May 25, 2014
ATHENS, Ga. - For the second year in a row, a Pepperdine player has advanced to the semifinal round of the NCAA Singles Championship. ITA All-American Alex Sarkissian of the men's tennis team delivered a straight-set win in the quarterfinals today, and is just the Waves' eighth semifinalist at the national tournament.
Sarkissian also teamed up with Francis Alcantara (Cagayan de Oro, Philippines/Fresno State) in the NCAA Doubles Championship quarterfinals. Their run came to an end, but not before the duo earned ITA All-American status with yesterday's round of 16 triumph.
After making a bit of history yesterday, becoming just the seventh Wave since 1980 to earn ITA All-American honors in both singles and doubles in the same season, Sarkissian continued to etch his name in the program annuls.
The senior was nothing short of dominant in his quarterfinal match this morning, winning the first eight consecutive games of the contest before Roberto Cid of South Florida was able to get on the board. Sarkissian easily advanced to the semifinal round with the 6-0, 6-3 triumph.
Sarkissian is just the eighth Pepperdine player to reach the final four of the NCAA Singles Championship, and the second-straight following Sebastian Fanselow's semifinal run in 2013.
The day continued a few hours later, when Sarkissian returned to the courts for the doubles quarterfinal alongside partner Alcantara. The duo took on Oklahoma State's Arjun Kadhe and Jakob Sude.
Although the Waves broke serve first to take a 4-3 lead in set one, OSU broke back to eliminate the advantage. The Cowboys held serve to take back the momentum and put away the frame 6-4.
Kadhe and Sude got a break ahead early in set two, 3-1, and the gap proved enough to hold off Sarkissian and Alcantara's comeback efforts.
Sarkissian, ranked #28 in the ITA singles rankings, continues on tomorrow, facing #39 Denis Nguyen of Harvard in the singles semifinal. Match time is set to begin at or after 10:30 a.m. PT