Nov. 6, 2013
MALIBU, Calif. - Senior Alex Sarkissian of the Pepperdine men’s tennis team will battle with the best of the best this week, Nov. 7-10, at the USTA/ITA National Indoor Intercollegiate Championship. The national tournament will take place at the USTA Bille Jean National Tennis Center in Flushing Meadows, N.Y., also home to the US Open.
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.
WAVES AT NATIONAL INDOORS - Pepperdine is no stranger when it comes to success at the USTA/ITA National Indoor Intercollegiate Championship ... Last season Sebastian Fanselow, now graduated, finished runner-up in the singles draw, falling to eventual ITA Player of the Year Jamare Jenkins of Virginia ... The success preceded a run to the semifinals at the 2013 NCAA Singles Championship ... Pepperdine has had just one-ever champion crowned at the National Indoors. Andrew Sznajder won it all in 1988. Finishing runner up in 1982 was Brad Gilbert.
THE DRAW - Sarkissian, rated #23 in the preseason singles poll, will face #53-ranked and seventh seeded Winston Lin of host school Columbia ... Sarkissian and Lin have never met in collegiate action before ... Match time is set for 4 p.m. (PT) on Thursday.
COVERAGE - Head to ITATennis.com for draws, live scoring information and more. Links are also available on the Pepperdine men’s tennis schedule page.
NOTING SARKISSIAN - Alex Sarkissian went 23-6 overall in his first season with the Waves, including a 21-5 mark in dual match play ... He picked up All-West Coast Conference second team honors in both singles and doubles ... ITA All-American in singles ... Reached the round of 16 at the NCAA Singles Championship after defeating #34 Hunter Reese in three sets and #10 Ryan Lipman in straight sets ... Unseeded and ranked #62 in singles during the tournament ... Moved up to #40 on the final ITA singles poll and #8 in the regional rankings ... Mostly played at No. 2 (10-1) and No. 3 (10-3) in the singles lineup ... Finished the year in doubles playing with Finn Tearney, going a perfect 10-0.
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, an experienced player from Pune, India.
LOOKING BACK - Senior Alex Sarkissian opened the season for the Waves at the ITA All-American Championship in Tulsa, Okla. Although he fell in close 6-4, 6-4 decision in the first round to a top-10 ranked opponent, Sarkissian stormed back in consolation. He earned three victories -- two vs. top-30 players -- to advance to the semifinal round ... He lost to eventual consolation champion Clay Thompson in three sets ... At the USTA/ITA Southwest Regional Championships, hosted by Pepperdine, Sarkissian advanced all the way to the finals before falling in three sets to USC’s Yannick Hanfmann ...
LOOKING AHEAD - The Waves break until January, when they return for the National Collegiate Tennis Classic on Jan. 16-19.
RETURNERS - Five 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. Also returning is David Sofaer), a mainstay at No. 6 singles and No. 3 doubles. Kento Tanaka-Tamaki and Damian Gryzelko are 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 303-155 including a 173-76 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.