Waves to Play Under the Lights on Friday and Saturday

Alex Sarkissian

March 5, 2014

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MALIBU, Calif. - After spending the weekend in La Jolla to focus on doubles, the #32 Pepperdine men’s tennis team is back at it this week, hosting matches vs. #5 USC and #51 Texas Christian. The Waves and Trojans square off at 4 p.m. on Friday. The TCU match is scheduled for 4 p.m. on Saturday.

GIVE-A-WAYS - FREE “7th Man” Pepperdine men’s tennis t-shirts will be given away to all students in attendance during both matches this weekend ... Stop by the Ralphs-Straus Tennis Center during Friday’s match vs. USC at 4 p.m. for a late afternoon snack ... Free pizza will be served. 

WAVES’ SOCIAL CIRCLE - Stay informed with up-to-the-minute coverage by following the men’s tennis team on Twitter @PeppTennis ... Like us on Facebook by searching for Pepperdine Men’s Tennis ... Tag us in Instragram photos at PepperdineWaves.

COVERAGE - Scores and recaps will be posted at PepperdineSports.com following both matches ...  Any available in-match updates can also be followed on Twitter @PeppTennis.

LOOKING BACK - The Waves opened their Spring Break as double winners during last week Wednesday’s doubleheader ... Pepperdine first defeated #71 Nevada (4-0) before topping UC Irvine (6-1) ... The Pacific Coasts Doubles Championship was hindered by rain, but all four Wave pairs competing won in the first round ... Rakshay Thakkar/Pedro Leme and Kento Tanaka-Tamaki/Stefan Menichella all advanced to the round of 32 ... The dual vs. William & Mary was canceled due to rain.

USC - The Trojans are 10-2 in 2014 ... USC beat UCLA 4-3 in the semifinals before losing to Ohio State in the finals of the ITA National Indoor Championship ... The Bruins later topped the Trojans in Westwood to even the season series ... Four Trojans are ranked in singles including Ray Sarmiento (T-6th), Yannick Hanfmann (#10), Jonny Wang (#43) and Roberto Quiroz (#80) ... Hanfmann and Sarmiento are listed at #10 in doubles ... Pepperdine is 12-27 all-time vs USC.

TCU - The Horned Frogs are 6-4 and trying to shake a two-match skid following close losses to #5 Texas (4-2)  and #32 Tulsa (4-3) ... The match vs. the Golden Hurricane spanned nearly six hours ... Pepperdine is 16-4 all-time vs. TCU.

WCC PLAYER OF THE WEEK - The Waves have already collected their fair share of conference honors this season ... Alex Sarkissian was the season’s first WCC Singles Player of the Week (Feb.11) ... Sarkissian and Francis Alcantara have been voted WCC Doubles Team of the Week twice (Feb. 11, Feb. 25).

MOVIN’ ON UP - After opening the season unranked, Francis Alcantara and Alex Sarkissian broke into the doubles rankings on Feb. 25 at a career-high #7 ... The duo has gone 11-4 overall this season, including a 9-3 mark in dual play ... Alcantara and Sarkissian own two wins over ranked opponents -- both in the top-10.

RANKINGS - Senior Alex Sarkissian opened the 2014 dual season ranked a career-high #33 in singles and is currently listed at #42 ... Fellow senior David Sofaer is ranked #103 ... As a team, Pepperdine is ranked #32 ... New rankings will come out on Tuesday afternoon.

LOOKING AHEAD - Next week Pepperdine hosts a doubles header on Tuesday, March 11 featuring Furman and Hawaii ... Furman is coached by former Pepperdine standout and two-time NCAA Doubles Champion (1984, 1985) Kelly Jones ... The Waves then travel to the Midwest to face both Illinois and South Florida in Urbana, Ill. ... Pepperdine’s match vs. the Illini will be featured as part of ESPN’s College Match Day series and will be aired live on ESPN3.com

PROMISING YOUTH - The 2013-14 recruiting class comprised of Californians Alex Giannini, Stefan Menichella and Alexander Solonin ranked in at #2 on TennisRecruiting.net’s list of Top Mid-Major Men’s Classes. Since that list was released, Pepperdine also added Rakshay Thakkar, RJ Evangelista, Guilherme Hadlich, Tom Hill and Pedro Leme to the roster.

RETURNERS - Four student-athletes, three of which who were regulars in last year’s lineup, return in 2013-14. Headlining the list is returning ITA All-American Alex Sarkissian and Francis Alcantara. Sarkissian and Alcantara held down the No. 2 and No. 4 positions in the singles lineup last year. Also returning is David Sofaer, who held down the No. 6 spot in the lineup in 2013. He has since moved up to No. 2. Kento Tanaka-Tamaki is also back after making a handful of appearances during the 2013 dual season. 

Adam Steinberg - Now in his 12th season as head coach of the Waves, Adam Steinberg boasts career record of 310-160 including a 180-81 mark at Pepperdine. Since setting foot on the Malibu campus in 2003, Steinberg has captured seven WCC conference championships, seven appearances in the NCAA Tournament, and an NCAA Championship crown in 2006. He has tutored 16 Waves to All-American status, and has been named WCC Coach of the Year seven times.  Prior to coming to Pepperdine, Steinberg served as the head coach at Alabama and St. John’s for five seasons apiece. 

#PURPOSE - Pepperdine Athletics officially launched its “Competing with Purpose” campaign during Waves Weekend. The campaign highlights the commitment to our core values that student-athletes, coaches and staff dedicate themselves to daily. Competing with Purpose provides the foundation on which champions are built.

ABOUT PEPPERDINE - Pepperdine boasts a one-of-a-kind athletic department with unprecedented success for a school of its size. The Waves have won NCAA Division I championships in five different men’s sports – one of just 16 schools to have accomplished this feat – and nine overall. Of this elite group, Pepperdine has the smallest undergraduate enrollment and is the only school not affiliated with a BCS-level conference. The Waves have earned the Division I-AAA All-Sports Trophy, an award based on postseason success that’s given to the top non-football school, three times (most recently in 2011-12). Located in scenic Malibu, Calif., the university overlooks the Pacific Ocean and its campus and athletic facilities are regularly voted among the nation’s most beautiful. Pepperdine, which is affiliated with the Church of Christ, ranks #57 overall on U.S. News and World Report’s list of America’s best colleges.



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