MALIBU, Calif. - The #12 Pepperdine men’s tennis team opens the 2013 NCAA Tournament on its home courts of the Ralphs-Straus Tennis Center this weekend, May 10-11, with the first and second rounds. The Waves face UC Santa Barbara in round one on Friday, May 10, and a win would pit the team against either #20 LSU or #40 Stanford on Saturday, May 11.
FIRST ROUND - Friday (May 10) at Ralphs-Straus Tennis Center: #20 LSU (15-11) vs. #40 Stanford (12-11) at 10 a.m.; #12 Pepperdine (24-5) vs. UC Santa Barbara (12-13) at 1 p.m.
SECOND ROUND - Saturday (May 11) at Ralphs-Straus Tennis Center: LSU/Stanford vs. Pepperdine/UCSB at 1 p.m.
COVERAGE - Live scores will be available for all three matches this weekend ... The Pepperdine Tournament Central offers links to live stats, scores, match recaps and more.
FRIENDS OF JACLYN FOUNDATION - The Friends of Jaclyn Foundation is a charity that strives to help children with brain tumors and their families. The foundation’s Adopt-A-Child program pairs a child battling a brain tumor with a college sports team who takes the child into their athletic program as member of the team. The child attends practices, games and other activities with his or her newly found brothers and sisters. Pepperdine has taken Sully and his family under its wing all season, but will formally “adopt” him in a ceremony at 1:30 p.m. on Thursday, May 9. All are welcome to attend! For more information on the Friends of Jaclyn Foundation, visit the organization’s website.
LOOKING AHEAD - The winner of Saturday’s second-round contest will move on to the Khan Tennis Complex in Urbana, Ill. for the duration of the NCAA Championship ... The team event runs May 16-21, while the singles and doubles championships will take place May 22-27.
LOOKING BACK - Pepperdine won its 40th official WCC Tournament Championship on April 27 at the Barnes Tennis Center ... The Waves beat San Francisco (4-0) in the semifinals before edging #39 BYU 4-3 in the finals ... Mousheg Hovhannisyan came through with a win in the third-set tiebreaker to set Pepperdine apart against the Cougars.
WCC AWARDS - The Waves were once again well represented in the All-West Coast Conference awards ... Sebastian Fanselow was named Player of the Year of the second season in a row while Adam Steinberg was honored as WCC Coach of the Year ... Fanselow and Finn Tearney made the singles first team list, while Alex Sarkissian was a second team selection ... In doubles, Francis Alcantara-Fanselow snagged a spot on the first team, while the Tearney-Sarkissian pair was recognized on the second team.
RANKINGS - The Waves are currently ranked #12 in the team rankings, and have reached as high as #5 ... Sebastian Fanselow is currently ranked #11 in singles after reaching as high as #4 ... Francis Alcantara broke into the rankings on Feb. 26, reached as high as #53 and currently sits at #102 ... Alex Sarkissian earned a season-best ranking of #60 on April 23 and right now stands at #62 ... Finn Tearney made his first rankings appearance of 2013 at #105, reached as high as #77 and currently sits at #107 ... Tearney and Alcantara also broke into the doubles rankings on Feb. 26 at #27 and currently rank #43.
SINGLES AND DOUBLES - At least three Waves will be present for the NCAA Singles and Doubles Championships ... Sebastian Fanselow will represent Pepperdine in the singles bracket as a 9-16 seed ... Alex Sarkissian could join him and is #4 on the alternate list ... Finn Tearney and Francis Alcantara earned a spot in the 32-team doubles bracket.
NCAA TOURNAMENT HISTORY - Pepperdine is officially making its 33rd appearance at the championships ... The Waves are officially 51-31 all-time at the tournament, including a 10-2 record when playing in Malibu ... Pepperdine won the national title in 2006 ... Last year, the Waves upset second-seeded Georgia in the quarterfinals, 4-3, in front of 3,100+ hometown fans ... Pepperdine succumbed to Virginia in a rain-hindered semifinal, 4-1.
THE LINEUP - The doubles lineup has seen several changes over that past few weeks ... Five different pairs have seen action at No. 1, most recently Sebastian Fanselow and Francis Alcantara ... Finn Tearney and Alex Sarkissian have taken up residence in the No. 2 spot in the lineup ... David Sofaer and Mousheg Hovhannisyan have held down the No. 3 spot in the doubles lineup for the majority of the season ... In singles Fanselow has held down the top spot, while Sarkissian, Tearney and Alcantara, rotate between the 2-4 spots ... Hovhannisyan and Sofaer typically play at No. 5 and No. 6, respectively ... Kento Tanaka-Tamaki and Damian Gryzelko have also made their way into the doubles and singles rotation.
THE FIELD - UC Santa Barbara is unranked at 12-13 on the season, but are peaking at the right time after winning the Big West Tournament with three upset victories ... LSU is 15-11 in 2013 after falling in the first round of the SEC Championship ... Two Tiger duos are ranked in doubles including Stefan Szacinski/Tam Trinh (#31) and Chris Simpson/Szacinski (#74) ... Simpson paces LSU in singles at #42 followed by Szacinski at #91 ... Cardinal players in the doubles rankings include John Morrissey and Denis Lin at #54 ... Morrissey is also ranked #50 in singles ... Stanford is 12-11 after reaching the semifinals of the Pac-12 Tournament.
TWITTER - Fans can follow the Waves on Twitter @PeppTennis or @PepperdineWaves and “like” us on Facebook by searching for Pepperdine Athletics.
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 ... April’s WCC Doubles Team of the Month was awarded to Tearney and Alex Sarkissian.
Adam Steinberg - Now in his 11th season as head coach of the Waves, Adam Steinberg boasts career record of 300-154 including a 170-75 mark at Pepperdine. Since setting foot on the Malibu campus in 2003, Steinberg has captured seven WCC conference championships, seven 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 seven 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.