MALIBU, Calif. - The #5 Pepperdine men’s tennis team gears up for perhaps its biggest challenge of the season to date: the ITA National Indoor Championship on Feb. 15-18 at the Nordstrom Tennis Center in Seattle, Wash. The Waves open the 16-team event on Friday at 2:30 p.m. vs. #11 Florida.
THE BRACKET - If Pepperdine wins on Friday, the team will face the winner of the Cal-Ohio State match on Saturday in the quarterfinals. Top-seeded Virginia, Washington, Oklahoma and Duke make up the remainder of the top half of the bracket, while USC, UCLA, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, Ole Miss, Tennessee and Texas A&M make up the bottom half. Click here to view the complete ITA National Indoor Championship bracket.
TOP FIVE - The Waves were awarded with a #5 ITA team ranking on Feb. 5. It is the first time Pepperdine has earned top-five status since the 2006 season, when they spent the majority of the season in the top-five, won the NCAA Championship and concluded the year at #1. Although the Waves reached the semifinals of the 2012 NCAA Championship, they were ranked #6 in the final ITA poll.
LOOKING AHEAD - Pepperdine concludes the month of February on the road, first playing in a rematch with Florida State on Feb. 24 at the IMG Academy in Bradenton, Fla. Stops at Texas Christian (Feb. 26) and San Diego State (Feb. 28) are also on the slate.
LOOKING BACK - The Waves defeated #17 Texas 6-1 to improve to 5-0 on the season.
ITA HISTORY - Pepperdine won the ITA National Indoor Championship in both 1982 and 1986 ... Additionally, the Waves were runner-up during the 1983 and 2006 seasons ... The winner of the ITA National Indoor Championship has gone on to win the NCAA Championship 11 times since 1973 ... Stanford, not in attendance at this season's championships, has won the most titles with 12, followed by UCLA with seven.
GATOR NOTES - Florida is 6-0 in 2013, and defeated St. John’s and UNC-Wilmington to punch its ticket to the ITA National Indoor Championship ... Florent Diep is ranked #36 in singles and holds a 3-1 record from the No. 1 spot in the lineup ... Bob van Overbeek is ranked #76 and also has experience playing at No. 1 ... Stephane Piro is ranked #108 ... Diep and Michael Alford are listed at #46 in doubles.
THE REST - Fifteen of the 16 schools at this weekend’s national championship event are currently ranked in the top-15 ... Host school Washington is listed at #24 ... Seven of the eight quarterfinalists from the 2012 NCAA Championship will be competing this weekend including defending champion USC and runner-up Virginia.
RANKINGS - The Waves opened the season at #7 in the team rankings, and recently moved up to #5 on Feb. 5 ... It is the first time Pepperdine has been ranked in the top-five since the 2006 season ... Sebastian Fanselow is currently ranked a career-best #4 in singles ... Alex Sarkissian entered the rankings on Feb. 12 at #89 ... Finn Tearney made his first rankings appearance of 2013 at #105 ... For complete ITA team, singles and doubles rankings, visit the ITA website.
TWITTER - Fans can follow the Waves on Twitter @PeppTennis or @PepperdineWaves and “like” us on Facebook by searching for Pepperdine Athletics.
WCC PLAYER OF THE MONTH - Sebastian Fanselow was the West Coast Conference singles player of the month for November, after his run at the USTA/ITA National Indoor Intercollegiate Championship ... Mousheg Hovhannisyan and David Sofaer were awarded January Doubles Team of the Month honors after opening the season with back-to-back victories.
NATIONAL INDOOR RECAP - Sebastian Fanselow, who did not compete for the majority of the fall season, made his return to the court at the USTA/ITA National Indoor Intercollegiate Championship in Flushing, N.Y. in November ... After defeating two top-10 ranked opponents in straight sets, Fanselow was pitted against #8-ranked and top seeded Alex Domijan in the semifinals ... After splitting the first two sets, the duo fought all the way to a 6-6 tie in the third ... Fanselow held serve and proceed to break Domijan’s serve at love to secure the match 6-4, 3-6, 7-5. Fanselow later fell to Domijan’s teammate, Jamere Jenkins, in the finals but not before he was named the USTA/ITA Sportsmanship Award recipient.
Adam Steinberg - Now in his 11th season as head coach of the Waves, Adam Steinberg boasts career record of 282-149 including a 152-70 mark at Pepperdine. Since setting foot on the Malibu campus in 2003, Steinberg has captured six WCC conference championships, six appearances in the NCAA Tournament, and an NCAA Championship crown in 2006. He has tutored 16 Waves to All-American status, and has been named WCC Coach of the Year six times. Prior to coming to Pepperdine, Steinberg served as the head coach at Alabama and St. John’s for five seasons apiece.
2012 MEN’S DUAL RECAP - The Waves finished the 2012 season with a 27-7 record and concluded the season ranked #6 in the Campbell’s/ITA Collegiate Rankings. The men’s squad won a program-record 24 dual matches in a row and reached the semifinals of the NCAA Tournament after upsetting Georgia 4-3 in the quarterfinals. The previous win-streak record was held by the 1985 team that strung together 20 wins, finishing the season 30-7 and ranked #6 in the country.
2012 AWARDS RECAP - Sebastian Fanselow was named the Pepperdine Athletics Male Athlete of the Year for the second consecutive season, while Daniel Moss was voted Wave of the Year. Fanselow was also named WCC Player of the Year. Fanselow and Finn Tearney made the All-WCC singles first team roster, while Alex Llompart was a second team honoree. In doubles, the duos of Tearney/Llompart and Jenson Turner/Fanselow were voted to the All-WCC first team, and David Sofaer/Hugh Clarke picked up on an honorable mention. Sofaer earned WCC All-Academic team recognition. Adam Steinberg was recognized as the WCC Co-Coach of the Year. On Monday, the ITA released its regional awards winners. Steinberg was named Southwest Coach of the Year. Fanselow was dubbed the Player to Watch in the Southwest region and later recognized as the national award winner. He also picked up All-American accolades in singles for the second-straight year.
ABOUT PEPPERDINE - Pepperdine boasts a one-of-a-kind athletic department with unprecedented success for a school of its size. The Waves have won NCAA Division I championships in five different men’s sports - one of just 16 schools to have accomplished this feat - and nine overall. Of this elite group, Pepperdine has the smallest enrollment and is the only school not in a major conference. Located in scenic Malibu, Calif., the university overlooks the Pacific Ocean and its campus and athletic facilities are regularly voted among the nation’s most beautiful. Pepperdine, which is affiliated with the Church of Christ, ranks #54 overall on U.S. News and World Report’s list of America’s best colleges.