Men's Tennis

Lions Open Season with Pacific

Senior Nicholas Bjerke and the Lions return to the LMU Tennis Center this Saturday.

Senior Nicholas Bjerke and the Lions return to the LMU Tennis Center this Saturday.

Jan. 17, 2013

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BRIEFLY: LMU hosts future West Coast Conference member Pacific in its first match of the 2013 season on Saturday, Jan. 19 at the LMU Tennis Center at 12:00 p.m.

LION TRACKS: The Lions enter their first dual match of the school year against Pacific this Saturday. LMU men's tennis had a successful run in the fall tournaments. Senior Nicholas Bjerke and junior Sebastian Bustamante advanced further than any LMU singles player or doubles team in the past ten years at the International Tennis Association's (ITA) Southwest Regional this past fall, making it to the regional semifinals before falling to the eventful champions from USC. At the ITA Pre-Regionals in Irvine in October, the Lions went 5-3 in singles and 5-1 in doubles. LMU opened the fall schedule in September at the USTA Pro Classic Futures tournament in Claremont, Calif. with three of its four competitors advancing to the third round.

KIDS DAYS: LMU student-athletes are no strangers to giving back to the local community. LMU men's tennis is continuing the athletics' department's outreach efforts by establishing "Kids Days" at four matches this upcoming season. In association with the United States Tennis Association and the Intercollegiate Tennis Association, LMU men's tennis will create a fun, learning environment for the youth in celebration of tennis.

At LMU's "Kids Days" matches, families are invited to attend a free collegiate men's tennis match at the LMU Tennis Center. Free pizza and drinks will be provided and at the conclusion of the match, the LMU men's tennis team will conduct a free kids clinic for those in attendance. This season's "Kids Day" matches include the season opener against future West Coast Conference member the University of the Pacific; Saturday, Match 24 versus Sacramento State; Saturday, April 13 versus Saint Mary's; and Saturday, April 20 versus BYU. This Saturday's match will begin at 12:00 p.m. while the other three matches will start at 1:30 p.m.

For more information about LMU "Kids Days" contact head coach Brad Sceney at bsceney@lmu.edu.

THIS YEAR'S SQUAD: The Lions are an experienced team this season. With eight returners and only two newcomers,LMU will field a veteran squad most matches. Senior Nicholas Bjerke returns to lead the Lions. The Oslo, Norway native earned honorable mention on the All-WCC team for singles play. Bjerke was named WCC player of the month in February after five consecutive singles wins in the month. Bjerke and playing partner junior Sebastian Bustamante went 7-4 at the number one spot in doubles and the pair was named the the All-WCC second team in doubles. Redshirt senior Jack Zapala returns after missing the 2011-12 season due to injury.

Junior Daniel Simko finished 12-13 in singles play at the number five and six spots in 2012 and posted an 11-16 record in doubles matches in 2012. Sophomores Todd Volmari, Felix Van Kann and Robin Kiyabu gained valuable experience and wins during their first campaigns.

Joining the team this year are sophomore transfer Othar Kordsachia from Denver University and freshman Cristobal Rivera. Kordsachia went 16-17 in singles matches at the number four, five, and six spots and went 16-18 in doubles matches in 2012 at Denver. Rivera had a distinguished high school career at Santa Monica High School where he was a four-year varsity letter winner and captained his team to three consecutive league titles and two-time CIF finals while also being a CIF individual runner-up and going undefeated during his senior year.

THE COACHING STAFF: Brad Sceney is in his sixth year as head coach of the Loyola Marymount men's tennis team. Sceney came to the bluff after serving as the Director of Tennis at The Paseo Club in Valencia, Calif., and enjoying an All-American collegiate career at Pepperdine from 1995-98.

Sceney has led the Lions to three straight fifth-place finishes in the WCC. Overall in the five years that Sceney has been at LMU, the Lions have finished 5th in 2012, 2011 and 2010, 6th in 2009 and 5th in 2008. The Lions were 10-14 overall and 3-4 in conference last season.

Assistant coach Aaron Paajanen enters his fourth season under coach Sceney. Previously, Paajanen coached at Paradise Valley Community College in Phoenix, AZ (2004-2005), where his father, Jim, is still the head coach. Paajanen was a 2001-2002 NJCAA All American at Cowley College coached by legendary coach and hall of famer Larry Grose.

- GO LIONS -


 

 

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