Oct. 28, 2002
Malibu, Calif. - After a shaky start, the Loyola Marymount University men's tennis team posted some impressive victories at the Omni Hotels Region VIII-South Championships, hosted by Pepperdine University.
The Lion duo of Leopold Graeubig and Mike Wojnarowicz had an unbelievable run during the tournament. In the second round, they defeated the No. 2 seed and 23-ranked pair of Jon Endrikat and Brian Morton of UC Irvine 9-7, after being down 6-1. After winning their quarterfinal match, Graeubig and Wojnarowicz fell to eventual champions Olivier Charroin and Chris Stewart of Arizona State in the semifinals. It was the first semifinal appearance in a major championship for a player or team from LMU.
"Every week we seem to have at least one breakthrough performance, which is really encouraging heading into the off-season," LMU head coach Nik DeVore said. "The strong performance we are getting this fall should give us a lot of confidence going into our tough spring schedule."
LMU's other doubles team of Tigran Martirosyan and Johannes Asuja, who were seeded #8, lost a heartbreaker in the quarterfinal to the top-seeded tandem of Lassi Ketola and Alberto Francis of UCLA 9-8 (12-10 in the tiebreaker). The Lions served for the match and had match point in the tiebreaker, but were unable to close it out.
Wojnarowicz, who is just a freshman, lost a close 6-4, 6-4 match to No. 3 seed and 40th ranked Carlos Palencia of Cal Santa Barbara in the first round of singles compeition. Wojnarowicz then won three straight matches over quality opponents in the consolation draw, before falling to Olivier Charroin of Arizona State in the semifinal. Wojnarowicz fall record now stands at 11-4.
"Mike played a solid opening match despite the loss and gained a lot of confidence as a result," DeVore said. "He has began to realize that he can play with anyone, regardless of position or ranking. He is already twice the player he was when he arrived on campus two months ago.
"Our goal for this fall was to compete well in the big tournaments so as to earn the respect of the better teams in our region," DeVore said. "We're sending a message that LMU is an up and coming program that can compete with anyone in country."
Next up for the Lions is the Southern California Collegiate Tournament at the LA Tennis Club November 7-10. Teams competing will be UCLA,USC, San Diego, San Diego State, Pepperdine, UC Irvine, UC Riverside, Cal Poly and UCSB.