(Courtesy of Pepperdine Media Relations)
MALIBU, Calif. -Senior Lorraine Guillermo of the Pepperdine women's tennis team further solidified her spot in program history today, becoming the Waves' first national recipient of the ITA/Arthur Ashe Leadership and Sportsmanship Award.
Guillermo (Walnut, Calif./Rowland HS), already one of Pepperdine's all-time greats on the court, was selected out of a pool of 12 regional finalists and recognized during the ITA Awards Luncheon, held in Waco, Texas on the campus of Baylor University. Guillermo will remain in Waco for the NCAA Singles Championship, which begins on Wednesday, where she'll compete as a top-16 seeded player. She is the first Wave to earn a national seed at the singles championship in over 25 years.
"Arthur Ashe was a great leader on and off the court and to receive this award means a great deal to me," said Guillermo, ranking in at #9 in the ITA singles rankings. "I believe in leadership by example, whether it's on the tennis court or anywhere else."
The ITA/Arthur Ashe Leadership and Sportsmanship Award recognizes outstanding individuals in all divisions at the regional and national level. The award, first given out in 1982, goes to men's and women's players who have exhibited outstanding sportsmanship and leadership as well as scholastic, extracurricular and tennis achievements.
Guillermo is the program's first national winner of any ITA award after several regional award nods throughout the years. She is just the third Pepperdine men's or women's tennis player to earn a national sportsmanship award, joining Al Garland and Sebastian Fanselow. Garland (2002) and Fanselow (2013) were both national recipients of the ITA/Rafael Osuna Sportsmanship Award.
Guillermo has led by example ever since her freshman season in Malibu and has made conscious choices to step out of her comfort zone and work towards becoming a stronger vocal leader. The senior has led numerous Bible studies this past year, has mentored other students and has even led convocation, citing the experiences have helped her become more confident speaking in front of others.
The 2015 West Coast Conference Player of the Year takes Pepperdine's mission of strengthening lives for purpose, service and leadership to heart, making it her personal mission to be "diligent to my sport and friends by striving to be an example of a good and fair person." She goes on to say that she hopes that through her hard work and positive example, she can help others realize their fullest potential.
Guillermo will end her Pepperdine career as an ITA Singles All-American, by virtue of earning a top-16 seed at the NCAA Singles Championship. The senior enters the championships on Wednesday, facing Florida's #58-ranked Belinda Woolcock at 11:30 a.m. (PT) in the first round. The Wave boasts a 2014-15 record of 30-7, including a 10-5 tally vs. ranked opponents.
As a high school student in 2010, Guillermo was the winner of the Evelyn Housman Junior Sportsmanship Award, one of the highest honors given to a junior tennis player by the Southern California Tennis Association. Last year as a junior, Guillermo was the regional winner of the ITA/Cissie Leary Award for Sportsmanship, given to a Division I women's tennis player who displays inspiring dedication and commitment to her team, which has enhanced her team's performance and exemplified the spirit of college tennis.
Earlier this season, Guillermo was selected as the recipient of Pepperdine's Maurice Hilliard Award, given in honor and memory of Pepperdine's late athletic chaplain to a student-athlete that exemplifies the attributes of Christian faith, character and leadership.
WACO, Texas -Lorraine Guillermo, one of the Pepperdine women's tennis program's all-time greats, made an early exit out of the NCAA Singles Championship, falling today in the first round. The senior ends her four years as a Wave with 103-42 singles record.
Guillermo (Walnut, Calif./Rowland HS), ranked #9 in the ITA singles poll, entered the tournament as a top-16 seed. She was the first Pepperdine player in over 25 years to earn a national seed at the NCAA Singles Championship, which guarantees the senior ITA All-American honors.
Despite the acclaim, it wasn't in the cards for Guillermo today at the Hurd Tennis Center. She faced off against #58-ranked Belinda Woolcock of Florida, who struck first with a 6-2 triumph in set one.
Although Guillermo took an early 3-1 lead in the second frame, Woolcock got back on serve at 3-3 to tip the momentum back in her favor. The Gator went on to secure the match in straight sets, 6-2, 6-3.
Guillermo opened her career at Pepperdine as the 2012 West Coast Conference Freshman of the Year, and capped off her final season as the 2015 West Coast Conference Player of the Year. She earned All-WCC accolades in both singles and doubles all four years in Malibu.
The senior earned national recognition earlier this week and was honored as the ITA/Arthur Ashe Leadership and Sportsmanship Award winner. She is the first player in program history to receive any national award of any type from the ITA.
Matea Cutura (Zagreb, Croatia/Gimnazija Birotehnika/DePaul) and Christine Maddox (Santa Monica, Calif./Santa Monica HS) forge on for Pepperdine in the NCAA Doubles Championship, set to begin tomorrow. Cutura and Maddox, ranked #23 in the doubles poll, will play #37 Alyssa Hibberd and Anki Wind of Memphis. Times for Thursday's action have yet to be announced. The NCAA Championship Central page offers links to brackets, live video and live scores.