May 22, 2014
ATHENS, Ga. – For the second-straight season, Alex Sarkissian of the Pepperdine men’s tennis team advanced to the round of 16 at the NCAA Singles Championship, and in doing so, picked up ITA All-American honors. Sarkissian won on the doubles court as well, teaming with fellow senior Francis Alcantara to beat a top-15 ranked opponent in the opening round.
To earn ITA All-American status in singles, a player must be a top-16 seed at the NCAA Singles Championship, reach the round of 16 in the draw, or finish the season with a top-20 final ranking.
Sarkissian (Glendale, Calif./Glendale CC) is now a two-time All-American, and the program’s 82nd overall. He is just the 26th Wave to earn one of the sports’ top awards more than once.
“Alex is playing great tennis right now and with a lot of confidence,” said head coach Adam Steinberg. “We are proud of him. This is the best tennis I’ve seen from him all year.”
Sarkissian, ranking in at #28, opened his morning against #29 Romain Bogaerts of Wake Forest. The senior Wave owned the first set 6-1. Although the second frame played out much closer, Sarkissian thwarted off any comeback attempts and secured the match with the 6-4 triumph.
A few hours later, Sarkissian returned to the Dan Magill Tennis Complex courts to open action alongside fellow senior Alcantara (Cagayan de Oro, Philippines/Fresno State) in the opening round of the NCAA Doubles Championship.
Alcantara had been to the NCAA Doubles Championship twice before, but had never made it out of the first round. Sarkissian was making his debut in the doubles draw.
The #15-ranked senior duo went up against #12 Ashok Narayana and Max Schnur out of Columbia.
The Waves struck first, winning the first set 6-3, but were forced to go the distance after the Lions took set two, 6-1.
Sarge and Niño, as Sarkissian and Alcantara are more commonly referred to as, got right back on track in the final frame and posted a 6-1 decision to advance to the next round.
Sarkissian will face #38-ranked Leandro Toledo of Minnesota on Friday at 6 a.m. PT. Toledo pulled off one of the biggest upsets of the singles tournament in the first round, downing #6 Alex Domijan in a three-set battle.
In doubles, Alcantara and Sarkissian will be faced with North Florida’s #60 Jack Findel-Hawkins and Norbert Nemcsek. The UNF duo eliminated top-seeded Yannick Hanfmann and Ray Sarmiento of USC earlier today.