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Lions Return For Two Week Homestand

March 14, 2007

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Briefly
Loyola Marymount women's tennis spent 10 days in the bay area on a five-match road trip that saw the Lions go 3-2, falling to a pair of teams ranked in the current ITA rankings. The trip concluded a long road swing that saw the Lions play seven of their last eight away from home. They finally make their return as the Lions will host six straight home matches over the next two weeks at the LMU Tennis Center. The stretch starts this weekend with Southern Mississippi on March 16 at 1:30 p.m. and then San Diego State at 1:00 p.m. All matches can be followed through livestats on LMULions.com.

In the Rankings
After appearing in the FILA Collegiate Tennis Rankings administered by the ITA for the first five weeks of the spring season, the Lions remain unranked for the second week. However, junior Pavla Mesterova remains ranked among the nation's best singles players as she currently sits at No. 56. Mesterova is 16-5 on the season, winning eight of her last 10. The two losses in that stretch have come to the No. 25 and No. 22 players in the nation. She has played six opponents ranked by the ITA, going 2-4 against those opponents. Mesterova is also 12-7 in doubles action.

Against This Week's Opponents
The Lions will start their their homestand with Southern Mississippi and San Diego State in back-to-back matches. Southern Mississippi is 9-1 on the season heading into their trip to Southern California, where they will play CSUN on March 14, LMU on March 16 and CS Fullerton on March 17. The only loss on the season for Southern Miss., was to UTEP, 5-2. They enter the week with a 4-3 win over Houston on March 4 and a 7-0 win at Memphis on March 3. San Diego State was ranked 70th on March 6 before falling out in this week's poll. However, the day they dropped out of the rankings, the Aztecs earned a 4-3 win over No. 56 Iowa on Monday. They are 5-7 on the season and have played eight ranked opponents and three like opponents as the Lions. They lost to Pepperdine 5-2 on Feb. 27, lost to Cal 7-0 on Jan. 28 and beat CS Fullerton 6-1 on Jan. 20.

Fast Start
Pavla Mesterova and Tamara Tanner of Loyola Marymount University women's tennis were named the February Doubles Team of the Month by the West Coast Conference. Mesterova and Tanner improved to 8-3 overall on the season, going 4-1 in the month of February to start the season. Playing as the No. 1 doubles team during the month, Mesterova and Tanner earned wins against Cal State Fullerton, No. 70 UC Santa Barbara, #19 Pepperdine and #60 San Diego. The duo's only loss came to #15 UCLA.

Last Time Out
Loyola Marymount senior Robyn Baker earned a 5-7, 6-1, 1-0 (pro set) win over 16th ranked Nina Henkel of Cal in No. 2 singles on Sunday at the Hellman Tennis Center in Berkeley, Calif. Baker was the lone winner as the Lions went on to fall to 6th ranked Cal 6-1. It was Baker's highest ranked opponent in her career at LMU as she fell in the first set, 5-7. She recovered for a 6-1 win in the second to force a pro set in the third. She went on to win the pro tiebreaker to earn her fifth straight win of the season. She improves to 7-6 overall and 6-4 in dual matches. Pavla Mesterova, ranked 56th in the nation, saw her seven match win streak end to No. 25 Zsuzanna Foder, 6-3, 6-2. Mesterova falls to 16-5 on the year. Mesterova and Baker, who had won five straight matches at No. 1 doubles, also saw their streak end as they fell 8-6 to the third ranked doubles team in the nation in Fodor and Babos, 8-6.

Head Coach
Jamie Sanchez is in his 32nd season as head coach of the Loyola Marymount women's tennis program. Sanchez, the program's only coach since its inception, began coaching the team in 1976 and has posted a career record of 412-368 heading into the match against Southern Mississippi. In 2002, Sanchez guided the Lions to their first ever West Coast Conference Championship with a 4-2 win over Pepperdine. With the win, Sanchez and the Lions advanced to the NCAA playoffs as a team for the first time in program history. He was named the West Coast Conference Coach of the Year for the second straight year in 2002 and in 2006 he earned his third WCC Coach of the Year honor. In his 31 years at the helm of the Lions' program, Sanchez's teams have never finished lower than fourth in the WCC. The Lions finished 12-14 and in second place after reaching the WCC Championship in 2006. In November of 2004, Sanchez was honored with the US Tennis Association/Intercollegiate Tennis Association Campus Recreation Award as the sectional winner for all of Southern California. In its second year, the award honors an ITA coach who has done an outstanding job implementing recreational tennis programs on campus.

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