Sweet 16: Waves Thirst For 16th Title in 17 Years at WCC Championships this Weekend

April 22, 2004

Women's Tennis Championship Program
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Saint Mary's College will host the 19th West Coast Conference women's tennis championship this weekend. Pepperdine will be looking to repeat as WCC champion, and claim its 16th title in the last 17 years.

The Waves are led by #33 ranked Natalie Braverman, who has posted a 15-5 mark this season. Loyola Marymount will attempt to reclaim the title that they won in 2002, but surrendered back to the Waves last season. An LMU squad has never finished lower than third at the WCC championship.

San Diego has earned a #49 ranking from the ITA and is led by the #46 ranked singles player in the nation, Emma Murphy. Portland and Gonzaga enter the tournament as two of the conference's hottest teams. The Pilots have won five of their last seven dual matches, and the Zags have captured four of their last five matches. Gonzaga nearly tripled its win total from a year ago, winning 11 contests. San Francisco has registered the second best winning percentage in the conference and have won five of their last six matches. Host Saint Mary's has posted a 7-4 mark at the Korth Tennis Complex this season.

Seedings will be announced on WCCsports.com on Thursday night

Gonzaga (11-11) - The Zags are led by senior Jamie Buterbaugh, who has posted a 13-8 record while playing exclusively at the #1 spot for Gonzaga. Buterbaugh has teamed with senior Angela Fry to form Gonzaga's top doubles tandem, as the duo has recorded a 14-6 mark.

- Gonzaga will look to improve on last season's seventh place finish at the WCC championship. The Zags have won four of their last five duals matches this season.

Loyola Marymount (9-11) - The Lions will look to win back the WCC tennis championship that they won in 2002, but surrendered back to Pepperdine last season. Over the past 16 seasons, an LMU squad has never finished lower than third at the WCC championship.

- Junior Carla Arguelles has led the Lions, playing exclusively at the #1 singles position and collecting nine victories. Arguelles and freshman Kimi Kaloi have paired up as LMU's top doubles tandem.

- Freshman Nico Terrien has gone undefeated at the #2 singles spot, posting a 15-0 mark.

Pepperdine (11-9) - Pepperdine sophomore Natalie Braverman is the top-ranked WCC women's tennis player, checking in at #33 in the most recent ITA rankings. Braverman has posted a 15-5 mark while playing exclusively at the #1 singles spot.

- Charlotte Vernaz earned a #98 national ranking after going 11-9 in the #2 and #3 singles positions.

- The Waves are seeking their 16th WCC title in 17 years.

Portland (9-13) - Portland picked up two wins over WCC foes in beating both Gonzaga and San Francisco in March. The Pilots earned victories in three of their last four dual matches this season.

- Sophomore Cristin Sammis and junior Sanja Indic have teamed up at the #1 doubles position to post a 10-4 mark. Sammis has also collected six wins at the #1 singles spot and has posted a 10-8 overall record.

Saint Mary's (9-13) - After beginning the season with nine losses in their first 11 dual matches, the Gaels rebounded to go 7-4 in the second half of the season. Saint Mary's knocked off conference rivals Gonzaga and Santa Clara during that stretch.

- Freshman Aude Lambert has performed well for the Gaels at the #1 singles position, collecting 10 wins. The duo of Kristin Kummer and Kate Harden have posted a 14-8 mark as a doubles tandem.

San Diego (9-8) - San Diego has garnered a #49 ITA ranking after knocking off ranked opponents in Boston College, Washington State, and New Mexico this season. The Toreros have gone 2-1 against WCC competition in 2004.

- Sophomores Emma Murphy and Lauren Perl have led the way for USD at the top two singles spots. Murphy is currently ranked #46 in the nation, while Perl checks in at #107.

- USD has not played on the road since March 6.

San Francisco (12-9) - San Francisco has posted the second best winning percentage in the conference (.571), trailing only #37 ranked Pepperdine. The Lady Dons closed out their season with four wins in their final five dual matches.

- Freshman Camille Pamart has stepped into the #1 singles spot and performed well for San Francisco. Pamart has posted a 13-8 record while playing exclusively at the #1 position. In doubles play, she has teamed with Joana Laranjinha at the top doubles spot for USF.

Santa Clara (11-10) - The Broncos have recorded a 5-3 mark against WCC competition, including wins over San Francisco, Saint Mary's, Gonzaga, and Portland. Santa Clara posted an 8-3 record at home this season.

- Santa Clara's lineup includes a trio of freshman in Kelly Leathers, Kimberly Daniel, and Erika Barnes. Leathers and Barnes have teamed up to post a 9-8 mark at the #2 doubles spot, and a perfect 4-0 record at the #3 doubles position.

WOMEN'S HISTORY Like their male counterparts, the Pepperdine women have dominated the West Coast Conference tennis championships, having won 15 of the last 16 women's tennis team titles. Pepperdine regained its crown in 2003 after falling to Loyola Marymount the previous year. The Waves defeated San Diego in the title match, while matches to determine third, fifth, and seventh place were cancelled due to inclement weather and ties were declared for the first time in conference history. Santa Clara's Christine Limbers became the first Bronco to win Player of the Year honors.

The late 80's and the 90's were dominated by Pepperdine. In fact, the top three in the women's standings remained unchanged from 1988 to 2000, with San Diego finishing second and Loyola Marymount third each time. The 2001 tournament saw that change for the first time, as LMU upset San Diego to reach the title match. Although Pepperdine successfully defended their crown, the Lions sent players to the NCAA tournament for the first time, as the team of Angelina Zdorovytska and Andrea Lord earned an at-large invitation to the NCAA doubles championship. The WCC was represented at the NCAA championships in 2001 by three different schools for the first time in league history, as individuals from San Diego and LMU also received at-large invitations in addition to Pepperdine's automatic bid for the team championship. In 2002, LMU, the #2 seed, captured its first WCC tennis championship by upsetting #1 seed Pepperdine. The loss snapped a string of 14 consecutive titles by the Waves. LMU joins Pepperdine as the only active WCC members to have won the conference crown. The only other team to win the event, US International in 1986 and 1987, is no longer a WCC member.

Although Pepperdine has owned the WCC title, San Diego became the first program in the league to claim a national title, when fourtime All-American Zuzana Lesenarova won the NCAA singles championship in 1999.



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