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WCC Rivals Provide Early Test for Lions

Feb. 15, 2007

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The Loyola Marymount women's tennis team will be part of rivalry week, taking on a pair of West Coast Conference foes that have become the Lions' top rivals over the years. The Lions will open the week on Friday, Feb. 16 with their home debut, taking on No. 19 Pepperdine at 1:30 p.m. at the LMU Tennis Center. Two days later on Sunday, Feb. 18, the Lions with travel to No. 60 San Diego for a 10:00 a.m. start. The match against the Waves will be featured through LiveStats on www.LMULions.com .

LMU, Pepperdine and San Diego have become regulars in the annual WCC tournament in April each year. Since the tournament began in 1995, LMU has faced San Diego every year in the semifinals. The Lions have advanced three times to the WCC title game to face Pepperdine, who has made the championship match all 12 years, falling to LMU in 2003.

In The Polls
For the third straight week LMU earned a spot in the FILA Collegiate Tennis Rankings administered by the ITA. They are ranked 70th in this week's poll. Friday's opponent, Pepperdine, continues its string of ranked weeks, topping out at No. 19 this week. Sunday's opponent, San Diego, is ranked 60th in the poll this week.

Against This Week's Opponents
LMU earned its way to its third WCC finals with a 4-2 win over 56th-ranked San Diego on April 22 in the 2006 WCC Semifinals. The 67th-ranked Lions avenged a regular season loss to San Diego with a 4-2 thriller in the WCC Semifinals Saturday. LMU took a 1-0 lead after winning the doubles point. Erin Ivey and Sundac put the Lions up 3-0 with straight set wins at No.6 and No.5 singles respectively. For Ivey, the win avenged her singles loss to Sophia Vogt, who had defeated her in the dual action in late March. The Toreros then posted two singles win to keep things close at 3-2. Junior Robyn Baker clinched the win for LMU with a win at No.2. LMU then fell to the 13th-ranked Pepperdine 4-0 in the WCC Finals at Santa Clara University on April 23. Pavla Mesterova and Robyn Baker were on their way to winning the doubles match at the number one spot when their match was called. Mesterova and Baker were leading 7-2 in the first set against 20th-ranked Sylvia Kosakowski and Merve Asimgil. At the number one spot in singles play, Pavla Mesterova took the first set 6-2 from 24th-ranked Bianca Dulgheru. In the second set Mesterova was leading 3-2 and was on her way to defeating another ranked player when the match was called.

Last Time Out
The 67th-ranked Loyola Marymount women's tennis team earned a hard-fought 4-3 win over­ No. 73 UC Santa Barbara on Saturday, using the doubles point to push them to their second victory in three days. The Lions opned the match with an 8-4 win at No. 1 doubles as Pavla Mesterova and Tamara Tanner claimed an 8-4 win over Charlotte Scatliffe and Carina Bjornstrom. Erin Ivey and Serena Fermin pushed the Lions to the doubles point as they defeated Tova Hausman and Asagi Onaga at No. 2 doubles, 8-5. The Lions nearly made it a clean sweep in doubles action, as No.3 doubles Bliss Nixon and Elrien de Villiers fell in a heartbreaker, 9-8 (0). The teams split the singles action as the match came down to the Lions' newcomers. Nixon claimed a 6-4, 7-5 win at No. 6 singles while de Villiers claimed a three-set match, 6-3, 4-6, 6-1. The Loyola Marymount women's tennis team began the dual match portion of their schedule with a 4-1 win over Cal State Fullerton on Feb. 8. The match was shortened due to darkness but the Lions were on their way to sweeping the singles when the match was called. The Lions lost the doubles point in marathon matches that pushed the match long. In the singles matches, however, the Lions took over. Senior Robyn Baker claimed a 6-2, 6-2 win over Tran at No. 2 doubles to even the overall match at 1-1. Ivey cruised at No. 4 doubles, posting a 6-0, 6-1 win over Brandy Andrews. Nixon and de Villiers continued their solid play to open the season as de Villiers earned a 6-3, 6-4 win over Injejikian at No. 6 singles and Nixon pushed the Lions to the match win with a 5-7, 6-4, 6-0 victory at No. 5 singles. Mesterova was up 6-4, 5-4 at No. 1 singles before darkness called the match. Also unfinished with Tanner at No. 3 singles, as she led 3-6, 6-1, 5-3.