Men's Tennis Wins 20th Consecutive WCC Title
SAN DIEGO, Calif. - Another year, another West Coast Conference title for the #22 Pepperdine men's tennis team as the Waves captured their 41st overall and 20th consecutive with a 4-1 victory over #55 Santa Clara in Sunday's championship match.
Pepperdine (16-10) has far more conference titles than any other school (no one else has more than two).
"It's always exciting to win your conference championship," said Pepperdine Coach Adam Steinberg, whose teams are now 8-for-8 at the WCC Championships. "The other teams are getting way better and are much improved. USF gave us a great match yesterday and Santa Clara did the same today. I'm proud of our guys for stepping up and playing well. We played our best match of the weekend today."
The Waves were challenged in doubles, as Pepperdine won at #1 and Santa Clara was victorious at #3. But the duo of sophomore Hugh Clarke (Brisbane, Australia) and freshman Finn Tearney (Wellington, New Zealand) came through with an 8-5 win at #2 to give Pepperdine the first point of the match.
Freshman Mousheg Hovhannisyan (North Hollywood, Calif) made it 2-0 with his 6-3, 6-0 win at #5 singles, but Santa Clara got a point back with a win at #6. It was the only point given up by the Waves all weekend after two previous 4-0 victories.
Tearney then won in straight sets at #3 singles. Fittingly, it was Bassam Beidas (Cairo, Egypt), a senior who was part of his fourth WCC title team, who provided the championship clincher with a 6-3, 6-1 win at the #1 slot.
"Mousheg was our standout player this weekend," Steinberg said. "He and Bassam had a great weekend. Bassam really played like a senior should. Those two stood out to me as ones that played outstanding."
Because individual matches are abandoned once the overall match has been clinched, Hovhannisyan was the only Pepperdine player to win three singles contests this weekend. When play was stopped, the Waves were winning one of the remaining matches and trailing in the other.
The Waves have now won 10 of their last 11 matches. The Broncos (18-7) were the tournament's #2 seed. Next up for Pepperdine is the NCAA Championships, as the field will be announced on May 4 and the first and second rounds will be at campus sites on May 14-16.
#22 Pepperdine 4, #55 Santa Clara 1
Order of finish: 1, 3, 2
Order of finish: 5, 6, 3, 1
Records: #22 Pepperdine 16-10, #55 Santa Clara 18-7