Waves Top Furman and Hawaii
March 11, 2014
MALIBU, Calif. - The #42 Pepperdine men's tennis team picked up two victories today on the courts of the Ralphs-Straus Tennis Center, starting with a 6-1 decision over Furman. Junior Kento Tanaka-Tamaki played the hero in the follow-up match vs. Hawaii, winning 6-4 in the third to clinch the 4-3 victory.
Pepperdine opened the morning against Furman, coached by Pepperdine alum and two-time NCAA Doubles Champion Kelly Jones.
Although the Paladins challenged the Waves in doubles, the home team ultimately prevailed. After Alex Sarkissian (Glendale, Calif./Glendale CC) and Francis Alcantara (Cagayan de Oro, Philippines/Fresno State) topped Jacob Behal and Adam Steryous by an 8-4 tally, Tom Hill (Birmingham, England/K12 International Academy) and Alex Giannini (Los Angeles, Calif./Gorman Learning Center) suffered a loss on court two.
In the deciding match, Rakshay Thakkar (Pune, India/St. Vincent's High School) and Stefan Menichella (Santa Barbara, Calif./University HS) found themselves deadlocked against Ben Horst and Alex Christ. With 14 games in the books and still no winner, the opposing pairs headed to a tiebreaker.
The squads continued to go point-for-point until tied at 8-8, Thakkar and Menichella came through in the clutch and scored on consecutive points to win 10-8 and give Pepperdine a 1-0 lead heading into singles.
Pedro Leme (Sao Paulo, Brazil/Mackenzie Tambore) opened his day in singles and ready to play. The Wave quickly put away a 6-2, 6-2 decision over Christ to extend the home team's lead.
Alcantara, Menichella and Hill all followed suit, winning in straight sets to elevate the score to 5-0.
Furman got on the board with wins in the third-set tiebreaker at No. 1 and No. 6 to finish the opening session.
After a quick lunch break, Pepperdine was back on the court to take on Hawaii. The doubles point was once again determined by a tiebreaker, and again the Waves prevailed.
David Sofaer (Bellevue Hill, Australia/Sydney Distance Education HS) teamed up with Alcantara for the first time this season and disposed of Jonathan Brooklyn Danilo Casanova, 8-3.
The doubles point came down to the final match for the second time today, and Hill and Leme won the tiebreaker 7-2 to give Pepperdine the advantage.
That effort proved to be the different maker, as the Rainbow Warriors and Waves split the three singles matches.
Senior Sofaer earned a point for Pepperdine with a 6-4, 6-0 win against Casanova at No. 2.
Although Hawaii won the next two matches, Alcantara put the Waves back in front 3-2 with a straight set win vs. Jonathan Brooklyn. It was the Wave's first appearance in the No. 1 spot in the lineup.
Tanaka-Tamaki (Kihei, Hawaii/St. Anthony Junior-Senior HS) picked a good time to post his first singles win of the season. After splitting sets with Carter Lam, Tanaka-Tamaki edged his opponent 6-4 in the third to clinch the dual for the Waves.
Hawaii picked up its third and final point the third set tiebreaker on court four.
Pepperdine continues the week with a match at Illinois on Friday, March 14. The 4 p.m. (PT) dual will be aired live on ESPN3.
Furman vs Pepperdine
#42 Pepperdine 5, Furman 2
University of Hawai'i vs Pepperdine
#42 Pepperdine 4, University of Hawai'i 3