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Pepperdine Looks to Reclaim WCC Glory this Weekend

Stefan Menichella Stefan Menichella
 
 

April 23, 2014

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MALIBU, Calif. - After suffering a rare loss to West Coast Conference rival San Diego to end the regular season, the #51 Pepperdine men’s tennis team will be looking for a bit of retribution at the WCC Tournament. The Waves enter the championships as the No. 2 seed and begin play on Friday, April 25 in the semifinals at the Barnes Tennis Center in San Diego.

MATCH 28 - #51 Pepperdine (16-12, 8-1 WCC) vs. TBA | April 25 | Barnes Tennis Center | 9 a.m.

COVERAGE - Complete tournament coverage can be found at the Tournament Central ... Live scores will be available on Friday and Saturday ... Recaps and scores will be posted at PepperdineSports.com following the match ... In-match updates can also be followed on Twitter @PeppTennis.

THE FIELD - #2 seeded Pepperdine will face either #7 Pacific or #3 Portland in the semifinals on Friday ... The other half of the bracket includes #2 San Diego, #4 Santa Clara and #8 San Francisco ...  The Waves beat Portland 6-1 and Pacific 4-1 during the regular season ... Action at the Barnes Tennis Center begins on Wednesday and the quarterfinals are scheduled for Thursday ... #1 San Diego also has a bye into the semifinals.

TOURNAMENT HISTORY - Pepperdine has not lost the WCC Tournament since 1990 ... San Diego won the title in 2011, but the Waves did not compete ...Pepperdine has never finished outside of the top-two since records were first kept in 1958.

ALL-WCC - All three seniors made the 2014 All-West Coast Conference team ... Alex Sarkissian was named the WCC Player of the Year ... He is the 16th Wave to win the award in its 17 years of existence ... Francis Alcantara and Sarkissian were All-WCC first team picks in singles and together in doubles ... David Sofaer made his all-conference debut as a singles second teamer.

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.

LOOKING BACK - Pepperdine suffered just its fourth loss in program history to a conference opponent, falling 4-2 to San Diego in last week Wednesday’s regular-season finale ... The Waves started slow in doubles and were never able to recover in singles ... Pepperdine won a nonconference meeting vs. the Toreros back in January, 4-1.

LOOKING AHEAD - The Waves will need to win the WCC Tournament to extend its season to the NCAA Tournament.

WCC PLAYER OF THE WEEK - The Waves have already collected their fair share of conference honors this season ... Alex Sarkissian was the first player in the league to repeat as WCC Singles Player of the Week (2/11, 3/13) ... Sarkissian and Francis Alcantara have been voted WCC Doubles Team of the Week six of the possible 10 times (2/11, 2/25, 3/16, 3/26, 4/8, 4/16) ... Alcantara picked up his first Singles Player of the Week nod on March 26.

RANKINGS - Senior Alex Sarkissian opened the 2014 dual season ranked a then career-high #33 in singles, and has since moved up to as high as #27 and is currently #31  ... Fellow senior David Sofaer reached as high as #58 in the singles rankings ... Sarkissian and Francis Alcantara are ranked #14 in doubles ... As a team, Pepperdine is ranked #51.

SINGLES LINEUP - Seniors Alex Sarkissian, Francis Alcantara and David Sofaer hold down the top half of the Waves’ lineup ... Pedro Leme and Stefan Menichella log the most time at the No. 4 and No. 5 positions ... Six different student-athletes have made their way into the final lineup spot including Tom Hill, Rakshay Thakkar, Alexander Solonin, Kento Tanaka-Tamaki, RJ Evangelista and Alex Giannini.

DOUBLES LINEUP - Senior duo Alex Sarkissian and Francis Alcantara are a mainstay at No. 1 with a record of 18-4 ... Twelve different doubles pairings have been found at No. 2 and No. 3.

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.

Adam Steinberg - Now in his 12th season as head coach of the Waves, Adam Steinberg boasts career record of 319-167 including a 189-88 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. 

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.


 

 

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