Pepperdine Enters WCC Tournament on Friday

Matea Cutura

April 23, 2014

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MALIBU, Calif. - The #26-ranked Pepperdine women’s tennis team opens the West Coast Conference Tournament on Friday, April 25. As the top seed, the Waves received a bye into the semifinal round. The champion will be crowned on Saturday at the Barnes Tennis Center in San Diego.

MATCH 21 - #23 Pepperdine (16-4, 9-0 WCC) vs. TBA | April 25 | Barnes Tennis Center | 12:30 p.m.

CHAMPIONSHIP MATCH - The championship match is scheduled for Saturday, April 26 at 12:30 p.m. The winner will earn the WCC’s automatic berth into the NCAA Tournament.

COVERAGE - Complete tournament coverage can be found at the Tournament Central ... Live scores will be available on Friday and Saturday ... Recaps will be posted at ... In-match updates can be followed on Twitter @PeppWTEN.

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.

THE FIELD - #1 seeded Pepperdine will face either #4 Santa Clara or #5 San Diego in the semifinals on Friday ... The other half of the bracket includes #2 BYU, #3 Saint Mary’s, #6 San Francisco and #7 Gonzaga ... Action at the Barnes Tennis Center begins on Wednesday and the quarterfinals are scheduled for Thursday ... #2 BYU also has a bye into the semifinals.

ALL-WCC - All six lineup regulars earned a mention in the 2014 All-WCC awards ... Lorraine Guillermo was a first-team selection in singles, while Matea Cutura and Ale Granillo picked up second-team honors ... All three doubles squads earned All-WCC honors ... Guillermo and Apichaya Runglerdkriangkrai were placed on the first team ... Cutura and Granillo, as well as Michaela Capannolo and Yuki Chiang claimed spots on the second-team roster.

WCC TOURNAMENT HISTORY -  Pepperdine has won 23 of the possible 28 West Coast Conference Tournament titles since the first league championship in 1986 ... The Waves’ last tournament title came in 2013.

THE ANNOUNCEMENT - 37-year head coach Gualberto Escudero announced he’ll be stepping down after this season ... He’ll remain on staff as the associate head coach ... Escudero began his freshman year at Pepperdine in 1968 and has been with the Waves ever since.

QUICK HITS - The Waves are currently on an 12-match win streak, the longest since 1999, when Pepperdine won 14 in a row ... Pepperdine reached the NCAA Tournament round of 16 that season before succumbing to a 5-2 loss versus South Alabama ... Pepperdine ended the regular-season with a 9-0 record at home, marking just the second season in program history the Waves have gone undefeated at home in single year ... Pepperdine went 9-0 in 1993 ... The Waves are 392-145 all-time at the Ralphs-Straus Tennis Center.

LOOKING BACK - Pepperdine celebrated Senior Day for Ale Granillo last week Wednesday vs. Loyola Marymount and emerged with a 4-0 victory ... Granillo teamed with Matea Cutura to win 8-0 in doubles ... Granillo then delivered a straight-set win on the stadium court to help lift Pepperdine to the victory.

LOOKING AHEAD - The NCAA Championship opens with the first and second rounds on May 9-11... The top 16 teams, along with the singles and doubles championship fields, converge in Athens, Ga. for the remainder of the tournament on May 15-26.

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 four 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, 4/1) ... Doubles Team of the Week winners include Michaela Capannolo/Yuki Chiang (2/11), Matea Cutura/Ale Granillo (2/18, 2/25, 3/4, 4/22) and Lorraine Guillermo/Apichaya Runglerdkriangkrai (3/13, 4/1)... To date, Pepperdine has won 11 of the possible 20 awards issued.

RANKINGS - Lorraine Guillermo is ranked #24 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 #86 ... Chiang and Capannolo also returned to the rankings on March 11 and are currently #81.

SINGLES LINEUP - Lorraine Guillermo, the Waves’ ace for two seasons running, has played at No. 1 in every dual this season ... Matea Cutura and Ale Granillo hold down the other two spots in the top of the singles lineup ... Cutura played No. 1 for DePaul in 2013 and was named BIG EAST Freshman of the Year ... Granillo is the Waves’ lone senior ... Sophomore Michaela Capannolo sees the most action at No. 4, while freshman Yuki Chiang has settled into the No. 5 spot with a winning record ... Freshman Apichaya “Jean” Runglerdkriangkrai, sophomore Danielle Feneridis and freshman Pattaraporn “PT” Salirathavibhaga  have all seen action playing at No. 6.

DOUBLES LINEUP - After a few tweaks to the pairings, Guillermo and Runglerdkriangkrai have settled into the No. 1 spot in the doubles lineup and boast a 7-1 record ... Capannolo has seen time with both Granillo and Chiang at No. 2 ... Cutura and Granillo have booked the most matches together at No. 3.

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, 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.

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.

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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