Waves Prevail Over Pacific, Set for Rematch vs. San Diego
Senior Francis Alcantara wins in the third set to clinch the dual for Pepperdine.
April 25, 2014
SAN DIEOG - Although the #51-ranked Pepperdine men's tennis team got off to a rocky start vs. Pacific in the semifinals of the West Coast Conference Tournament, the Waves prevailed in singles and won 4-2. Senior Francis Alcantara provided the clincher, sending his team into the finals with his 6-4 triumph in the third set.
Saturday's final will feature the top-two seeds: #51 Pepperdine and #44 San Diego. The title contest will be the rubber match of the season series. The Waves topped the Toreros 4-1 back in a nonconference meeting in January. USD returned the favor last week Wednesday, downing Pepperdine 4-2 in the regular season finale to finish in first place in the WCC standings.
David Sofaer (Bellevue Hill, Australia/Sydney Distance Education HS) and Pedro Leme (Sao Paulo, Brazil/Mackenzie Tambore) put an 8-3 win away in doubles to get the Waves started, but the Tigers would deny Pepperdine the point with victories at No. 1 and No. 2.
Pacific continued to challenge the Waves in singles, but ultimately Pepperdine gained the upper hand and claimed the first set on five of the six courts.
Stefan Menichella (Santa Barbara, Calif./University HS) posted the first point of the day for the Waves, topping Daniel Alameh 6-3, 6-3 at No. 4.
Pepperdine took a 2-1 lead after Alex Sarkissian (Glendale, Calif./Glendale CC) defeated Sem Verbeek for the second time this season in straight sets.
The Tigers bounced back and knotted the score at 2-2 with a win at No. 5.
Sofaer won again in singles, putting away a close 7-5, 7-5 decision over 2014 WCC Freshman of the Year Miguel Diaz.
Although the Waves held a 3-2 advantage, the two remaining matches both went to a third set.
Needing just one win to clinch, Alcantara (Cagayan de Oro, Philippines/Fresno State) did the honors. After splitting sets with Denis Stolyarov, Alcantara fell behind 2-3 in the third before going ahead 4-3. The momentum shift proved enough and the senior would hold on to win 6-4 to put Pepperdine out of reach.
Pepperdine's rematch vs. San Diego is set for 9 a.m. on Saturday, April 26 at the Barnes Tennis Center. The Waves have not lost at the conference tournament since 1990, but their only league losses have come at the hands of the Toreros.
Pacific vs Pepperdine (WCC Tournament Semifinals)
Apr 25, 2014 at San Diego, Calif.
(Barnes Tennis Center)
#51 Pepperdine 4, Pacific 2
1. #31 Alex Sarkissian (PEP) def. Sem Verbeek (PAC) 6-4, 6-3
2. Francis Alcantara (PEP) def. Denis Stolyarov (PAC) 6-4, 4-6, 6-4
3. David Sofaer (PEP) def. Miguel Diaz (PAC) 7-5, 7-5
4. Stefan Menichella (PEP) def. Daniel Alameh (PAC) 6-3, 6-3
5. Marlon Brand (PAC) def. Rakshay Thakkar (PEP) 6-4, 6-4
6. Pedro Leme (PEP) vs. Ben Mirkin (PAC) 6-4, 6-7 (7-9), unfinished
1. Marlon Brand/Daniel Alameh (PAC) def. #14 Alex Sarkissian/Francis Alcantara (PEP) 8-7 (7-2)
2. Denis Stolyarov/Sem Verbeek (PAC) def. Tom Hill/Rakshay Thakkar (PEP) 8-3
3. David Sofaer/Pedro Leme (PEP) def. Miguel Diaz/Alex Hamilton (PAC) 8-3
Pepperdine 17-12; National ranking #51
Order of finish: Doubles (3,2,1); Singles (4,1,5,3,2)