(Courtesy of Pepperdine University Media Relations)
SAN DIEGO, Calif. - For the 25th time in program history, the Pepperdine women's tennis team captured the West Coast Conference Tournament title. The top-seeded Waves posted their third-straight shutout of the tournament, defeating No.2-seeded Portland in finals, 4-0.
With the win, Pepperdine improves to 55-3 all-time at the WCC Tournament. The Pilots, 17-6 on the year, were making their first trip to the finals.
With the tournament win, the Waves (17-8) earned themselves the automatic bid into the NCAA Tournament. Brackets will be announced on Tuesday, April 28 at 2 p.m. on NCAA.com.
"This whole season has been great," said head coach Per Nilsson, in his first year with the Pepperdine women's team. "We lost three players from last year, and only brought in one new player, but everyone's been working hard and its paying off.
"Everyone stepped up and played really well this weekend," continued Nilsson. "The goal is to play good at the end of the year and maybe we can do some damage at the (NCAA) tournament."
#19-ranked Pepperdine won the doubles point to open the dual today vs. #53 Portland.Danielle Feneridis (Auckland, New Zealand/Westlake Girls HS) and Michaela Capannolo (Melbourne, Australia/Genazzano FCJ College) downed Tori Troesch and Amanda Zuidema, 8-1, from the No. 3 spot in the lineup.
From there, it was a race to clinch as both the Waves' No. 1 and No. 2 teams were ahead by at least one break of serve.
Christine Maddox (Santa Monica, Calif./Santa Monica HS) and Matea Cutura (Zagreb, Croatia/Gimnazija Birotehnika/DePaul), the top-ranked pair in the league at #23, defeated Lucia Butkovska and Jelena Lazarevic by an 8-4 tally to secure the point.
"Dani and Mick really helped step up our play in doubles," said Nilsson after the match. "They had been struggling for a while, and they won every match here."
The duo was rewarded with all-tournament status, as was Cutura and Maddox.
The Waves kept in rolling in singles. Capannolo set the tone, and issued Saroop Dhatt a 6-1, 6-2 loss to make it 2-0 Pepperdine.
"Mick really stood out this weekend and played well against two girls she had struggled with before," continued Nilsson. "She showed up to play and it made the team stronger."
Cutura allowed just one game in her 6-1, 6-0 rout versus Sophie van den Aarssen at No. 3.
"Matea was really good all week. She was dialed in, in both singles and doubles," praised Nilsson.
Maddox posted the Waves' fourth point, dispatching Troesch, 6-0, 6-4. The sophomore opened all three of her matches at the WCC Tournament with a 6-0 first-set wins and allowed just nine games overall.
Laura Gulbe (Riga, Latvia/Murjāņu Sporta Ģimnāzija) was ahead 6-2, 5-2 when the dual was clinched.
Three Waves earned singles all-tournament status, including Gulbe, Maddox and Apichaya Runglerdkriangkrai (Bangkok, Thailand/IMG Academy).
The NCAA Tournament begins the weekend of May 8-10 with the first and second rounds at 16 campus sites. The remainder of the championships will play out on May 14-25 on the campus of Baylor in Waco, Texas.
#1 Pepperdine 4, #2 Portland 0
Singles | Order of Finish 5,3,6
1. #11 Lorraine Guillermo (PEP) vs. #101 BUTKOVSKA, Lucia (POR) 2-6, 4-5, unfinished
2. Laura Gulbe (PEP) vs. MLADENOVIC, Maja (POR) 6-2, 5-2, unfinished
3. Matea Cutura (PEP) def. VAN DEN AARSSEN, S. (POR) 6-1, 6-0
4. A.Runglerdkriangkrai (PEP) vs. LAZAREVIC, Jelena (POR) 6-1, 1-6, 1-1, unfinished
5. Michaela Capannolo (PEP) def. DHATT, Saroop (POR) 6-1, 6-2
6. Christine Maddox (PEP) def. TROESCH, Tori (POR) 6-0, 6-4
Doubles | Order of finish: 3
1. Christine Maddox/Matea Cutura (PEP) def. BUTKOVSKA, Lucia/LAZAREVIC, Jelena (POR) 8-4
2. Lorraine Guillermo/A.Runglerdkriangkrai (PEP) vs. MLADENOVIC, Maja/VAN DEN AARSSEN, S. (POR) 7-4, unfinished
3. Michaela Capannolo/Danielle Feneridis (PEP) def. ZUIDEMA, Amanda/TROESCH, Tori (POR) 8-1
Match Notes:Portland 17-6; National ranking #53
Pepperdine 17-8; National ranking #19
2015 WCC All-Tournament Team
Doubles Teams -- All-Tournament Team
1. Matea Cutura and Christine Maddox, Pepperdine
2. Maja Mladenovic and Sophie van den Aarssen, Portland
3. Michaela Capannolo and Danielle Feneridis, Pepperdine
1. Lucia Butkovska, Portland
2. Laura Gulbe, Pepperdine
3. Jamie Pawid, Saint Mary's
4. Jean Runglerdkriangkrai, Pepperdine
5. Genevieve McCloskey, San Francisco
6. Christine Maddox, Pepperdine