March 20, 2007
Loyola Marymount women's tennis (7-6, 3-2) will play three matches in four days this week as they host No. 56 Nevada on Thrusday, Mar. 22, Pacific on Saturday, Mar. 24 and No. 46 Sacramento State on Mar. 25. All three will be played at the LMU Tennis Center, with the match against the Wolfpack starting it all at 1:30 p.m. Each match can be followed live on www.LMULions.com through LiveStats.
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 with a new poll coming out Nov. 21. However, junior Pavla Mesterova remains ranked among the nation's best singles players as she currently sits at No. 56. Mesterova is 18-5 on the season, winning 10 of her last 12. 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 play a pair of teams ranked by FILA, starting with No. 56 Nevada on Thursday at 1:30 p.m. It will be the first meeting between the two programs since 1998, a 5-4 win by the Wolfpack. Nevada will make a tour of Southern California, playing 48th-ranked Long Beach State on Mar. 21. Nevada is 6-6 on the season and enters the match against the 49ers on a two-match skid. Following Nevada, the Lions will host Pacific on Saturday, Mar. 24 at 1 p.m. Pacific is 2-6 on the season and have dropped their last three matches, two coming to ranked opponents. This will be the first time LMU has played Pacific since 1993. The week will close with No. 46 Sacramento State on Sunday, Mar. 25 at 9:30 a.m. The match is part of a doubleheader with the men's team, who plays Cal Poly at 2 p.m. Like the Lions, Sacramento State has a busy week, playing Northern Colorado on Mar. 22 and Pepperdine on Mar. 24 before taking on LMU. They are 9-4 on the season and defeated LMU 4-3 in their meeting a year ago. This is the fifth straight year the two programs have played one another. Sacramento State is 3-1 in those meetings.
Pavla Mesterova and Robyn Baker have solidified the top of the Lions line-up this season, providing a potent one-two punch. The pair play at No. 1 and No. 2 singles, respectively and have combined to win 16 of their last 17 matches. In addition, the pair combine for the Lions' top duo at No. 1 doubles. Mesterova is 18-5 on the season and has won nine of her last 10 matches, going 10-2 at No. 1 singles this season. Baker has won her last seven matches, including a win over the No. 16 players in the nation. She is 9-6 overall and 8-4 in No. 2 singles action. In doubles, they are 6-1 this season at No. 1 doubles in dual matches.
Last Time Out
The Loyola Marymount University women's tennis team earned a 4-3 bounce back win over San Diego State. For the second straight match the Lions earned a win in doubles play as they earned wins at No. 1 and No. 3 doubles. Pavla Mesterova and Robyn Baker continued their solid play together with an 8-5 win. Also winning was Erin Ivey and Bliss Nixon at No. 3 doubles, taking the match by a score of 8-6. Robyn Baker continues her hot play of late with her seventh straight win at No. 2 singles, taking the match 6-2, 6-3. She is now 9-6 overall on the season and 8-4 in dual matches. Her match point broke a 2-2 tie. With a 1-0 lead after the doubles point. Pavla Mesterova improved to 18-5 with a 6-2, 6-1 win at No. 1. SDSU then evened the score at two each with a win at No. 3 singles. Serena Fermin then gave the Lions the match with a 6-2, 6-3 win at No. 4 singles.
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 413-369 heading into the match against Nevada. 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.