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Tennis Teams Begin Spring Seasons

MALIBU, Calif. - The Pepperdine men's and women's tennis teams begin their spring seasons over this holiday weekend, and both are anticipating strong 2010 campaigns.

Led by eighth-year head coach Adam Steinberg, four members of the men's squad start action today at the National Collegiate Tennis Classic, held at the La Quinta Resort & Club in Palm Springs, Calif. The tournament, billed as "the Wimbledon of College Tennis," runs through Sunday. Other schools participating are Arizona, Kentucky, North Carolina, San Diego State, Tennessee, UCLA and USC. The main singles draw consists of 32 players.

The men, who are #17 in the initial ITA rankings, also open their dual-match season on Sunday (Jan. 17) against West Coast Conference foe San Francisco. The event will be held at the Malibu Racquet Club beginning at 1 p.m.

The women, #40 in the ITA rankings, begin play a day later when they host Cal Poly on Monday (Jan. 18) at the Ralphs-Straus Tennis Center at 1:30 p.m. Rain is in the forecast for Monday, however, so the weather could play a role in the Waves' opener.

The men are led by senior Bassam Beidas (Cairo, Egypt), an All-American in both 2008 and 2009, and sophomore Alex Llompart (Carolina, Puerto Rico), the 2009 WCC Freshman of the Year. The team won its 40th-ever WCC title (and 19th consecutive) last season while going 20-10 overall and advancing to the second round of the NCAA Tournament.

Beidas is the #4 seed at the NCTC event. He will be joined there by juniors Stuart Keplar (Dallas, Texas/Pearce HS) and Alex Moreno (Queretaro, Mexico) and sophomore Hugh Clarke (Brisbane, Australia).

The women are led by the dean of all Pepperdine coaches, Gualberto Escudero, who is now in his 33rd season in charge of the Waves. He led Pepperdine to its seventh consecutive WCC title last year and 21st overall. The Waves went 13-12 overall and competed in the first round of the NCAA Championships.

The Waves return four regulars from last year's lineup, including junior Anamika Bhargava (Collierville, Tenn./Houston HS), a two-time All-WCC first teamer in both singles and doubles, and sophomore Ali Walters (Newport Beach, Calif./Creekside Christian HS/UCLA), who made the All-WCC second team in singles last season.




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