Alcantara, Sarkissian Earn ITA All-American Honors in Doubles
Alex Sarkissiance becomes first Pepperdine player since 2009 to earn All-American status in both singles and doubles.
May 23, 2014
ATHENS, Ga. – Alex Sarkissian and Francis Alcantara of the Pepperdine men’s tennis team put on a brilliant display today at the NCAA Singles & Doubles Championship. Sarkissian advanced to the quarterfinals of the singles draw, before teaming up with Alcantara to pick up ITA All-American honors in doubles.
Sarkissian (Glendale, Calif./Glendale CC) and Alcantara (Cagayan de Oro, Philippines/Fresno State) were unstoppable in their round of 16 match vs. North Florida’s #60-ranked Jack Findel-Hawkins and Norbert Nemcsek. Although the Ospreys eliminated top-seeded Yannick Hanfmann and Ray Sarmiento of USC yesterday in the first round, the Waves would not fall victim to another upset.
The #15-ranked Sarkissian and Alcantara downed Findel-Hawkins and Nemcsek 6-2, 6-1 in a contest that lasted about an hour.
And to the victor go the spoils. As NCAA Doubles Championship quarterfinalists, Sarkissian and Alcantara are officially ITA All-Americans. Sarkissian also picked up All-American status in singles yesterday for reaching the round of 16.
For Alcantara, who picked up his first win at the NCAA Doubles Championship yesterday after his third try, the 2014 postseason run has been nothing short of incredible.
“This is one of the biggest rewards for a college tennis player and it really means a lot to me, to be an All-American for Pepperdine,” said Alcantara after the match. “This is the last tournament of my senior year, and I’m just so luck and thankful to have a doubles partner like Alex.”
Sarkissian is now just the seventh Pepperdine player to be awarded All-American honors in both singles and doubles in the same year since 1980. He joins the company of Jerome Jones (1984), Kelly Jones (1986), Simon Aspelin (1995), Pedro Rico (2004), Scott Doerner (2006) and Omar Altmann (2009).
“It’s been a great week for our program,” said head coach Adam Steinberg. “I’m happy we’re ending the season like this. For Niño it’s extra special. It’s his third try here and I’ve said it before, but he’s one of the best doubles players in the country. It’s nice to see him finally break through. And it’s special for Alex too. Doubles hasn’t always been his strong point, so to see him end his senior season earning All-American in both singles and doubles is quite an accomplishment.”
Singles action was first on deck this morning, and similar to his doubles match, Sarkissian was spectacular. After edging Leandro Toledo 7-1 in the first set tiebreaker, the Wave cruised to a 6-1 triumph in set two and make it through as one of the final eight student-athletes left standing.
Sarkissian will face #47 Roberto Cid of South Florida on Saturday at 9 a.m. PT. The doubles quarterfinal will feature Pepperdine against #14 Arjun Kadhe and Jakob Sude of Oklahoma State at 1:30 p.m.
NCAA Singles & Doubles Championship
May 21-16, 2014 at Athens, Ga. (Dan Magill Tennis Complex)
#28 Alex Sarkissian (Pepperdine) def. #15 Brayden Schnur (North Carolina) 4-6, 6-1, 7-6 (8-6)
#28 Alex Sarkissian (Pepperdine) def. #29 Romain Bogaerts (Wake Forest) 6-1, 6-4
#28 Alex Sarkissian (Pepperdine) def. #38 Leandro Toledo (Minnesota) 7-6 (7-1), 6-1
#15 Francis Alcantara/Alex Sarkissian (Pepperdine) def. #12 Ashok Narayana/Max Schnur (Columbia) 6-3, 1-6, 6-1
#15 Francis Alcantara/Alex Sarkissian (Pepperdine) def. #60 Jack Findel-Hawkins/Norbert Nemcsek (North Florida) 6-2, 6-1