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WCC Men's Tennis Notes, Jan. 25, 2011

Jan. 25, 2011

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SAN BRUNO, Calif. - Seven of eight WCC men's tennis teams have started the 2011 season. Four are off to a strong start with 2-0 records to start the year. Portland will begin its 2011 campaign on Friday.

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  • Gonzaga started its season with tough matchups against Seattle, Washington and Oregon.
  • The Zags narrowly defeated Seattle 4-3 as junior Jake Davis picked up a 6-4, 7-6 (8-6) win inNo. 6 singles to earn Gonzaga's match-winning point.
  • GU's 7-0 loss to then-ranked No. 26 Washington was on the road. It was a tough one as theBulldogs were swept in both doubles and singles. Junior Scott Sullivan and senior Kevin Eischenheaded the Zag effort but both dropped 6-1, 6-3 decisions at No. 3 and 4 singles, respectively.
  • Against Oregon, junior Zhia Hwa Chong recorded the lone point with a 7-5, 6-2 victory at No.4 singles. The Zags lost 6-1 in the matchup.
  • The Bulldogs return to action on January 28th against Lewis-Clark State College at home.
  • Loyola Marymount started off the season with two wins at home. TheLions defeated Nevada-Reno, 6-1, and conference rival Saint Mary's, 5-2.With five freshmen on the roster, the Lions will look to their two seniors to lead the charge asthis young team competes in the 2011 season.
  • After losing the doubles point to Nevada-Reno, the Lions charged back with six singles wins.Five of the six Lions won their matches in straight sets, while freshman Alex Wilton pulled outa close 6-7, 6-2, 11-9 victory in the third-set tiebreaker. Freshman Tom Price dominated hisopponent at the No. 5 singles spot with a 6-0, 6-0 win.
  • Against the Saint Mary's Gaels, the Lions once again lost the doubles point but came backin singles to secure their second straight win of the season.
  • The Lions will be back on court on February 4th against Missouri-Kansas City at home.
  • Pepperdine got its season off to a strong start with wins over then-No.61 UC Santa Barbara and No. 55 UC Irvine..
  • The Waves secured the doubles point against the UC Santa Barbara Gauchos but it was noteasy. Both the Waves' No. 1 and 2 doubles pairs won in tiebreaking fashion with 9-8 wins. TheWaves took each singles match across the board with junior Jenson Turner securing the fourthpoint with a 6-4, 7-6 (2) victory at the No. 4 position.
  • Pepperdine swept the doubles point against UC Irvine and secured the 5-2 victory with fourstraight-set singles wins. Junior Alex Llompart had a dominant showing with a shutout winagainst his opponent at No. 3.
  • The Waves' next match is on January 28th against Virginia Tech at the ITA National TeamIndoor Qualifiers. A win will match the Waves up against either Duke or Michigan the following day.
  • Portland will start its season with back-to-back matches at home againstWeber State and Eastern Washington. The Pilots will take on Weber Stateon January 28th at 1:00 p.m. and Eastern Washington the following day at4:00 p.m.
  • This year's squad will look to fill in the spots of graduated All-WCC first team honoreesFilip Zivkovic and Evan Schleining with a young team that features four freshmen and threesophomores.
  • Freshman Ratan Gill has already turned some heads this season after earning WCC Playerof the Month honors back in November. Gill claimed the Pacific Northwest Intercollegiate GoldDraw title, hosted by the University of Washington, by defeating individuals from Gonzaga,Oregon, Idaho, and Washington.
  • Saint Mary's defeated Division II Sonoma State and lost to No. 2-ranked USCand conference rival Loyola Marymount to start the 2011 season.
  • After winning the doubles point against Sonoma State, the Gaels dominated in singles play,winning all but one match in straight sets. The deciding point came at the No. 5 spot with juniorGavin Leon defeating his opponent, 6-1, 6-1.
  • The Gaels faced a deep USC team and failed to pick up a doubles or singles match on theday. The closest results came at the No. 5 and 6 singles spots as Leon lost 6-3, 4-6, 1-0 (10-5)and sophomore Saad Benkirane dropped a close three-setter.
  • Saint Mary's captured the doubles point but could not carry the momentum over in singleswith freshman Joakim Norstrom picking up the lone point for the Gaels with a score of 7-6, 6-0.The Gaels return to action on February 9th when they host San Francisco at 3 p.m.
  • San Diego jumpstarted its season with a double-header against UC SanDiego and BYU. The Toreros won both at home, topping UC San Diego, 5-2,and then-ranked No. 38 BYU, 6-1.
  • The Toreros won four of the six singles matches against UC San Diego with each beingstraight set victories. Doubles proved tougher but the Toreros were able to secure the doublespoint with wins at all three positions.
  • Two hours later, the Toreros were back on court against the BYU Cougars. After winning thedoubles point, the Toreros went on to win five of the six singles points in very close matches---three of which featured at least one 7-6 set. The USD victory avenges last year's 6-1 road lossto the Cougars and gives the Toreros a 16-8 advantage in the all-time series.
  • San Diego will compete at the ITA National Indoor Qualifier on January 28th in Knoxville, TN.
  • San Francisco began its season with a 6-1 loss at Fresno State. TheDons lost all three doubles matches and five of the six singles matches. Thelone point for the Dons came at the No. 5 singles position as sophomoreWilliam Schumacher took his opponent to a 10-point tie-breaker to decide the third set and wonby a score of 5-7, 7-5, 1-0 (5).
  • After finishing fourth in conference last season, San Francisco looks to its young squad to pushthe program forward. The Dons return All-WCC First Team member Thai Tu and All-WCC HonorableMention Mark DeCastro and welcome just one freshman, Germain Bahri, from Belgium.
  • The San Francisco men's tennis team has undertaken a number of various community serviceprojects this past year, including participation in the Harper for Kids Festivals, which teaches JohnWooden's "Pyramid of Success" to kids in the local school community. The Dons even visited andplayed tennis with inmates at San Quentin to give back and broaden their experiences.
  • Santa Clara hosted a double-header to begin the 2011 season and cameout with two decisive victories over Sonoma State and UC Davis. The Broncos defeated the DivisionII Sonoma team, 4-0, while the Broncos blanked UC Davis, 7-0.
  • After taking the doubles point, four singles matches were able to finish. Of those four matches,the Broncos allowed only five games total to their opponents with the closest match being atthe No. 3 singles spot with a score of 6-1, 6-1.
  • After their match against Sonoma State, the Broncos took home the doubles point againstUC Davis and then swept all the matches in singles with virtually the same lineup.
  • Santa Clara will host UC Santa Cruz on January 26th at 3:00 p.m. and then travel to Stanfordfor the 2011 ITA Kickoff Weekend on the Stanford courts.


Spring 2010 WCC Postseason Award Winners
The Pepperdine men's tennis team swept all three postseason awards for the second year in a row. Below are this year's award recipients.
WCC Player of the Year: Bassam Beidas, PEP
WCC Freshman of the Year: Sebastian Fanselow, PEP
WCC Coach of the Year: Adam Steinberg, PEP

2009-10 WCC Men's Tennis: Season Recap
This year saw a reigning champion prove its dominance and newcomers rise to the occasion, especially at the 2010 WCC Championships. Throughout the course of the season, five of the eight WCC men's tennis teams held a mark of .500 or above, while the top three finishers at the WCC tournament all ended their seasons ranked in the nation's top 65.

After a strong regular season, Pepperdine came out swinging at the 2010 WCC Championships in San Diego, CA. The Waves defeated Gonzaga, San Francisco, and Santa Clara in impressive fashion, losing just one singles match en route to its 41st WCC title in program history and automatic bid to the 2010 NCAA Tennis Championships.

Pepperdine also swept all three postseason awards for the second year in a row. Senior Bassam Beidas was named the WCC Player of the Year, freshman Sebastian Fanselow garnered WCC Freshman of the Year honors, and Coach Adam Steinberg tallied his fourth WCC Coach of the Year award.

The Santa Clara men's tennis team finished second at this year's WCC Championships, proving itself as one of the toughest teams in the WCC. The Broncos defeated last year's runner-up San Diego to arrive to its first-ever appearance in the finals since the WCC tournament changed to a seven team point format. It was a second for the Broncos in program history (Santa Clara lost to Pepperdine 6-1 in 2000). ended the year as the second highest ranked team in the conference in the ITA rankings (No. 53).

San Diego also continued its solid season from last year. Despite finishing in third at this year's conference tournament, the Toreros continue to be one of the conference's strongest teams with a deep lineup, highlighted by sophomore Nikola Bubnic, who ended the season with a national ranking (No. 91) and the 2010 ITA Player to Watch Award for the Southwest Region.

WCC Men's Tennis in the 2010 NCAA Championships
After winning the conference crown, the No. 21-ranked Pepperdine men's tennis team went on to represent the WCC in the NCAA Championships in Athens, GA. In the first round, the team defeated No. 37-ranked Hawaii 4-0, only to face Stanford in the second round for the second year in a row.

The Waves suffered the same fate this year, losing 4-0 to the No. 7-ranked team.2010 WCC Player of the Year Bassam Beidas of Pepperdine was the only men's tennis player from the conference to compete in the NCAA Men's Tennis Singles Championship. Beidas advanced to the Round of 16 after defeating James Meredith of Boise State (7-6 (4), 6-3) and upsetting No. 8 seed Alexandre Lacroix of Florida in three sets (4-6, 7-5, 7-5). In his Round of 16 match, Beidas stayed close with No. 10 seed Dimitar Kutrovsky of Texas but suffered an injury in the start of the second set, making it difficult for Beidas to pull off another upset. The final score was 6-7 (6), 6-1, 6-2.

Pepperdine's Beidas and last year's WCC Freshman of the Year Alex Llompart competed together in the NCAA Men's Tennis Doubles Championship. The duo lost in split sets to No. 5-8 seeded pair of Kutrovsky (same player who defeated Beidas in singles) and Josh Zavala of Texas (4-6, 6-2, 6-2).

About the Intercollegiate Tennis Association
Long recognized as one of the best-organized collegiate sports associations, the Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) is a non-profit service organization, which serves as the governing body of collegiate tennis in the United States. Administering a comprehensive calendar of tournaments and events and a far-reaching awards program, the goal of the ITA is to improve the level of intercollegiate tennis competition and the quality of college tennis coaching.

Comprised of nearly 1,500 men's and women's coaches representing over 1,200 institutions across the country from all three NCAA Divisions, as well as the NAIA and Junior and Community Colleges, the ITA oversees activities involving over 15,000 varsity college student-athletes. In addition to ITA collegiate coach (and team) members, the ITA also welcomes collegiate parents, junior players and parents, alumni, corporate, federation, high school coach, and associate membership.

To learn more about the ITA, please visit www.itatennis.com.