Pepperdine Takes No. 2 Spot in WCC Preseason Poll
Jan. 28, 2014
MALIBU, Calif. – The #48 Pepperdine women’s tennis team landed at No. 2 in the West Coast Conference Preseason Poll, edged out by #37 Saint Mary’s by just two points. The Waves, the 2013 defending WCC Tournament champions, were the only squad to place two student-athletes on the all-conference preseason team in Lorraine Guillermo and Ale Granillo.
Pepperdine picked up four first-place votes in a poll of the league’s coaches for a total of 76 points. The Gaels, currently the highest ranked team in the WCC, took the remaining six first-place bids and 78 points.
San Diego, Santa Clara and BYU rounded out the top five.
The Waves have a league-best five players in the ITA singles rankings, led by preseason All-WCC selections Guillermo (Walnut, Calif./Rowland HS) and Granillo (Pachuca, Mexico/Instituto Hidalgo). The upperclassmen standouts rank in at #19 and #93, respectively.
Other Pepperdine players in the rankings include sophomores Matea Cutura (Zagreb, Croatia/Gimnazija Birotehnika/DePaul) and Michaela Capannolo (Melbourne, Australia/Genazzano FCJ College) at #79 and #112, and freshman Yuki Chiang (Ojai, Calif./Campbell Hall HS) at #117.
No other team in the league has more than one player listed in the singles rankings. Saint Mary’s boasts the top-touted player in 2013 WCC Player of the Year Jenny Jullien, currently ranked #7.
Although the Waves lost the 2013 regular-season meeting versus the Gaels 4-1, Pepperdine got its retribution in the WCC Tournament title match. The Waves, seeded No. 2, shut out top seeded Saint Mary’s by a 4-0 tally. It was the program’s 23rd West Coast Conference Tournament Championship title and first since 2011.
The Waves open their 2014 dual season at #6 USC on Thursday. Pepperdine’s home opener is scheduled for Saturday, Feb. 8 at 1 p.m. against San Diego State.
Head coach Gualberto Escudero, enshrined into the Pepperdine Athletics Hall of Fame just last fall, is in his 37th season at the helm. He has collected 632 since his first dual season in 1978, second only to Lin Loring of Indiana with well over 700 wins.
2014 WCC Preseason Poll
2014 All-WCC Preseason Team