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Tournament on Tap for Tennis

March 16, 2006

Briefly... This Sunday, 75th-ranked Loyola Marymount will face tournament competition in Newport Beach, Calif. Four ranked teams, including the Lions (5-7), will battle at the Balboa Bay Tennis Club in a tennis doubleheader. LMU will first take on 42nd- ranked Nebraska at 9:00 a.m., while 57th-ranked Ohio State and 71st ranked Washington State compete at the same time. The winning teams and losing teams will then square-off at 2:00 p.m.

Sanchez Seeks 400... In his 32nd season at the helm of the women's tennis program at LMU, Head Coach Jamie Sanchez needs just one team victory to reach the 400 career win milestone. The 400 career wins would make him the only coach in the history of the West Coast Conference to reach the milestone. It would also make him one of two coaches in LMU history to reach the 400-mark. The other is current LMU softball coach Gary Ferrin, who earned his 400th career victory earlier this month in the Lions' home opener at the new Smith Field.

The Pavla Watch...Sophomore Pavla Mesterova is on pace to join an exclusive club this season. Already with 21 singles victories, she could become one of three players in LMU women's tennis history to reach the 30-win milestone in one season. There are already two members of the 30-wins-in-one-season club at LMU: Andrea Lord who set the record going 31-12 in 2000, and Julie Oshiro who went 30-8 in 1994.

A Look at the Huskers... LMU will open tournament play Sunday against 42nd-ranked Nebraska. The Huskers have an overall record of 9-4 and are 2-2 in Big 12 play. Nebraska has two ranked players in 63rd-ranked Kim Hartmann and 95th-ranked Imke Reimers.

Close Match against East Tennessee... The Lions took on East Tennessee State University last Saturday. The Lions and Buccaneers were scheduled to play Friday, but inclement weather forced the teams to postpone play and squeeze in just the singles portion of the match on Saturday morning. February WCC Player of the Month Pavla Mesterova and Sladjana Kos both gave the Lions straight set wins at the number one and three positions, but the Lions fell in the end to ETSU 4-2.

Competitive Conference Play... Last week, the Lions were scheduled to open West Coast Conference play against Santa Clara, but the match was rescheduled due to forecasted rain in the Los Angeles area. The Lions and Broncos have not yet announced a date for the rescheduled match. So now the Lions' first taste of conference play will be next Wednesday, March 22nd, when they face 14th-ranked Pepperdine on the road in Malibu, Calif. For the second straight week, the WCC has four teams in the national rankings: 14th-ranked Pepperdine, 53rd-ranked San Diego, 75th-ranked LMU, and 75th-ranked Saint Mary's. The Lions and the Gaels share this week's 75th spot.

Schedule Strength... The Lions face a tough schedule again this season, with 14 opponents currently ranked in the ITA February team rankings. After already facing UCLA (12th), SDSU (52nd), Long Beach State (47th), UC Irvine (68th), Boston College (63rd), and Boise State (75th), LMU will also take on Nebraska (42nd), Oregon (37th), Pepperdine (14th), Florida International (58th), Fresno State (27th), San Diego (53rd), and Saint Mary's (75th). The Lions will also face either 57th-ranked Ohio State or 71st-ranked Washington State in the second of two matches in tournament play this Sunday.

Women's Tennis Celebrates 30 Years at LMU... 2006 will see the Lions celebrate 30 years of women's tennis at LMU. Head Coach Jamie Sanchez, who began the women's tennis program 30 years ago for the Lions, is spearheading the commemorative year. During the annual alumnae day last weekend, a committee met to begin the planning for the celebration to be held September 22-24. Alumnae involved on the planning committee include co-chairwomen Julie Hladik Reid '02 and Amy Okum Garrity '93, Peggy Reilly '80, Lia Bunker Green '98, Amy Labetich Lane '99, and Erin Sanchez '05. Other alumnae who returned for the festivities included Michelle Rizza '80, Sue Wise '81, and Theresa Holden Ilgunas '80.

-GO LIONS-