Pepperdine Ranked #8 in the Country in Final ITA Poll
MALIBU, Calif. – After reaching the quarterfinals of the 2013 NCAA Tournament, the Pepperdine men’s tennis team ranked in at #8 on the final ITA team poll of the season. Additionally, several Waves appeared in the regional and national singles and doubles rankings.
This is the second-straight season, and 24th overall, Pepperdine has finished the year ranked in the top-10 of the ITA team rankings. The best-ever finish came during the 2006 campaign, when the Waves put together a 36-2 record and took home their first NCAA Championship to conclude the year at #1.
Pepperdine finished this season with a 27-6 record, including a 19-6 mark against ranked opponents. Including this season, the team has now reached the quarterfinals of the NCAA Tournament five times since the current 64-team dual format began in 1999.
Not only did the Waves produce an undefeated West Coast Conference regular season record for the 10th-straight season, they improved to 52-0 at the conference tournament. In total, Pepperdine has officially won 40 WCC Tournament titles.
Pepperdine hosted UC Santa Barbara, #40 Stanford and #20 LSU in NCAA Tournament first and second round action. After shutting out the Gauchos, the Waves took on the Tigers, who had eliminated the Cardinal in the first round. Once again, Pepperdine won by a 4-0 decision.
In Urbana, Ill., the site of the 2013 NCAA Championship, the Waves faced an underrated Memphis squad in the round of 16. The Tigers, ranked #32 at the time, knocked off sixth-seeded Ole Miss in the second round to advance.
Although Memphis won the doubles point, Pepperdine stormed back in singles and emerged with a 4-2 victory. The Tigers moved up to #20 in the final ITA poll.
Individually, Sebastian Fanselow (Essen, Germany/Kaplan College Prep) had a dream senior season. After sitting out most of the fall, he returned to the court at the USTA/ITA National Indoor Intercollegiate Championship where he finished runner-up and took home the USTA/ITA Sportsmanship award.
He held down the No. 1 spot in the dual lineup with a 22-6 record. His career dual-season win tally in singles stands at 78 – fifth in the category in the Pepperdine record book.
At the NCAA Singles Championship, he reached the semifinals and earned a final singles ranking of #8.
Fanselow, along with Alex Sarkissian (Glendale, Calif./Glendale CC), both were awarded ITA All-American status for their efforts in singles this season. Sarkissian advanced the round of 16 at the NCAA Singles Championship and was ranked #40 in the final poll.
Other Waves to end the season with a singles ranking include Finn Tearney (Wellington, New Zealand/Wellington College) at #110 and Francis Alcantara (Cagayan de Oro, Philippines/Fresno State) at #101.
In doubles, three different pairings garnered a top-70 ranking including Tearney/Sarkissian (#60), Tearney/Alcantara (#61) and Fanselow/Alcantara (#68).
In the regional rankings, Pepperdine ranked #3 as a team. Fanselow was dubbed the #1 player in the southwest region, followed by Sarkissian (#8) and Tearney (#15). In doubles, Tearney and Sarkissian came in at #6 followed by Fanselow and Alcantara at #7.
Although three will be lost for the 2013-14 season due to graduation, Fanselow, Tearney and Mousheg Hovhannisyan (North Hollywood, Calif./Continental Academy), head coach Adam Steinberg will return five student-athletes. Additionally, he’ll usher in at least three newcomers: Alex Giannini, Stefan Menichella and Alex Soloni