Bjerke/Bustamante Advance to ITA Regional Semifinals
Lions' duo advance farther than any LMU doubles pairing in past ten years.
Oct. 24, 2012
IRVINE, CALIF -- Four players from the LMU men’s tennis team competed with some of the area’s best talent at the ITA Southwest Regional tournament in Irvine, Calif. this weekend, with one LMU duo advancing all the way to the semifinals in the doubles main draw.
Senior Nicholas Bjerke and Sebastian Bustamante, who have been playing together since last spring, were seeded seventh out of all doubles teams in the Southwest region. They received first and second round byes before taking down UC Irvine’s Ryan Cheung and Shuhei Shibahara with a score of 8-5 in the round of 16. In the quarterfinals, they beat Sumeet Shinde and Kieren Thompson of the University of Arizona 8-3. In the semifinals, the LMU pair finally lost to the fifth-seeded Yannick Hanfmann and Eric Johnson from USC who would go on to win the tournament.
Dating back to 2002, this is the farthest any LMU singles player or doubles team has advanced at the ITA Regional.
Also playing in doubles were senior Nick Northcott junior and Daniel Simko. This LMU team also received a first-round bye but was bounced in the next round by Miles Seemann and Benjamin Recknagel of UC Santa Barbara by a score of 8-3.
In singles play, Bjerke received a first round bye before defeating Jared Spiker of Hawaii 6-4, 6-0 in the round of 64. Bjerke then upset the tournament’s sixth overall seed, Pepperdine’s Mousheg Hovhannisvan, 6-3, 5-7, 6-4 in the round of 32. Bjerke finally lost in the round of 16 to UCLA standout and 11th seed Dennis Mkrtchian, who went on to take second place in the tournament.
Bustamante also won his opening singles match in a close 6-2, 6-7, 6-1 contest with Pepperdine’s Kento Tanaka-Tamaki. He then fell 6-2, 6-2 to UCSB’s Recknagel, who was the tournaments 15th seed in the singles draw.
Northcott won his first round match 6-4, 7-6 over the University of San Diego’s Andrew Raphaelson but lost 6-1, 6-1 in the next round to San Diego St.’s Thorsten Bertch, who was the draw’s 13th seed.
Simko lost his opening match 6-0, 6-4 to Hawaii’s Dymitri Kovalyav.
The Lions wrap up their fall schedule with the So Cal Intercollegiates beginning next Wednesday, Oct. 31.
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