Women's Tennis History
The Pepperdine women's tennis program has long been a player on the national stage, with repeated strong showings at the NCAA Championships and far more West Coast Conference championships than any other school.
Pepperdine’s history is synonymous with head coach Gualberto Escudero, who completed his 37th and final season in charge of the program in 2013-14. He remains on staff as the associate head coach, making room for Per Nilsson in 2014-15. Nilsson was named the WCC Coach of the Year in his first season, leading the Waves to the regular-season and conference tournament championship titles. While Pepperdine had a women’s tennis team prior to Escudero’s hiring as head coach in 1977-78, nearly all of the school’s records begin with his era.
Since 1976, Pepperdine has produced a record of 683-348 (.662) and has advanced to the NCAA Tournament on 32 occasions. (31 not including regionals). The Waves have reached the quarterfinals of the NCAA Tournament on four occasions (1989, 1990, 1991 and 1994). Pepperdine hasn’t missed the postseason since 1987 and has only been absent from the NCAA Tournament twice since the first championship was held in 1982.
During Escudero's final season in 2014, Pepperdine won a program-record 15 dual matches in a row while producing an overall win-loss tally of 19-5 (.792).
None of the competition in the WCC comes close to matching the Waves, who have won a total of 25 league tournament crowns and an additional four regular-season titles. Pepperdine won 14 straight tournament crowns from 1988-2001, and another seven in a row from 2003-09. The Waves have won all but five of the WCC championship tournaments ever held, and no other school has won more than two. Since the tournament went to its current dual-match format in 1995, the Waves have posted a remarkable 57-3 (.950) record.
Over the years, Pepperdine has collected 32 All-American selections, five WCC Player of the Year awards and eight WCC Freshman of the Year accolades.
The Waves have had two four-time All-Americans: Janna Kovacevich (1988-91) and Angela Lawrence (1996-99). Three-time All-Americans include Ginger Helgeson, Noelle Porter and Ipek Senoglu, while Zsofia Csapo, Pam Jung, Paola Palencia and Isabela Petrov were two-time All-Americans.
Pepperdine’s most recent All-Americans were Khunpak Issara and Lorraine Guillermo in 2012. With a career doubles record of 33-6, the duo ended their tenure together with the highest winning percentage in program history at .846. Guillermo went on to singles All-American notice as a senior in 2015.
The Waves have also produced many standouts in the classroom, including Anna Brunstrom, who received CoSIDA Academic All-American second team honors in 1991, in addition to 45 WCC All-Academic selections since 1992.