April 19, 2007
Loyola Marymount women's tennis (10-11, 3-2) earned the No. 3 seed in the 2007 West Coast Conference Championships and will take on sixth-seeded Portland in the first round on Friday, April 20 on the campus of Pepperdine in Malibu. The match is scheduled for 3 p.m. but do to rain in the forecast the schedule might change. For the latest, check www.LMULions.com for live updates.
The WCC Championships
The Lions will enter the 2007 WCC Championships the No. 3 seed, the fourth straight year the Lions will open the first round with that seed. The Lions advanced to the championship match a year ago, falling to Pepperdine in the final. The Waves return to the No. 1 seed and at No. 2 for the first time is Saint Mary's. Following the Lions is San Francisco at No. 4, San Diego at No. 5, Portland at No. 6, Santa Clara at No. 7 and Gonzaga at No. 8. First round action starts at 9 a.m. on Friday. The Lions defeated USF, Santa Clara and San Diego in the regular season, but fell to Pepperdine and Saint Mary's.
For the third straight week, the Lions are in the FILA Collegiate Tennis Rankings administered by the ITA, ranking No. 62 in the April 17th poll. In addition, Pavla Mesterova ranks at #66. Mesterova's highest ranking ever was at #51 in the preseason ranking in September of 2006.
Pavla Mesterova and Robyn Baker have solidified the top of the Lions line-up this season, providing a potent one-two punch. Mesterova is 25-6 on the season and has won eight straight and 15 of her last 16 matches, going 17-3 at No. 1 singles this season. Mesterova was named the WCC Player of the Month for March, going 10-1, winning her last six matches to close the month. She only lost three sets the entire month and got back into the national rankings, peaking at No. 56. Three of her wins came against conference opponents and five more against teams that were ranked in the top-75 nationally. Her only loss came to the 13th ranked player in the country from second-ranked Cal. Baker has a win over the No. 16 players in the nation. She is 13-10 overall and 12-8 in No. 2 singles action. In doubles, they are 11-6 this season overall and 11-4 at No. 1 doubles in dual matches.
Pavla Mesterova's 25 wins on the season puts her at ninth for wins in a single season 31 years of women's tennis at LMU. It ties the mark of 25 she had a year ago and gives her a 50-16 record in two seasons at LMU heading into the WCC Championships. Her .806 winning percentage this season is ranked the best ever in LMU history and her .758 career winning percentage shatters the old mark. On the doubles side she is 19-10, ranking her seventh for doubles wins in a single season. It ties the 19 she had a year ago, giving her a 38-26 mark in two seasons at doubles.
Last Time Out
The Lions are 10-11 this season with 10 of their 21 matches decided by a 4-3 score. The Lions are 5-5 in those matches with all three of those coming against ranked opponents. Speaking of ranked opponents, the Lions are 3-7 against those in the top-75 this season, defeating No. 44 Long Beach State (4-3), No. 60 San Diego (4-3) and No. 73 UC Santa Barbara (4-3).
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 417-374 heading into the match against Hawaii. 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.