MALIBU, Calif. - The ITA Men’s All-American Championships, one of the largest of any collegiate tennis championships, begins for the Pepperdine men’s tennis team this Thursday, Oct. 4 and runs through Sunday, Oct. 7. Tulsa will once again host the event at the Michael D. Case Tennis Center. Finn Tearney will be the lone representative for the Waves, and is set to compete in the singles main draw.
Tearney is looking to improve upon his showing last year, where he rebounded from a first-round loss to Boise State’s Damian Hume with three wins in the consolation bracket.
Although this is the second tournament of the fall season for the Waves, it is the first time Tearney is in action. “I am looking forward to transferring what I have been working on during practices to actual match play,” said the senior.
In regards to this being his final season playing college tennis, “All matches are little more meaningful now. I mean, this is the last go around so I want to make sure that I give it my all now in the fall to make sure the spring will be as good as we hope.”
Fanselow had earned a spot in both the singles and doubles (along with Tearney) main draw, while Hovhannisyan was chosen to compete in singles qualifying.
MAIN DRAW - #14-ranked Finn Tearney gets the tournament underway on Thursday with the first and second rounds of the main draw. Final brackets will be released at the conclusion of qualifying play on Wednesday. Tearney went 25-15 overall last season, including an 18-9 mark in dual play.
LOOKING BACK - Pepperdine opened the 2012-13 season on Sept. 14-16 on the clay courts of the Olympia Fields Country Club. Sebastian Fanselow went 2-1 in singles at the tournament, while Mousheg Hovhannisyan also picked up a win. In doubles, the pairs of Hovhannisyan-Damian Gryzelko and Gryzelko-David Sofaer both put a tally in the wins column.
LOOKING AHEAD - Up next for the men’s tennis team is the Battle in the Bay Classic, held in San Francisco, Calif. David Sofaer and Kento Tanaka-Tamaki are slated to compete in both singles and doubles at the three day event, Oct. 12-14.
COVERAGE - Recaps to this week’s tournament will be available at www.PepperdineSports.com. Live scores can be followed on Tulsa’s website.
TWITTER - Fans can follow the Waves on Twitter @PeppTennis or @PepperdineWaves and “like” us on Facebook by searching for Pepperdine Athletics.
Adam Steinberg - Now in his 11th season as head coach of the Waves, Adam Steinberg enters the 2012 season with a career record of 276-149 including a 146-70 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.
IN THE RECORD BOOKS - With a career singles win tally of 76 (dual matches only), senior Alex Llompart is ranks tied for seventh in the career wins category at Pepperdine. Sebastian Fanselow and Jenson Turner’s career win total as a doubles team stands at 34, which ranks fifth in the Waves’ history. Hugh Clarke and David Sofaer’s current winning percentage of .857 (24-4) ranks 10th in the single season winning percentage category, while the total number of wins sits in a tie for second place.
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.