLAYER OF THE MONTH - Sebastian Fanselow was the West Coast Conference singles player of the month for November, after his run at the USTA/ITA National Indoor Intercollegiate Championship, and again in February ... Mousheg Hovhannisyan and David Sofaer were awarded January Doubles Team of the Month honors after opening the season with back-to-back victories ... Finn Tearney and Francis Alcantara were announced as February’s WCC Doubles Team of the Month after being honored as All-Tournament performers at the ITA National Indoor Team Championship.
TOP FIVE - The Waves were awarded with a #5 ITA team ranking on Feb. 5. It was the first time Pepperdine has earned top-five status since the 2006 season, when they spent the majority of the season in the top-five, won the NCAA Championship and concluded the year at #1. Although the Waves reached the semifinals of the 2012 NCAA Championship, they were ranked #6 in the final ITA poll.
KELLY JONES - The ITA announced it will be inducting Pepperdine alum Kelly Jones, who competed for the Waves from 1983-86, into the ITA Collegiate Men’s Tennis Hall of Fame in a ceremony on May 22. The two-time NCAA Doubles Champion in 1984 and 1985 was a five-time ITA All-American while at Pepperdine and went on to have a successful pro career on the ATP Tour. Jones becomes the fourth Wave to be inducted into the ITA Hall of Fame joining Brad Gilbert, Robbie Weiss and Simon Aspelin.
NATIONAL INDOOR RECAP - Sebastian Fanselow, who did not compete for the majority of the fall season, made his return to the court at the USTA/ITA National Indoor Intercollegiate Championship in Flushing, N.Y. in November ... After defeating two top-10 ranked opponents in straight sets, Fanselow was pitted against #8-ranked and top seeded Alex Domijan in the semifinals ... After splitting the first two sets, the duo fought all the way to a 6-6 tie in the third ... Fanselow held serve and proceed to break Domijan’s serve at love to secure the match 6-4, 3-6, 7-5. Fanselow later fell to Domijan’s teammate, Jamere Jenkins, in the finals but not before he was named the USTA/ITA Sportsmanship Award recipient.
Adam Steinberg - Now in his 11th season as head coach of the Waves, Adam Steinberg boasts career record of 285-151 including a 155-72 mark at Pepperdine. Since setting foot on the Malibu campus in 2003, Steinberg has captured six WCC conference championships, six appearances in the NCAA Tournament, and an NCAA Championship crown in 2006. He has tutored 16 Waves to All-American status, and has been named WCC Coach of the Year six times. Prior to coming to Pepperdine, Steinberg served as the head coach at Alabama and St. John’s for five seasons apiece.
ABOUT PEPPERDINE - Pepperdine boasts a one-of-a-kind athletic department with unprecedented success for a school of its size. The Waves have won NCAA Division I championships in five different men’s sports - one of just 16 schools to have accomplished this feat - and nine overall. Of this elite group, Pepperdine has the smallest enrollment and is the only school not in a major conference. Located in scenic Malibu, Calif., the university overlooks the Pacific Ocean and its campus and athletic facilities are regularly voted among the nation’s most beautiful. Pepperdine, which is affiliated with the Church of Christ, ranks #54 overall on U.S. News and World Report’s list of America’s best colleges.