#11 Waves Take Down #10 Oklahoma
March 23, 2013
MALIBU, Calif. – Despite losing the doubles point, the #11 Pepperdine men’s tennis team defeated #10 Oklahoma 4-3 on Saturday afternoon. Senior Sebastian Fanselow came through for the Waves, grinding out a three-set victory to clinch the dual.
For Pepperdine, it was the program’s first win over a top-10 team in 2013 and first since May 20, 2012 when the Waves, then #7, upset #3-ranked Georgia in the quarterfinals of the NCAA Championship.
“The guys showed so much heart today playing against a great team,” said head coach Adam Steinberg following the match. “I’m so proud of Seb. He hasn’t been playing at 100-percent so to beat one of the best players in the nation is just incredible.
“This is a match we wanted and it’s what we have been working so hard for. I’m very happy for the team today”
In doubles, the Waves and Sooners split the matches on courts two and three.
Mousheg Hovhannisyan (North Hollywood, Calif./Continental Academy) and David Sofaer (Bellevue Hill, Australia/Sydney Distance Education HS) won their fourth straight with a convincing 8-3 triumph over Lawrence Formentera and Leonard Stakhovsky.
In the deciding match, Sebastian Fanselow (Essen, Germany/Kaplan College Prep) and Finn Tearney (Wellington, New Zealand/Wellington College) trailed as much as 1-6 against #44-ranked Costin Paval and Dane Webb before battling their way back into the match.
Down 3-6, Fanselow reached up as far as his racquet and gravity would allow to save the ball and send it back to the Oklahoma side of the net. The Sooners were unable to return the ball and misfired on the overhead smash. The play proved to be a turning point in the match, and Fanselow and Tearney won five of the next six games to take an 8-7 lead.
After Paval held serve, the match was sent to a tiebreaker. Unfortunately for the Waves, the momentum stopped there and the Oklahoma pair won 7-2 to secure the doubles point for the Sooners.
In singles Hovhannisyan was the first off the court, putting a 6-1, 6-4 decision in the books over Peerakit Siributwong.
Sofaer gave Pepperdine a 2-1 lead after topping Formentera 6-4, 1-6, 6-1.
The Sooners won their first singles match of the day on court two. Guillermo Alcorta defeated Tearney 6-4, 6-1.
After dropping the first set, Alex Sarkissian (Glendale, Calif./Glendale CC) found his rhythm and bounced back with 6-1, 6-2 victories and the second and third frames vs. Axel Alvarez Llamas. The triumph put the Waves back on top 3-2.
The advantage was short lived, however, as Webb prevailed over Francis Alcantara (Cagayan de Oro, Philippines/Fresno State) in three sets just moments later.
In the deciding match, #11-ranked Fanselow opened his match against #17 Paval with a 7-5 win in the first stanza. The Wave was down 2-5 before rattling off five unanswered games to take the opening lead.
Paval rebounded in the second frame 6-3, and fought game-for-game with Fanselow in the deciding set.
On serve, 4-3, Fanselow finally broke Paval’s fast-flying serve to go ahead 5-3. Serving for the match, Fanselow jumped ahead early before the Sooner knotted the score at deuce. That’s as close as it would get, however, and the Waves won the next two points to hold serve and clinch the set, match and dual 6-3.
Pepperdine continues West Coast Conference action next week with duals at San Francisco (March 29) and Santa Clara (March 30).
Oklahoma vs Pepperdine