Lions Fall to Pacific in Opener, 4-3
Men's tennis comes out flat but nearly defeats future West Coast Conference foe.
Jan. 19, 2013
LOS ANGELES -- The opening match of the 2013 season was decided on the last point, with the Pacific Tigers barely outlasting the LMU men's tennis team 4-3 in the non-conference match at the LMU Tennis Center. The Lions dropped to 0-1 to start the season with Pacific improving to 1-0.
Pacific took an early lead after winning two out of three doubles matches to earn one point in doubles play. On court one, senior Nicholas Bjerke and junior Sebastian Bustamante were the first to finish their match, winning 8-6. After jumping out to an early lead on court three, junior Daniel Simko and sophomore Felix Van Kann could not hold on to secure the victory as they fell 8-6 in the end. The final and deciding match came on court two, where redshirt senior Jack Zapala and LMU newcomer freshman Cristobal Rivera lost a close 8-6 battle, conceding the point to Pacific.
The round of singles play was very exciting, delaying the match decision until the very end. Three of six singles matches were settled quickly, leaving the score at 2-2 halfway through. Sophomore transfer Othar Kordsachia was the first to finish, winning 6-1, 6-2 on court three. In the second match to finish, Pacific's Daniel Alameth made quick work of Bustamante as the LMU junior lost 2-6, 2-6. On court one, Bjerke controlled the match the entire time on his way to winning 6-3, 6-4.
The final three singles matches to finish all went to three sets. On court five, sophomore Todd Volmari won his first set 6-2 before a complete turnaround and dropping the second set 6-0. Volmari then regained his composure in the final set to win the match 6-2, 0-6, 6-4. Court two also saw three sets as van Kann and Pacific's Ben Mirkin were neck-and-neck the whole match. With LMU one win away from clinching the victory, van Kann took an early 3-0 lead in the final set. But the tables quickly turned as van Kann fell to the ground with a leg cramp. After about ten minutes of treatment, the German sophomore returned to the match, but would end up losing 6-4, 4-6, 3-6.
With the score tied at 3-3, the match would come down to Rivera. Rivera joined the Lions only a short time ago, enrolling in LMU for the spring semester. His eligibility status was not yet cleared until the day before the match. Nevertheless, Rivera would play in the deciding match in both the doubles and singles round. The match was close for all three sets with the freshmen fighting all the way to the finish. Unfortunately, Rivera came up just sort, losing 2-6, 6-3, 4-6. This gave the Tigers of Pacific the fourth and deciding point.
Saturday's match was the first of four "Kids Day" matches this season for LMU men's tennis. Children in attendance were welcome to pizza, drinks, and received a clinic from LMU men's tennis players after the match. For more information about "Kids Day" email head coach Brad Sceney at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Lions return to action on Saturday, Jan. 26 as they travel to Iowa City, Iowa for two matches during the weekend. The first match will be against Illinois State before LMU faces host Iowa on Sunday.
- GO LIONS -