Men's Tennis Finishes Runner-Up at WCC Championship

Stefan Menichella

April 26, 2014

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SAN DIEGO – The #51 Pepperdine men’s tennis finished runner-up to #44 San Diego after suffering a 4-1 loss in the finals of the West Coast Conference Tournament. Barring an at-large bid into the NCAA Championship, the Waves conclude the team portion of the season with a 17-13 record.

Pepperdine improved vastly in doubles, compared to last week Wednesday’s dual at San Diego, but the top-seeded Toreros still walked away with the opening edge.

#14-ranked Alex Sarkissian (Glendale, Calif./Glendale CC) and Francis Alcantara (Cagayan de Oro, Philippines/Fresno State) improved to 2-1 on the year vs. #38 Clarke Spinosa and Filip Vittek, winning 8-5 today to get the Waves started.

Rakshay Thakkar (Pune, India/St. Vincent’s HS) and Tom Hill (Birmingham, England/K12 International Academy) lost at No. 2 turning all eyes to the deciding match on court three.

After 14 games played and still no winner decided, Alex Giannini (Los Angeles, Calif./Gorman Learning Center) and David Sofaer (Bellevue Hill, Australia/Sydney Distance Education HS) went to the tiebreaker against Ciaran Fitzgerald and Andrew Raphaelson. Play continued to be close, but ultimately the Toreros prevailed 7-5.

Pepperdine fell further behind, suffering straight-set – albeit narrow – losses at No. 2 and No. 3.

The Waves began to mount a comeback, starting with Stefan Menichella’s (Santa Barbara, Calif./University HS) 7-5, 7-6 win over Romain Kalaydjian from the No. 4 spot in the lineup.

Meanwhile, Sarkissian and Pedro Leme (Sao Paulo, Brazil/Mackenzie Tambore) bounced back from losses in their respective first sets and extended their matches to deciding third sets.

Thakkar’s match was also went to a third frame after he exchanged 6-4 sets with Fitzgerald.

Fittingly, Raphaelson wound up with the clincher, edging Leme in the third set by a 6-4 tally.  Leme had defeated Raphaelson 7-5 in the third set tiebreaker back in January to clinch the Waves’ 4-1 win over USD during the ITA Kick-Off Weekend.

NCAA Championship team selections will be announced at 2 p.m. on Tuesday, April 29 at The singles and doubles championship field will be released on Wednesday, April 30. Seniors Sarkissian and Alcantara are expected to make the doubles field, while Sarkissian should represent the Waves in singles.

Pepperdine vs San Diego
Apr 26, 2014 at San Diego, Calif.
(Barnes Tennis Center)

#44 San Diego 4, #51 Pepperdine 1
1. #53 Clarke Spinosa (USD) vs. #31 Alex Sarkissian (PEP) 6-2, 6-7 (5-7), 4-4, unfinished
2. Uros Petronijevic (USD) def. Francis Alcantara (PEP) 7-6 (7-2), 6-4
3. Filip Vittek (USD) def. David Sofaer (PEP) 6-4, 6-1
4. Stefan Menichella (PEP) def. Romain Kalaydjian (USD) 7-5, 7-6 (8-6)
5. Ciaran Fitzgerald (USD) vs. Rakshay Thakkar (PEP) 4-6, 6-4, 3-2, unfinished
6. Andrew Raphaelson (USD) def. Pedro Leme (PEP) 7-5, 4-6, 6-4

1. #14 Alex Sarkissian/Francis Alcantara (PEP) def. #38 Clarke Spinosa/Filip Vittek (USD) 8-5
2. Uros Petronijevic/Romain Kalaydjian (USD) def. Tom Hill/Rakshay Thakkar (PEP) 8-4
3. Ciaran Fitzgerald/Andrew Raphaelson (USD) def. David Sofaer/Alex Giannini (PEP) 8-7 (7-5)

Match Notes:
Pepperdine 17-13; National ranking #51
San Diego 17-7; National ranking #44
Order of finish: Doubles (1,2,3); Singles (3,2,4,6)



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