Jan. 27, 2014
SAN BRUNO, Calif. --- For the second consecutive year, the Pepperdine men's tennis team was picked first in the 2014 West Coast Conference preseason poll, as voted on by the head coaches within the WCC. The two-time defending WCC Champion Waves collected eight of nine possible first place votes and 80 of a possible 81 overall points.
Pepperdine was the lone school to place two on the six-member preseason all-conference team as seniors Alex Sarkissian and David Sofaer earned spots. An All-WCC Second Team selection, Sarkissian advanced to the 2013 NCAA Singles Round of 16.
San Diego, the 2011 WCC Champion, was chosen second, collecting two first place votes and 73 overall points. The Toreros will count on senior Clarke Spinosa, a 2013 All-WCC First Team selection, who earned preseason honors entering his final collegiate season.
BYU was tabbed third in preseason balloting with 61 points. All three of the WCC’s top teams in the preseason poll – Pepperdine (13), San Diego (40), BYU (45) – are currently ranked in the top-50 in the ITA team rankings. Spinosa (27), Sarkissian (33), Sofaer (58) and Pacific’s Sem Verbeek (105) collected top-125 ITA singles rankings.
Longtime Bay Area rivals San Francisco and Santa Clara each received 50 votes for a share of fourth place. The Broncos will look to 2013 All-WCC First Team and preseason all-conference selection senior John Lamble.
First-year WCC member Pacific was picked to finish sixth in the preseason prognostications. The Tigers will look to talented sophomore Sem Verbeek – the only underclassman on the Preseason All-WCC squad – to lead the way. Pacific posted a runner-up finish in the 2013 Big West Conference Tournament.
A total of three points separated the seventh through ninth spots. Portland (28) was chosen seventh followed by Loyola Marymount (27), Saint Mary’s (26) and Gonzaga (11). Junior Alvaro Nazal represents the Bulldogs on the Preseason All-WCC team.
2014 Men’s Preseason Coaches Poll
1. Pepperdine (8) - 80
2. San Diego (2) – 73
3. BYU – 61
T-4. San Francisco – 50
T-4. Santa Clara – 50
6. Pacific – 44
7. Portland – 28
8. Loyola Marymount – 27
9. Saint Mary’s – 26
10. Gonzaga – 11
2014 Men’s All-WCC Preseason Team
John Lamble, Sr., Santa Clara
Alvaro Nazal, Jr., Gonzaga
Alex Sarkissian, Sr., Pepperdine
Clarke Spinosa, Sr., San Diego
David Sofaer, Sr., Pepperdine
Sem Verbeek, So., Pacific