May 10, 2013
Five West Coast Conference tennis teams competed in first round NCAA action today in several cities across the country. On the men's side, Pepperdine and San Diego advanced to the second round, while BYU suffered a loss and completed its season. On the women's side, both Pepperdine and Saint Mary's saw their comeback bids fall short, and finished their 2012-13 campaigns.
The Pepperdine men's tennis team got the 2013 NCAA Tournament started on the courts of the Ralphs-Straus Tennis Center on Friday with a convincing 4-0 victory over UC Santa Barbara. The Waves, ranked #12, face #20 LSU in the second round, scheduled for 1 p.m. on Saturday. The Tigers reached the second round after topping #40 Stanford 4-2 in the first match of the day in Malibu.
Pepperdine opened the day with a solid doubles performance. Finn Tearney and Alex Sarkissian, the reigning West Coast Conference doubles team of the month, disposed of Benjamin Recknagel and Axel Bouillin 8-2. David Sofaer and Mousheg Hovhannisyan secured the doubles point for Pepperdine with an 8-5 win against Andrew Riminton and Miles Seeman.
The Waves took full control of the dual in singles, winning the first sets on all six courts. Sebastian Fanselow was the first to finish, shutting out Mbonisi Ndimande 6-0, 6-0. Francis Alcantara finished soon after, defeating Ziad Sultan 6-1, 6-3 on court three. With three matches nearing their conclusions, it was a race to see who would finish first. Tearney wound up winning the dual-clinching point and topped Bouillin 6-4, 6-0.
San Diego Men
Fueled behind a dramatic comeback in doubles, the No. 44 University of San Diego men's tennis team outlasted No. 29 Alabama 4-3 in the first round of the NCAA Tournament. The Toreros will take on No. 4 USC tomorrow at 3:00 p.m. at USC's Marks Tennis Center.
With the match knotted at 3-3, junior co-captain Clarke Spinosa clinched the win for the Toreros with a 7-6 (9-7), 4-6, 6-1 victory at the No. 2 spot. This marks the third consecutive year the Toreros have advanced to the second round of the NCAA Tournament.
The doubles point would come down to the No. 3 spot where Romain Kalaydjian and Victor Pugliese were playing together for the first time since February 28th. The French connection found themselves down 3-5, but rallied to take a 7-6 lead and ultimately won 9-8 (7-5) to earn the critical doubles point.
The singles competition proved to be just a tightly-matched as doubles was, with four of the six matches going into a third set. The No. 3 spot would be the first to finish where RKalaydjian fell 6-4, 6-1. The Toreros took the next one after Uros Petronijevic extended his singles win streak to nine with a 6-4, 6-3 victory at the No. 4.
The No. 38 BYU men's tennis team fell to No. 32 Memphis 4-0 in the first round of the 2013 NCAA Division I Men's Tennis Championships at the Palmer/Salloum Tennis Center in University, Miss. on Friday.
The Cougars finished the year 21-7, including 11-0 at home, and notched another undefeated campaign in the mountain region and earned second place in the West.
Despite winning the doubles point, the #53 Pepperdine women's tennis team could not overcome #22 Rice's deep singles lineup and succumbed to a 4-3 loss in the opening round of the NCAA Tournament. The Waves, the 2013 West Coast Conference Tournament champions, conclude the dual season with a 12-12 record.
Khunpak Issara and Lorraine Guillermo continue on for Pepperdine in the NCAA Doubles Championship, beginning on May 22 in Urbana, Ill. at the Khan Tennis Complex. Guillermo will also compete in the 64-person singles bracket.
Saint Mary's Women
At several points in Friday's NCAA Tournament first round match against Auburn, the Saint Mary's women's tennis team could have packed up its belongings and just succumbed to a solid group of Tigers.
That's not how the Gaels have operated all year, and Friday's match was no different. Trailing early after dropping the doubles point, Saint Mary's fought valiantly to the very end but ended up dropping a 4-2 decision to the Tigers at Cal's Hellman Tennis Complex.
No. 40-ranked Saint Mary's finishes a very successful season with an overall record of 13-10. No. 25 Auburn advances to Saturday's second round with an 18-8 mark.
Although Saint Mary's team season is now over, Jenny Jullien will play on. She will head to Urbana, Ill. later this month to take part in the NCAA Singles Tournament. The West Coast Conference Player of the Year, Jullien earned the conference's automatic bid to the tournament, which starts May 22.
Courtesy of BYU, Pepperdine, Saint Mary's and San Diego Athletics.