Saturday Night Lights: Waves Host West Coast Conference Rival San Diego
March 31, 2011
MALIBU, Calif. - The #8 Pepperdine men’s tennis team prepares for a rare evening under the lights, as they host a 5 p.m. dual with West Coast Conference foe and #26-ranked University of San Diego on Sat., Apr. 2. The Toreros are the 12th team ranked in the Top-30 that the Waves will face on their challenging schedule this season.
LOOKING BACK - The Waves (15-4) split last weekend against a pair of tough opponents. After losing 6-1 to then-#4 Ohio State, Pepperdine rebounded with a 5-2 victory on the road versus #20 Washington.
SAN DIEGO TOREROS - San Diego is 15-2 this season, with its only losses coming to Tennessee and USC. Since the 6-1 set back against the Trojans on Feb. 4, the Toreros have won the last 12-straight duals. USD is led by Dean Jackson, who is currently ranked #35 on the Campbell/ITA Collegiate singles poll and is 14-2 in the No. 1 singles spot. Clarke Spinosa plays in the middle of the lineup, and is listed at #106. In doubles, Jackson and Patrick Pohlmann are ranked #15 and are 10-2 from the top spot.
LOOKING AHEAD - Next week the Waves host a doubleheader on Sat., Apr. 9 beginning at 10 a.m. The Waves first face West Coast Conference adversary Saint Mary’s in the morning before taking on Sacramento State at 3 p.m. The regular season concludes the following Monday (Apr. 11) against local rival UCLA at home.
SEASON CUT SHORT - Pepperdine University recently discovered that it had failed to properly administer financial aid awards to a number of its student-athletes, in accordance with NCAA regulations. As a result of these errors, the University feels it would be inappropriate for specific teams, including men’s tennis, to participate in postseason competition this academic year. While the Waves are no longer competing in this season’s West Coast Conference and NCAA team championships, student-athletes will still be eligible to qualify for the NCAA singles and doubles championships. Student-athletes will also be put into consideration for postseason awards.
AND THE RANKED WILL FALL - Pepperdine is 12-4 when playing ranked teams this season. Perhaps its two biggest wins to date were a 4-3 triumph over then-#4 Duke as well as a 4-3 decision versus #7 Texas A&M. Other wins over top-30 teams include Virginia Tech (#25, W, 4-3), Notre Dame (#26, W, 4-0), Auburn (#22, W, 4-0), Louisville (#27, W, 4-3) and Washington (#20, W, 5-2). The Waves only losses of the season have come at the hands of squads ranked in the top-15 (#14 Duke, #2 USC, #14 Cal and #4 Ohio State).
Individually, Alex Llompart and Finn Tearney, unranked at the time, upset #2 Austin Krajicek/Jeff Dadamo of Texas A&M on Mar. 19. by a score of 9-8. They were rewarded with a mention on the Campbell/ITA collegiate doubles rankings (#38).
CAMPBELL/ITA RANKINGS — The Waves are currently listed at #8 in the Campbell/ITA collegiate rankings. Four singles players and four doubles teams also tout an individual ranking.
IT’S ALRIGHT, WE GOT THIS - Sebastian Fanselow and Jenson Turner are a team-best 14-1 in doubles this dual season and boasted an 11-match unbeaten streak before losing in the quarterfinals of the Pacific Coast Doubles Championships. Counting dual match play only, Fanselow and Turner were victorious in 13-consecutive matches before suffering a loss to an Ohio State team. For their consistency, they re-entered the doubles rankings at #54.
Counting only dual matches, Llompart boasts a team-high 15-3 record, followed by Tearney’s 14-4 season mark. Others to have reached double-digit singles wins in dual action include Mousheg Hovhannisyan (10-7), Sebastian Fanselow (11-7), and Alfredo Moreno (11-5).
DOUBLES THEORY - Although its only worth a single point, most coaches will preach of the importance of winning the doubles point to open the match. Not only does it take a little bit of the pressure off when playing in singles, but it also gives the winning team momentum to carry into the rest of the dual. The Waves are 13-1 when they win the doubles point. Perhaps even more impressive, however, is that they have lost the doubles point twice versus ranked teams and have gone on to win the dual in singles.
OH CAPTAIN, MY CAPTAIN - Junior Alex Llompart has been an integral part of the team’s success this season. Not only is he a leader off the court, but he leads by example on the court. The Puerto Rico native is 15-3 in duals this season. He has had tremendous success with multiple doubles partners, including Alfredo Moreno (11-3, ranked #52) and Finn Tearney (6-3, ranked #38)
MOUSH’S MOMENT - Sophomore Mousheg Hovhannisyan came up big for Pepperdine in its 4-3 win over then-#7 Texas A&M. After he and Alberto Bautista both claimed a 7-6 set win, Hovhannisyan won the third set 6-2 for what would be the dual-winning point against the Aggies.
SOFAER’S FIRST – Freshman David Sofaer’s first dual win of the season will not be one he’ll soon forget. His 7-5, 6-4 win over Torsten Wietscka clinched the 4-3 dual win over #4 Duke for the Waves.
TWITTER - Be sure to follow Pepperdine tennis on Twitter @PeppTennis. Members of the team will be providing exclusive updates to followers about match results as well as other men’s tennis team happenings.
ON THE WEB - Full results and recaps can also be found on the official website (www.PepperdineSports.com) of the Waves at the conclusion of each match. Follow Pepperdine on Twitter at PeppSports and PeppTennis for all the latest updates. Check the men’s tennis schedule page for links to any additional media coverage.
WCC PLAYER OF THE MONTH - Pepperdine’s success on the court routinely brings in honors and awards. So far this season, the Waves have earned Player of the Month recognition on five occasions, including every doubles award.
KNOW THE RULES - Dual matches will be a contest for the best-of-seven team points. The dual begins with three doubles matches consisting of an eight-game pro set. The team that wins two of these three matches will enter the singles competition with one of seven points. After a brief intermission, six singles matches will be played. Each singles match will be the best of three sets and worth one point towards the team competition. The overall dual match is decided when one team secures four total points. Matches in progress when the doubles point or dual match is clinched will be played to completion.
FALL RECAP - The Waves had a successful tournament season, collectively posting a 67-35 singles record while going 18-18 in doubles. Sebastian Fanselow, who went 11-2 overall, won an impressive six singles matches in a row to win the title at the 2010 ITA Southwest Regional Championship. The sophomore came back from a 5-1 deficit in the first set of the championship match to win in the tiebreaker and roll to a straight-set victory over top seeded Daniel Nguyen of USC. Fanselow advanced to the Round of 16 at the event’s national championship in Flushing, N.Y. a few weeks later. At the ITA/D’Novo All-American Championships in October, Finn Tearney and Fanselow fought their way through the qualifying draw to both earn a bid to the singles main draw. This marks the first time the Waves have seen two players enter the main event by way of the qualifying bracket.
WHO’S BACK — The Waves have nine letterwinners back from the 2009-10 squad including WCC Freshman of the Year and All-WCC singles player Sebastian Fanselow. All-WCC singles selections Alex Llompart (second team), Mousheg Hovhannisyan (honorable mention) and Finn Tearney (honorable mention) also return, as well as Hugh Clarke, an All-WCC doubles honoree.
WHO’S NEW — The Waves welcome Australian David Sofaer to the roster this season. Sofaer was a gold medalist at the 2009 Maccabiah Games in singles and was a silver medalist in doubles. In January, Pepperdine welcomed Alfredo Moreno - brother of senior Alejandro - to the Pepperdine family. The younger Moreno achieved a top ranking in Mexico and reached as high as #82 in the International Tennis Federation junior rankings.
Adam Steinberg — Now in his ninth season as head coach of the Waves, Adam Steinberg enters the 2010 season with a career record of 306-140 (.686) including a 176-61 (.743) mark at Pepperdine. Since setting foot on the Malibu campus in 2003, Steinberg has captured eight-straight WCC conference championships, eight-consecutive appearances in the NCAA Tournament, and an NCAA Championship crown in 2006. He has tutored 14 Waves to All-American status, and has been named WCC Coach of the Year five times. Prior to coming to Pepperdine, Steinberg served as the head coach at Alabama and St. John’s for five seasons apiece.
2010 RECAP — It was another solid year for the Pepperdine men’s tennis team. The squad collected its 20th consecutive West Coast Conference championships, and 41st overall. For the 21st year in a row, the Waves battled in the NCAA tournament defeating Hawaii before bowing out to Stanford in the second round. In the singles draw, Bassam Beidas advanced to the Round of 16 and earned All-American honors for the third time in his career.
TENNIS HISTORY — The Pepperdine men’s tennis program is synonymous with the word excellence, as the Waves are a perennial national power. The Waves have advanced to postseason play 35 times in 37 seasons, including an NCAA championship in 2006. Within the WCC, Pepperdine has dominated the competition, winning 41 conference championships since 1958.
ABOUT PEPPERDINE — Pepperdine boasts a one-of-a-kind athletic department with unprecedented success for a school of its size. The Waves have won a total of nine NCAA championships in five different men’s sports — one of just 14 schools to have accomplished this feat. Of the 14, Pepperdine is the only non-BCS school and has by far the smallest enrollment. The majority of Pepperdine’s teams are ranked nationally year after year and compete for conference and national titles.