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Eight-Match Road Trip Continues

Feb. 21, 2007

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With a pair of wins over ranked opponents already under their belts, the Loyola Marymount women's tennis team will continues its toughest stretch of the season as they continue an eight-match road trip at No. 15 UCLA and Cal Poly this week. The Lions will face the Bruins on Thursday, Feb. 22 at 1:30 p.m. and then take on Cal Poly Friday, Feb. 23 at 1:00 p.m. The Lions enter the week at 3-1 to start the spring season.

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. Thursday's opponent, UCLA, continues its string of ranked weeks, topping out at No. 15 this week. Friday's opponent, Cal Poly, finished the 2006 season ranked in the top-75.

Against This Week's Opponents
The Lions will play their fourth ranked opponent in their first five matches of the season when they travel to No. 15 UCLA on Thursday. The Bruins are 5-4 on the year with a schedule worthy of a top-20 program. They have wins over Hawaii-Manoa, Cal Poly (who LMU plays Friday), Wisconsin, No. 18 Fresno State and No. 42 UC Irvine. Their setbacks have been to No. 6 Northwestern, No. 13 Clemson, No. 9 Cal and No. 1 Stanford. Cal Poly enters the week at 3-6 overall, winning two of their last three. They defeated San Jose State and Cal State Fullerton 7-0 and fell to #42 UC Irvine 5-2. Cal Poly has been in and out of the rankings, finishing the 2006 season at No. 73. The Mustangs are 3-6 overall.

Grueling Stretch
The Lions began a grueling eight-match road trip with a 4-3 win over No. 60 San Diego on Feb. 18. The road trip will make stops at teams who are ranked or who are in and out of the rankings annually. No. 15 UCLA and Cal Poly are this week with stops at WCC rivals Saint Mary's, San Francisco and Santa Clara around the corner. Also part of the trip to the Bay Area will be San Jose State and No. 9 Cal. The Lions will return home on March 16 to start a stretch of seven straight at home with Southern Mississippi.

Fast Start
The No. 1 doubles team of Pavla Mesterova and Tamara Tanner have settled in nicely as a tandem this season, going 4-0 to start the spring dual match season. Overall they are 8-1 on the year, going 4-1 this fall in tournament play. They have won eight straight matches and will be tested by the 17th-ranked doubles team in the nation from UCLA, Riza Zalameda and Yasmin Schnack. Also 4-0 to start the spring season is newcomer Elrien de Villiers. The freshmen from South Africa is 5-1 since joining the Lions this January, going 4-0 in dual matches and 1-1 in the Cal State L.A. Tournament to start her career.

Last Time Out
The Loyola Marymount University women's tennis team earned a big win early in the spring 2007 season with a 4-3 victory over 60th-ranked San Diego on Feb. 18 morning in San Diego. Every year since the women's tennis championships were started in the West Coast Conference, San Diego and LMU have played each other in the semifinals, creating a rivalry that went to the Lions favor to start the season. The Lions swept all three doubles matches, with 8-5 wins at No. 1 and No. 2 doubles and an 8-2 win at No. 3 doubles. Pavla Mesterova and Tamara Tanner improved to 4-0 on the season as team playing at No. 1 doubles, defeating Samantha Mouly and Monica Wiesener on Sunday. Once again the doubles point proved big as the teams split singles play. Mestervoa earned a two-set win as Wiesener retired in the second set. Robyn Baker (No. 2 singles), Tamara Tanner (No. 3) and Serena Fermin (No. 4) all fell in their hard-fought matches. It left the match up to Erin Ivey at No. 5 singles and Elrien de Villiers at No. 6. Ivey came through with a 6-4, 6-1 win over Zoe Taylor and de Villiers claimed the match for the Lions with a 6-4, 6-2 win over Justine Perl. The freshman from South Africa who joined the team in January, is now 4-0 on the season in dual matches.