MALIBU, Calif. - The #53-ranked Pepperdine women’s tennis team heads up to Palo Alto, Calif. to face #22 Rice in the first round of the NCAA Tournament. The Waves are making their 26th consecutive showing at the championships and 30th overall.
FIRST ROUND - Friday (May 10) at Taube Family Tennis Center: #53 Pepperdine (12-11) vs. #22 Rice (20-4) at 11 a.m.
SECOND ROUND - Saturday (May 11) at Taube Family Tennis Center: #53 Pepperdine/#22 Rice vs. #12 Stanford (16-4)/Miami (OH) (13-12) at 1 p.m.
LIVE COVERAGE - Stanford’s live video and scores platform will be available for all first and second round matches in Palo Alto, and can be accessed here ... For more information about the first and second rounds in Palo Alto, visit the Tournament Central.
ROAD TO NCAAs - The Pepperdine women’s tennis team entered the WCC Tournament as the No. 2 seed and topped No. 3 Santa Clara (4-2) and No. 1 Saint Mary’s (4-0) en route to its 23rd conference tournament title ... With it, the Waves secured the automatic bid into the NCAA Tournament ... The Gaels still were extended an at-large invitation into the 64-team tournament.
LOOKING BACK - Pepperdine finished the 2013 regular season winning 12 of the final 14 matches ... The final loss during that span came to Saint Mary’s, which the Waves later avenged during the finals of the WCC Tournament ... Michaela Capannolo came through with a 6-4, 7-6 win to clinch the 4-2 triumph over Santa Clara in the semifinals ... Lorraine Guillermo downed Jenny Jullien -- the WCC Player of the Year and the highest ranked singles player in the league -- 6-3, 3-6, 6-3 to secure the 4-0 win vs. Saint Mary’s in the title match ... Coach Escudero called it “his most gratifying win ever at the conference championship.”
STREAKING - Khunpak Issara improved her win streak in singles to 17 matches after a pair of wins at the conference championship ... The senior is a team-best 20-2 in duals this season for a winning percentage of .909 ... That winning percentage currently ranked tied for fourth in the program’s single-season records ... One more win would tie Issara for 10th in the single-season win total category ... Ale Granillo has won the last 10 singles matches in a row ... Issara and Megan Moore boast a 5-0 record together on the doubles court.
INDIVIDUAL RANKINGS - Khunpak Issara, who earned a fall preseason singles rank #39, began the 2013 dual season tied at #92, reached as high as #43 and is currently at #72. .. Lorraine Guillermo was ranked #104 in singles to begin the season and is currently at #32 after reaching as high as #31 on April 9 ... Ale Granillo entered the rankings on Feb. 12, reach as high as #110, but is currently not ranked ... In doubles, Issara and Guillermo boasted a preseason doubles ranking of #7 and are currently #17 after being ranked as high as #4.
NCAA TOURNAMENT HISTORY - The Waves have advanced to the NCAA Tournament 30 times including the last 26 seasons in a row ... Pepperdine is 25-29 at the tournament ... Last season the team advanced to the second round before falling to Stanford.
RICE - The Owls are 20-4 and won the Conference USA Tournament with a 4-1 win over Tulsa in the finals ... In doubles, Dominique Harmath and Natalie Beazant are listed at #23 ... Beazant is the highest ranked singles player on the team at #41 followed by Harmath at #61 ... Pepperdine is 4-0 all-time vs. Rice ... The last meeting between the teams was in 2010 and the Waves emerged with a 5-2 victory.
DID YOU KNOW ... That head coach Gualberto Escudero ranks second among all women’s tennis coaches -- active and inactive -- with 632 career wins? Escudero, now in his 36th 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 almost 800 wins, while Georgia’s head coach Jeff Wallace recently hit the 600-win mark after 28 seasons.
WCC DOUBLES TEAM OF THE MONTH - Lorraine Guillermo and Khunpak Issara have won the conference award in doubles four of the five months it has been awarded in 2012-13. The duo won WCC Doubles Team of the Month in both October, November, February and March to bring their total award count to seven ... Issara was awarded once again in April, this time alongside Megan Moore, after delivering a 5-0 record.
WCC SINGLES PLAYER OF THE MONTH - Lorraine Guillermo went a perfect 3-0 in singles in September at the SDSU Fall Classic to open the 2012 fall season and was subsequently named WCC Singles Player of the Month ... Khunpak Issara’s brilliant win streak was recognized with a WCC Singles Player of the Month award in April.
WRITING RECORDS - Lorraine Guillermo and Khunpak Issara’s 2012 doubles win tally of 20 ranks fifth in Pepperdine’s single season record book. The duo’s career dual win tally of 33 ranks third ... Issara’s current singles record of 20-2 (.909) is poised to ink the senior’s name in the top-10 for overall wins in the single season and for winning percentage ... Issara has accumulated 54 singles wins in dual play, just three wins shy of ranking in Pepperdine’s all-time top-10 in the career wins category -- an impressive feat considering Issara only played three seasons with the Waves.
WCC ALL-ACADEMIC TEAM - For the second-straight season, Megan Moore was named a West Coast Conference All-Academic team selection for his successes both in classroom and on the court ... Moore boasts a GPA of 3.67 and is majoring in business administration.
Gualberto Escudero - Now in his 36th season at the helm of the program, Gualberto Escudero enters the 2012-13 season with a career record of 620-317 (.662). 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.
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.