Waves Extended Last-Minute Bid to ITA National Team Indoor Championship
Feb. 13, 2014
MALIBU, Calif. - The #15 Pepperdine men’s tennis team is in route to Houston for the ITA National Indoor Championship after accepting a last-minute entry into the tournament. With the polar vortex still wreaking havoc out east, Duke was unable to make it safely out of Durham and was forced to withdraw from the 16-team tournament. As the next highest ranked team in the NCAA, the Waves were extended an invite to take over the spot in the bracket and will play UCLA on Friday.
WAVES’ SOCIAL CIRCLE - Stay informed with up-to-the-minute coverage by following the men’s tennis team on Twitter @PeppTennis ... Like us on Facebook by searching for Pepperdine Men’s Tennis ... Tag us in Instragram photos at PepperdineWaves.
COVERAGE - Complete coverage, including live scores, will be available through the ITA website. In-match updates can also be followed on Twitter @PeppTennis.
THE BRACKET - The #15-ranked Waves will face #2 UCLA in the first round on Friday inside the Downtown Club at the Met ... Match time is tentatively scheduled for 12 p.m. local time but may be moved back a few hours to accommodate Pepperdine’s late arrival ... Win or lose, Pepperdine will face either #7 Oklahoma or #22 Illinois in round two, either in the quarterfinals or in consolation ... The Waves’ second match will be contested at the Galleria Tennis and Athletic Club ... Pepperdine is guaranteed three matches at the national indoor tournament.
RANKINGS - Senior Alex Sarkissian opened the 2014 dual season ranked a career-high #33 in singles and is currently listed at #36... Sarkissian enters the championships with a perfect 5-0 record from the No. 1 spot in the lineup ... Fellow senior David Sofaer is ranked #116 ... As a team, Pepperdine is ranked #15.
UCLA - The Bruins (5-0) sit at #2 in the ITA rankings and are also seeded second in the 16-team bracket ... Clay Thompson is currently the top-ranked singles player in college tennis ... Other UCLA players in the rankings include Marcos Giron (#5), Gage Brymer (#26) and Mackenzie McDonald (#51) ... Giron and McDonald are ranked #9 in doubles.
LOOKING BACK - The Waves beat #24 Tulsa 4-3 on the road back on Jan. 29 ... Pedro Leme once again was the hero for Pepperdine, winning 11-9 in the third set tiebreaker to clinch the dual ... The Waves followed that up with a 4-1 triumph over Cal Poly in Malibu on Feb. 2.
LOOKING AHEAD - Next week, the Waves open West Coast Conference action at Loyola Marymount on Tuesday, Feb. 18 ... A rematch between Pepperdine and UCLA is scheduled for Saturday, Feb. 22 at the Los Angeles Tennis Center.
PROMISING YOUTH - The 2013-14 recruiting class comprised of Californians Alex Giannini, Stefan Menichella and Alexander Solonin ranked in at #2 on TennisRecruiting.net’s list of Top Mid-Major Men’s Classes. Since that list was released, Pepperdine also added Rakshay Thakkar, RJ Evangelista, Guilherme Hadlich, Tom Hill and Pedro Leme to the roster.
RETURNERS - Four student-athletes, three of which who were regulars in last year’s lineup, return in 2013-14. Headlining the list is returning ITA All-American Alex Sarkissian and Francis Alcantara. Sarkissian and Alcantara held down the No. 2 and No. 4 positions in the singles lineup last year. Also returning is David Sofaer, who held down the No. 6 spot in the lineup in 2013. He has since moved up to No. 2. Kento Tanaka-Tamaki is also back after making a handful of appearances during the 2013 dual season.
Adam Steinberg - Now in his 12th season as head coach of the Waves, Adam Steinberg boasts career record of 307-156 including a 177-77 mark at Pepperdine. Since setting foot on the Malibu campus in 2003, Steinberg has captured seven WCC conference championships, seven 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 seven times. Prior to coming to Pepperdine, Steinberg served as the head coach at Alabama and St. John’s for five seasons apiece.
#PURPOSE - Pepperdine Athletics officially launched its “Competing with Purpose” campaign during Waves Weekend. The campaign highlights the commitment to our core values that student-athletes, coaches and staff dedicate themselves to daily. Competing with Purpose provides the foundation on which champions are built.
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 undergraduate enrollment and is the only school not affiliated with a BCS-level conference. The Waves have earned the Division I-AAA All-Sports Trophy, an award based on postseason success that’s given to the top non-football school, three times (most recently in 2011-12). 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 #57 overall on U.S. News and World Report’s list of America’s best colleges.