Men's Tennis Vies for its 42nd West Coast Conference Tournament Championship on Friday and Saturday

Mousheg Hovhannisyan

April 24, 2012

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MALIBU, Calif. - The #7 Pepperdine men’s tennis team’s quest for its 42nd West Coast Conference Tournament championship begins this Friday, April 27 at the Barnes Tennis Center in San Diego, Calif. The Waves enter as the No. 1 seed after going a perfect 8-0 against league opponents during the regular season.

MATCH #28 - Friday (April 27) at Barnes Tennis Center: #7 Pepperdine (21-6, 8-0 WCC) vs. TBD at 9:30 p.m.

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

THE BRACKET - The Waves received a double bye for earning the No. 1 seed and will play either No. 4 BYU, No. 5 Loyola Marymount, No. 8 San Francisco or #9 Gonzaga during Friday’s semifinal round. In the bottom half of the bracket, No. 6 Portland faces No. 7 Saint Mary’s in the first round. The winner advances to a quarterfinal against No. 3 San Diego, and No. 2 Santa Clara awaits the winner of that contest in the other semifinal round.

STREAKING - As a team, the Waves have won 18 duals in a row. Individually, Sebastian Fanselow has won the last 14 consecutive singles matches, followed by Alex Llompart, who is on a 12 match win streak. In doubles, Hugh Clarke and David Sofaer are 13-0 dating back to March 9. Fanselow and Jenson Turner are 9-1 in the last 10 matches.

LOOKING BACK - The Waves wrapped up the regular season with a 4-3 win at Fresno State, and a 6-1 victory at BYU.

IN THE RECORD BOOKS - With a career singles win tally of 70 (dual matches only), senior Alex Llompart is tied for 10th place in the career wins category at Pepperdine, along with former Waves Troy Budgen, Anthony Ross and Scott Doerner. Llompart needs three more wins to move up to ninth place. Sebastian Fanselow and Jenson Turner’s career win total as a doubles team currently stands at 32, which ranks sixth in Wave history. With a pair of wins this weekend, the duo would overtake fifth place.

LOOKING AHEAD - Selections for the NCAA Team Championships are scheduled to be released on Tuesday, May 1, while the field for the singles and doubles championship will be announced on Wednesday, May 2. First and second rounds for the team tournament are slated for May 11-12 at campus sites, while the remainder of the championship will be contested in Athens, Ga. on May 16-28.

AWARDS SEASON - As the end of the season approaches, the Waves have begun to pick up a number of different awards. Sebastian Fanselow was named the Pepperdine Athletics Male Athlete of the Year for the second consecutive season, while Daniel Moss was voted Wave of the Year. David Sofaer earned WCC All-Academic team recognition. All-WCC selections will be announced Tuesday, May 1.

TEAM RANKINGS - The Waves are currently ranked #7 in the ITA rankings. Other WCC schools to be recognized as a top-75 team include San Diego (#25), Santa Clara (#35) and BYU (#54).

SINGLED OUT - The latest individual rankings were released on April 24 and several Waves have earned a spot in the poll. In singles, three Pepperdine student-athletes are currently ranked including Sebastian Fanselow (#9 - career best), Finn Tearney (#28) and Mousheg Hovhannisyan (#102). In doubles, Tearney and Llompart are listed at #15.

CHAMPIONSHIP HISTORY - The Waves have won 42 total West Coast Conference tournament titles and 20 of the last 21.

SCOUTING THE FIELD - Pepperdine faced all eight other league opponents during the regular season and emerged with the “W” all eight times. The Waves shut out San Francisco and Gonzaga 7-0, and scored 6-1 decisions versus Loyola Marymount, Santa Clara, Saint Mary’s, Portland and BYU. Against San Diego, who won the 2011 WCC Championship, the Waves won 5-2. Ranked players across the league include Kyle Dandan (#78, Santa Clara), Nikola Bubnic (#51, San Diego), Patrick Pohlmann (#93, San Diego), Georgy Batrakov (#61, BYU) and Patrick Kawka (#118, BYU). In doubles, Santa Clara’s Ilya Osintev and John Lamble are ranked #90 and Batrakov and Kawka rank #86.

WCC DOUBLES TEAM OF THE MONTH - Alex Llompart and Finn Tearney jumped from #53 to #4 in the ITA Collegiate Doubles Rankings on February 28, and for good reason. The Wave duo tallied three wins during the month of February against pairs that were listed in the top-10. Llompart and Tearney have reaches as high as #2 but currently are back down to #15 in the polls.

SEB IN SINGLES - Junior Sebastian Fanselow is 20-3 in singles so far this dual season, including a 16-2 record from the No. 1 spot in the lineup. Fanselow is currently riding a 14-match win streak, including two victories versus players ranked in the top-five. At #9, he is the top-ranked singles player in the West Coast Conference.

DOUBLES DEPTH - In addition to Alex Llompart and Finn Tearney, the Waves boast solid No. 2 and No. 3 doubles pairs as well. Sebastian Fanselow and Jenson Turner are 15-8 in duals and are riding a nine match win streak -- mostly from the No. 2 spot in the lineup. Hugh Clarke and David Sofaer hold down the No. 3 position with a team-best 18-3 record and have won 13 dual matches in a row.

PERFECTION - Three singles players have gone undefeated against WCC opponents this season including Sebastian Fanselow (7-0), Alex Llompart (6-0) and Daniel Moss (5-0). In doubles, Fanselow and Jenson Turner as well as Hugh Clarke and David Sofaer went 6-0 vs. WCC foes. Five other doubles team combination went undefeated in league play.

STRENGTH OF SCHEDULE - The Waves boast one of the toughest schedules in the country, and have already played 15 teams ranked in the top-25, with eight of those teams listed in the top-10.

PLAYER OF THE MONTH RECAP - Finn Tearney picked up West Coast Conference Singles Player of the Month honors after reaching the semifinals of the USTA/ITA Southwest Regional Championships on Oct. 20-24. Although the junior has earned doubles player of the month recognition on four occasions, this was the first time he was honored for his success in singles. Sebastian Fanselow earned the same award for the month of November.

THE LINEUP - In singles, Sebastian Fanselow and Finn Tearney trade time in the top two spots, while Alex Llompart and Mousheg Hovhannisyan hold down the middle of the lineup. Hugh Clarke, Jenson Turner and David Sofaer share time playing at the No. 5 and No. 6 spots. Llompart and Tearney play No. 1 doubles, while Fanselow and Turner have been a mainstay at No. 2. Clarke and Sofaer team up to play No. 3 doubles.

Adam Steinberg — Now in his 10th season as head coach of the Waves, Adam Steinberg enters the 2011 season with a career record of 324-145 (.691) including a 194-66 (.746) mark at Pepperdine. Since setting foot on the Malibu campus in 2003, Steinberg has captured eight WCC conference championships, eight appearances in the NCAA Tournament, and an NCAA Championship crown in 2006. He has tutored 15 Waves to All-American status, and has been named WCC Coach of the Year five times. Prior to coming to Pepperdine, Steinberg served as the head coach at Alabama and St. John’s for five seasons apiece.

TENNIS HISTORY — The Pepperdine men’s tennis program is synonymous with the word excellence, as the Waves are a perennial national power. The Waves have advanced to postseason play 35 times in 38 seasons, including an NCAA championship in 2006. Within the WCC, Pepperdine has dominated the competition, winning 41 conference championships since 1958.

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 #55 overall on U.S. News and World Report’s list of America’s best colleges. The 2011-12 school year marks Pepperdine’s 75th anniversary.



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