Pepperdine Returns Home to Host San Diego, BYU

Ale Granillo

March 26, 2014

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MALIBU, Calif. - The #40 Pepperdine women's tennis team returns home for the first time in three weeks to host West Coast Conference rivals San Diego and BYU this weekend. Saturday's match vs. the Cougars has the potential to be a battle for first place in the league, as both teams enter this week with untarnished conference records.

MATCH 13 - San Diego (6-8, 2-2 WCC) at #40 Pepperdine (8-4, 2-0 WCC) | March 28 | Ralphs-Straus Tennis Center | 1:30 p.m.

MATCH 14 - #51 BYU (7-6, 3-0 WCC) at #40 Pepperdine | March 29 | Ralphs-Straus Tennis Center | 11 a.m.

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

COVERAGE - Live results will be available for both matches this weekend. ... Links to available coverage can always be found on the Pepperdine women's tennis schedule page ... Recaps will be posted at ... In-match updates can be followed on Twitter @PeppWTEN.

SERIES SCORECARD - Pepperdine is 50-5 all-time vs. San Diego, including a 22-1 mark when playing at home ... The Waves are just 8-8 vs. BYU, but 2-0 in the only meetings to have taken place within the last 10 years.

OPPONENT NOTES - San Diego is 6-8 in 2014, and 2-2 in the WCC ... The Toreros have won four of their last five, the only loss coming vs. Saint Mary's ...  Although BYU is just 7-6 on the year, the Cougars are coming off their biggest win of the season with a 5-2 upset over then-#38 Saint Mary's ... BYU is 6-0 when playing at home, including the victory vs. the Gaels, but just 1-6 on the road.

LOOKING BACK - Pepperdine opened league action last week with road wins over both San Francisco and Santa Clara ... The Waves were without singles and doubles lineup regular Yuki Chiang, who missed the trip due to illness ... Matea Cutura, who normally plays No. 2 singles and No. 3 doubles, was also out vs. the Dons ... Freshman Pattaraporn Salirathavibhaga and sophomore Danielle Feneridis stepped up in their absence to help lead the Waves to victory.

WCC PLAYER OF THE WEEK - The West Coast Conference moved away from its previously awarded Player of the Month to Player of the Week in 2014 and the Waves have reaped the benefits ... Pepperdine has swept the awards three times this season, winning in both singles and doubles ... Singles Player of the Week winners include Michaela Capannolo (2/11) and Lorraine Guillermo (2/18, 3/4) ... Doubles Team of the Week winners include Michaela Capannolo/Yuki Chiang (2/11), Matea Cutura/Ale Granillo (2/18, 2/25, 3/4) and Lorraine Guillermo/Apichaya Runglerdkriangkrai (3/13)... To date, Pepperdine has won eight of the possible 14 awards issued.

RANKINGS - Lorraine Guillermo is ranked #25 in singles after being listed at a career-high #19 ... Ale Granillo made her return to the singles rankings on March 11 at #105 and has since moved up to #96 ... Chiang and Capannolo also returned to the rankings on March 11 and are currently #62.

LOOKING AHEAD - The Waves hit the road for three matches next week, facing Washington State (April 3), Gonzaga (April 4) and Portland (April 5) in their tour of the Pacific Northwest.

2014 ROSTER - After battling a few growing pains in 2013, the 2014 squad boasts much more experience and depth ... 2012 All-American Lorraine Guillermo  resumes her role as the No. 1 singles player, while transfer Matea Cutura has started the year at No. 2 ... Cutura played No. 1 last season for DePaul and was named the BIG EAST Freshman of the Year ... Ale Granillo, Pepperdine's lone senior, has been leading from the No. 3 position, while sophomore Michaela Capannolo returns to play No. 4 for the second-straight year ...  Fellow sophomore Danielle Feneridis is back as well ... Four freshmen are also vying for spots in the lineup led by Yuki Chiang, whose successful fall translated into a #117 singles ranking to open the dual season ... Other rookies include Apichaya "Jean" Runglerdkriangkrai, Pattaraporn "PT" Salirathavibhaga and January addition Christine Maddox.

WCC PRESEASON POLL - The Waves landed at No. 2 in the West Coast Conference Preseason Poll, edged out by Saint Mary's by just two points.  Pepperdine picked up four first-place votes in a poll of the league's coaches for a total of 76 points. The Gaels, currently the highest ranked team in the WCC, took the remaining six first-place bids and 78 points. Pepperdine was the only team to place two players on the all-conference preseason team in Lorraine Guillermo and Ale Granillo.

2013 RECAP - With a young squad, the Waves opened the 2013 season 0-9 before making a tremendous surge forward to end the season on a high note. Pepperdine won 12 of the next 14 duals including a 4-0 upset win over Saint Mary's in the WCC Tournament finals. Pepperdine finished the season with a 12-12 record after making its 30th appearance at the NCAA Tournament.

DID YOU KNOW ... That head coach Gualberto Escudero ranks second among all women's tennis coaches -- active and inactive -- with 640 career wins? Escudero, now in his 37th year at the helm, is just one of three coaches to have reached the 600 wins milestone. Lin Loring, who has been a head coach at both Indiana and UC Santa Barbara for a combined 40 seasons, ranks #1 with over 800 wins, while Georgia's head coach Jeff Wallace hit the 600-win mark in 2013 after 28 seasons.

Gualberto Escudero - Now in his 37th season at the helm of the program, Gualberto Escudero enters the 2013-14 campaign with a career record of 632-329 (.657).   He took over as head coach in 1977-78 after a decorated career as a student-athlete at Pepperdine.  On the court, he was a finalist at the 1969 WCAC singles tournament and won the doubles title with John Lovelace.  Pepperdine won conference titles in 1969 and 1970 and finished second the next two seasons. His transition from player to coach was a successful one as Escudero has tutored 31 All-Americans, and was honored as WCC Coach of the Year on four occasions.   Escudero was inducted into the Pepperdine Athletics Hall of Fame in a ceremony on Oct. 20.

#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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