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WCC Announces February Players of the Month

March 12, 2010

With the conclusion of the basketball regular season and the first month of the golf and tennis season in the books, the West Coast Conference announced its February Player of the Month Awards. Saint Mary's Omar Samhan took home the men's basketball award, while Gonzaga's Courtney Vandersloot took the women's honor. In men's golf, the award was given to San Diego's Alex Ching, while Pepperdine's Taylore Karle was awarded the women's honor. Pepperdine swept both tennis doubles award with Alex Llompart and Finn Tearney winning the men's honor and Andrea Oates and Ali Walters representing the women. San Diego's Dean Jackson won the men's tennis singles award, while San Francisco's Jenni Heinser took home the women's tennis singles honor.

Men's Basketball - Omar Samhan, SMC
Samhan averaged 21.3 points, 10.9 rebounds and 4.0 blocks per game in Feburary. Saint Mary's posted a 5-2 record in the month and he extended his double-digit scoring streak to 40 straight games. He had a double-double in six of seven games and shot 50.5 percent (59-117) from the floor. Samhan tied his career-high with 33 points in the season finale against Loyola Marymount and also scored 20 points or more in five of the seven games.

Women's Basketball - Courtney Vandersloot, GON
Vandersloot helped Gonzaga to a perfect 7-0 record in the month of February by averaging 16. 1 points, 4.3 rebounds, 9.7 assists and 2.7 steals per contest. She also shot an impressive 55.4 percent (36-of-65) from the field, hit 40.0 percent (8-of-20) from beyond the 3-point arc and was 80.5 percent (33-of-41) at the charity stripe. Vandersloot scored double figure points in all seven contests, and registered two double-figure assist games. She became the GU all-time steals leader during the month of February, after making two steals at the University of San Francisco - she now has 236 career steals. She also became the West Coast Conference all-time assists leader during the month of February - securing the top spot at the University of San Diego on Feb. 13.

Men's Golf - Alex Ching, USD
University of San Diego sophomore Alex Ching (Honolulu, HI) led the USD men's golf team to three first place finishes in the three team events they played in during the month of February. Alex began the month with a 5th place showing (21 golfers) at the San Diego Intercollegiates on Februrary 2nd; he was runner-up (72 golfers) at the 5th Annual USD Callaway Invitational on Feb. 8-9; and he closed out the month by winning medalist honors (78 golfers) at the Allstate Sugar Bowl Mardi Gras Invitational played just outside of New Orleans. For his eight rounds he averaged 70.87 over the par-72 courses.

Women's Golf - Taylore Karle, PEP
Karle had a pair of top 10 finishes against top competition in February, as she tied for second place at the Northrop Grumman Regional Challenge and tied for seventh at the Arizona Wildcat Invitational. She played both tournaments at a combined 4-over. Her best round was a 3-under 68 in the first round of the Wildcat Invitational. She finished ahead of 30 ranked players at Northrop and ahead of 27 ranked players at the Wildcat. The results moved her up to #19 in the Golfweek/Sagarin national rankings system.

Men's Tennis Singles - Dean Jackson, USD
Dean Jackson (Soest, Germany) is in his junior season helping to lead the University of San Diego men's tennis team. The consistent No. 1 singles player for San Diego, Jackson has started the 2010 dual match season 7-1 in singles and 4-2 in doubles competition, playing along side fellow junior Nils Schive. Jackson's only loss thus far came against #1 University of Southern California's Robert Farah, at the time ranked No. 14 in the nation. Since then, Jackson has won five straight singles contests, including garnering a three set victory this past week against University of Pacific's 87th ranked Artem Gramma.

Women's Tennis Singles - Jenni Heinser, USF
In eight matches, the No. 65 Heinser is 7-1, all at the No. 1 position. All seven wins were two set sweeps, and the one match she dropped, she took her opponent (No. 98 Suzie Matzenauer of Cal Poly) to three sets. Her wins included a 6-3, 6-4 set against Desiree Stone (UC Davis), 6-4, 6-1 over Sofia Novak (UC Santa Barbara), 6-1, 6-1 over Catherine Isip (Saint Mary's), 6-1, 6-1 over Jenifer Widjaja (Pacific), 6-2, 6-1 over Barbara Pinterova (Hawaii), 6-4, 6-2 over Maria Mizyuk (Nevada), and 6-3, 6-3 over Sandra Dynka (Texas Tech).

Men's Tennis Doubles - Alex Llompart/Finn Tearney, PEP
Pepperdine's men's doubles players changed partners frequently during February, but the team of Llompart and Tearney won their only two matches together at #2 doubles. They came against strong opposition, beating duos from USC and Michigan (the doubles teams weren't ranked, but USC's overall team ranking was #5 and Michigan's was #36).

Women's Tennis Doubles - Andrea Oates/Ali Walters, PEP
The team of Oates/Walters went 2-3 overall at the #2 doubles position, but two of their losses were to top 50 ranked teams. They had two good wins on the road against teams from Baylor and Texas (the doubles teams weren't ranked, but Baylor's overall team ranking was #5 and Texas' was #30).