#26 Waves Challenge #2 UCLA on Wednesday
Feb. 18, 2014
MALIBU, Calif. - The Pepperdine women’s tennis team, up to #26 in the ITA rankings, puts its four match win streak on the line tomorrow, when the Waves face #2 UCLA at 1:30 p.m. in Los Angeles.
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LAST MEETING - Last year’s meeting between UCLA and Pepperdine was a close one ... After the Bruins squeaked away with a doubles point that came down to a 9-7 decision in the final match to finish, the Waves continued to push hard in singles ... Lorraine Guillermo, Khunpak Issara and Ale Granillo all won in straight sets from the No. 1-3 spots in the line-up, but the Bruins won the three matches at the bottom half of the singles lineup to win 4-3.
OPPONENT NOTES - UCLA is 8-1 on the season ... The Bruins’ only loss was a 4-3 decision vs. Duke in the ITA National Team Indoor Championship finals ... UCLA boasts two top-10 ranked singles players and five ranked players overall ... Bruins in the rankings include Robin Anderson (#2), Chanelle VanNguyen (#9), Jennifer Brady (#22), Kyle McPhillips (#27) and Catherine Harrison (#44) ... Three different doubles combination are in the rankings as well: Anderson-Brady (#2), Brady-Harrison (#19) and Harrison-McPhillips (#29).
LOOKING BACK - Pepperdine extended its win streak last week with home wins vs. #60 UNLV and #25 Arizona State ... Top-25 ASU was the highest ranked team the Waves have defeated since sweeping #22 Purdue 4-0 in the opening round of the 2012 NCAA Tournament ... Pepperdine was rewarded by making a 13-spot jump in the rankings from #39 to #26.
PLAYER OF THE WEEK - For the second-straight week, the Waves swept the West Coast Conference Player of the Week awards, winning in both singles and doubles ... Lorraine Guillermo took Singles Player of the Week ... Ale Granillo and Matea Cutura won Doubles Team of the Week ... Michaela Capannolo took home the season’s first West Coast Conference Singles Player of the Week award on Feb. 11, while Capannolo and Yuki Chiang were honored as the Doubles Team of the Week.
LOOKING AHEAD - The Waves make their first out-of-state road trip of the dual season, heading to Tennessee this weekend to face #12 Vanderbilt on Sunday ... The swing continues on Tuesday, when Pepperdine takes on #32 Memphis ... The Waves return to the Ralphs-Straus Tennis Center on Saturday, March 1 to host Hawaii.
2014 ROSTER - After battling a few growing pains in 2013, the 2014 squad boasts much more experience and depth ... 2012 All-American Lorraine Guillermo resumes her role as the No. 1 singles player, while transfer Matea Cutura has started the year at No. 2 ... Cutura played No. 1 last season for DePaul and was named the BIG EAST Freshman of the Year ... Ale Granillo, Pepperdine’s lone senior, has been leading from the No. 3 position, while sophomores Michaela Capannolo returns to play No. 4 for the second-straight year ... Fellow sophomore Danielle Feneridis is back as well ... Four freshmen are also vying for spots in the lineup led by Yuki Chiang, whose successful fall translated into a #117 singles ranking to open the dual season ... Other rookies include Apichaya “Jean” Runglerdkriangkrai, Pattaraporn “PT” Salirathavibhaga and January addition Christine Maddox.
WCC PRESEASON POLL - The Waves landed at No. 2 in the West Coast Conference Preseason Poll, edged out by Saint Mary’s by just two points. 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. Pepperdine was the only team to place two players on the all-conference preseason team in Lorraine Guillermo and Ale Granillo.
2013 RECAP - With a young squad, the Waves opened the 2013 season 0-9 before making a tremendous surge forward to end the season on a high note. Pepperdine won 12 of the next 14 duals including a 4-0 upset win over Saint Mary’s in the WCC Tournament finals. Pepperdine finished the season with a 12-12 record after making its 30th appearance at the NCAA Tournament.
DID YOU KNOW ... That head coach Gualberto Escudero ranks second among all women’s tennis coaches -- active and inactive -- with 636 career wins? Escudero, now in his 37th year at the helm, is just one of three coaches to have reached the 600 wins milestone. Lin Loring, who has been a head coach at both Indiana and UC Santa Barbara for a combined 40 seasons, ranks #1 with over 800 wins, while Georgia’s head coach Jeff Wallace hit the 600-win mark in 2013 after 28 seasons.
Gualberto Escudero - Now in his 37th season at the helm of the program, Gualberto Escudero enters the 2013-14 campaign with a career record of 632-329 (.657). He took over as head coach in 1977-78 after a decorated career as a student-athlete at Pepperdine. On the court, he was a finalist at the 1969 WCAC singles tournament and won the doubles title with John Lovelace. Pepperdine won conference titles in 1969 and 1970 and finished second the next two seasons. His transition from player to coach was a successful one as Escudero has tutored 31 All-Americans, and was honored as WCC Coach of the Year on four occasions. Escudero was inducted into the Pepperdine Athletics Hall of Fame in a ceremony on Oct. 20.
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.