Waves Gear Up for Four Matches in Six Days

Alex Sarkissian

April 9, 2013

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MALIBU, Calif. - The Pepperdine men’s tennis team, up to #7 in the ITA rankings, gears up for four challenging dual matches in a six-day span. The Waves open the week on the road at #41 Stanford on Wednesday before hosting Saint Mary’s on Friday at the Riviera Country Club in Pacific Palisades, Calif. on Friday. Pepperdine then returns to the Ralphs-Straus Tennis Center to play #38 San Diego on Saturday and #2 UCLA on Monday.

MATCH 23 - Wednesday (April 10) at Taube Tennis Center: #7 Pepperdine (18-4, 5-0 WCC) at #41 Stanford (8-8, 1-3 Pac-12) at 1:30 p.m.

MATCH 24 - Friday (April 12) at Riviera Country Club: #7 Pepperdine vs. Saint Mary’s (9-9, 3-1 WCC) at 4 p.m.

MATCH 25 - Saturday (April 13) at Ralphs-Straus Tennis Center: #7 Pepperdine vs. #38 San Diego (14-7, 4-1 WCC) at 3 p.m.

MATCH 26 - Monday (April 15) at Ralphs-Straus Tennis Center: #7 Pepperdine vs. #2 UCLA (18-1, 4-0 Pac-12) at 3 p.m.

COVERAGE - Results and recaps will be posted on www.PepperdineSports.com at the conclusion of each match ... Live scores coverage will be available for the Stanford match on Wednesday ... Live scoring will also be up and running during the Waves’ two matches at the Ralphs-Straus Tennis Center this week.

LOOKING BACK - The Waves made a trip to the Pacific Northwest and came back with convincing wins over both Gonzaga and Portland ... Pepperdine is now on an eight-match win streak ... Individually David Sofaer is on a team-best six-match singles win streak, while Sebastian Fanselow has won five in a row ... In doubles, Sofaer and Mousheg Hovhannisyan have won five in a row.

STANFORD - The #41-ranked Cardinal is 8-8 in 2013 and are looking to get back on track after dropping three of the last four matches ... Stanford’s win during that span was an impressive one, a 4-3 decision over #30 Washington ... John Morrissey is ranked #39 in singles, followed by Nolan Paige at #103 ... The Waves are just 7-24 all-time vs. Stanford but won by a 6-1 score in the meeting last season.

SAINT MARY’S - Saint Mary’s is 9-9 in 2013 and plays San Francisco on Wednesday before heading to Southern California ... Friday’s match will be contested at nearby Riviera Country Club, home of the annual ITA Women’s All-American Championships ... The Gaels have one ranked singles player in Jesse Kiuru at #100 ... Pepperdine is 13-0 all-time vs. SMC.

SAN DIEGO - The Toreros are 14-7 overall in 2013 and 4-1 in the conference ... USD makes a stop at Loyola Marymount before playing in Malibu on Saturday ... Clarke Spinosa is ranked #87 in singles, followed by Romain Kalaydjian at #110 ... The Waves are 25-3 all-time against the Toreros but have not lost to the conference rival since the 2003 season.

UCLA - UCLA is 18-1 in 2013 with its only loss coming against USC during the finals of the ITA National Indoor Championship ... Four Bruins are ranked in singles including Marcos Giron (#18), Adrien Puget (#20), Dennis Novikov (#32) and Dennis Mkrtchian (#70) ... Three UCLA duos are also ranked, paced by Novikov/Giron at #38 ... Puget and Karue Sell rank #50 ... Alex Brigham and Mkrtchian are listed at #87 ... UCLA is 41-16 all-time vs. Pepperdine and has won the last six straight ... The last two meetings, during the 2011 and 2012 seasons, went in favor of the Bruins by a narrow 4-3 margin.

LOOKING AHEAD - The Waves celebrate Senior Day during their final home match of the regular season, scheduled for Friday, April 19 against BYU ... Seniors Sebastian Fanselow, Finn Tearney and Mousheg Hovhannisyan, will be recognized prior to the 3 p.m. match.

RANKINGS - The Waves are currently ranked #7 in the team rankings, and have reached as high as #5 ... Sebastian Fanselow is currently ranked #16 in singles after reaching as high as #4 ... Francis Alcantara broke into the rankings on Feb. 26, reached as high as #53 and currently sits at #80 ... Alex Sarkissian entered the rankings on Feb. 12, has reach as high as #73 but is currently not in the polls ... Finn Tearney made his first rankings appearance of 2013 at #105, reached as high as #77 and currently sits at #88 ... Tearney and Alcantara also broke into the doubles rankings on Feb. 26 at #27 and currently rank #36 ... For complete ITA team, singles and doubles rankings, visit: http://www.itatennis.com/AwardsAndRankings/Rankings.htm

THE LINEUP - Finn Tearney and Francis Alcantara have been holding down the No. 1 doubles spot, followed by Sebastian Fanselow and Alex Sarkissian and No. 2 ... Recently however, the teams flip flopped and Tearney and Fanselow have played together at No. 1 followed by Alcantara and Sarkissian at No. 2 .. Mousheg Hovhannisyan has teamed up mostly with David Sofaer at No. 3 ... In singles Fanselow has held down the top spot, while Tearney, Alcantara and Sarkissian, rotate between the 2-4 spots ... Hovhannisyan and Sofaer typically play at No. 5 and No. 6, respectively ... Kento Tanaka-Tamaki has also made his way into the doubles and singles rotation.

TWITTER - Fans can follow the Waves on Twitter @PeppTennis or @PepperdineWaves and “like” us on Facebook by searching for Pepperdine Athletics.

COME ONE COME ALL - Admission to all regular-season men’s and women’s tennis matches at the Ralphs-Straus Tennis Center is FREE.

WCC PLAYER OF THE MONTH - Sebastian Fanselow was the West Coast Conference singles player of the month for November, after his run at the USTA/ITA National Indoor Intercollegiate Championship, and again in February ... Mousheg Hovhannisyan and David Sofaer were awarded January Doubles Team of the Month honors after opening the season with back-to-back victories ... Finn Tearney and Francis Alcantara were announced as February’s WCC Doubles Team of the Month after being honored as All-Tournament performers at the ITA National Indoor Team Championship.

Adam Steinberg - Now in his 11th season as head coach of the Waves, Adam Steinberg boasts career record of 285-151 including a 155-72 mark at Pepperdine. Since setting foot on the Malibu campus in 2003, Steinberg has captured six WCC conference championships, six 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 six times. Prior to coming to Pepperdine, Steinberg served as the head coach at Alabama and St. John’s for five seasons apiece.

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 enrollment and is the only school not in a major conference. 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 #54 overall on U.S. News and World Report’s list of America’s best colleges.



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