Rematched Rivals: #13 Pepperdine Looks to Avenge Earlier Loss to #4 Duke on Friday
March 9, 2011
MALIBU, Calif. – Come join the #13-ranked Pepperdine men’s tennis team this Friday, March 11 for a rematch with #4 Duke at 1 p.m. on the courts of the Ralphs-Straus Tennis Center. On a day that promises partly sunny skies and temperatures approaching 70 degrees, fans can enjoy an afternoon watching some of the top collegiate tennis players in the NCAA, as well as FREE pizza.
The Ralphs-Straus Tennis Center is located off John Tyler Drive, just northeast of the Raleigh Runnels Memorial Pool. Admission is free to all spectators.
The Waves (10-2) and Blue Devils (9-4) met earlier this season during the final match of the ITA National Team Indoor Championships qualifier. Duke, ranked #14 at the time, handed the previously undefeated Pepperdine its first loss of the season, 4-3.
The contest opened with a heated doubles battle that came down to the No. 2 match. After 16 games were played in the first-to-eight pro set, a winner still had not been declared between Alex Llompart-Alfredo Moreno and Jared Pinsky-Fred Saba. Pinsky and Saba won in the tiebreaker to give the Blue Devils the one point advantage heading into singles.
The loss was Llompart (Carolina, Puerto Rico) and Moreno’s (Queretaro, Mexico) only downfall of the season, and they have since won the last seven-straight matches. The tandem, 10-1 overall, are currently ranked #68 on the Campbell/ITA doubles poll.
It also marked the only time Pepperdine lost the doubles point during the 2011 dual campaign.
Both Llompart and Moreno went on to win their respective singles matches, while Finn Tearney (Wellington, New Zealand) also recorded a victory to bring the Waves’ team point total to three.
Since the Jan. 29 dual, Pepperdine has gone 7-1, including three 4-0 wins at the Blue Gray National Tennis Classic. The Waves blanked Alabama, Notre Dame and Auburn in route to the championship title.
The Blue Devils are only 4-4 in the last month’s worth of competition, losing to Illinois, Michigan and Tennessee twice. Their biggest win since topping Pepperdine was a 4-3 win over USC in the first round of the ITA National Team Indoor Championships in Seattle, Wash.
Friday’s contest with Duke is followed by a match with perennial rival #14 California on Sunday, March 12 at 1 p.m. The round-robin weekend also features a Duke-Cal matchup at Pepperdine starting at 2 p.m. on Saturday, following the #30 Pepperdine women’s tennis team match with #16 USC at 11:30 a.m.