Leme Seals Victory for #12 Waves
Jan. 24, 2014
MALIBU, Calif. – The #12-ranked Pepperdine men’s tennis team made their 2014 debut at the Ralphs-Straus Tennis Center with a 4-1 win over #41 San Diego in the opening round of ITA Kick-Off Weekend action. Sophomore Pedro Leme outlasted Andrew Raphaelson in the third set tiebreaker to clinch the team victory.
Pepperdine moves to 2-0 on the young season while the Toreros start their dual campaign at 0-1.
The battle for the doubles point came down to a tiebreaker in the final match to finish. The Toreros got the first win at No. 3 doubles, but David Sofaer (Bellevue Hill, Australia/Sydney Distance Education HS) and Leme (Sao Paulo, Brazil/Mackenzie Tambore) leveled the score with a 6-3 triumph from the No. 2 spot.
All eyes fell to court one, where Alex Sarkissian (Glendale, Calif./Glendale CC) and Francis Alcantara (Cagayan de Oro, Philippines/Fresno State) were fighting off the come-back efforts of Clarke Spinosa and Filip Vittek.
Although the Waves’ top duo built a 4-1 lead, USD stormed back to knot the score 5-all and send the match to the tiebreaker.
With momentum in their favor, Spinosa and Vittek went ahead 4-1 in the first-to-seven, win-by-two tiebreaker. It was then Sarkissian and Alcantara’s turn to come back, and the duo rattled off six unanswered points to win 7-4 and clinch the point for the Waves.
Sarkissian, listed at #33 in the ITA singles rankings, put Pepperdine ahead 2-0 after a dominant 6-1, 6-1 win over #22-ranked Spinosa.
The Waves’ lead was further extended after Alcantara put away a 6-3, 6-3 decision versus Vittek.
Geoffrey Fosso got San Diego on the board with a win from the No. 6 spot in the lineup.
All three remaining matches were anyone’s to claim, as all three went to a third set.
It was newcomer Leme who pulled through for the Waves, winning an exciting match in the tiebreaker. After winning set one by a 6-1 tally, Raphaelson rebounded with a 6-4 triumph in the second.
The third set played out just as close and was sent to a tiebreaker at 5-5. Although Leme fell behind 4-5, the sophomore relied on his strong serve to gain a 5-4 advantage. Raphaelson double faulted at match point to give Leme the 7-5 victory.
It was Leme’s first dual-season win in his young career.
Pepperdine continues its run on Saturday at 1 p.m. in the championship match. The Waves will face the winner of the Cal-Alabama dual and the overall victor will earn a spot at the ITA National Indoor Championships in February.
San Diego vs Pepperdine
#12 Pepperdine 4, #41 San Diego 1