Lions Head Across Town to Take on No. 2 USC
The competition heats up this week for LMU men's tennis as they battle the second-ranked Trojans.
Feb. 1, 2013
LOS ANGELES -- LMU has struggled early on thus far in the 2013 spring season, losing a close match with Pacific at home and losing twice on the road in Iowa. The Lions are trying to get back in rhythm and will hope to find some progression when they take on No. 2 USC this weekend.
The team did not get off on the right foot as they were swept 7-0 on Saturday. Illinois St. won all three doubles matches to earn the point in doubles play before defeating the Lions on all six courts in the singles round.
Sunday was a little better for the Lions, as senior Nicholas Bjerke and freshman Cristobal Rivera earned points. For Rivera, it was his first collegiate win. Unfortunately, Iowa won the doubles point as well as the other four singles matches, giving them the victory.
The International Tennis Association (ITA) has seven USC singles players ranked in the top-12 for the Southwest region and in the top-125 in the country for Division 1. USC also has the top two doubles teams in the Southwest Region, according to the ITA.
THIS YEAR'S SQUAD
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.
HEAD COACH Brad Sceney
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. An All-American while at Pepperdine, Sceney helped the Waves to a top-10 ranking each of his four seasons in Malibu. His mark of 85 career singles victories is still the Pepperdine record today. In 1996, Sceney won the All-American Doubles Championship.
ASSISTANT COACH Aaron Paajanen
From 2002-2004, Aaron played tennis at Point Loma University where he was team captain and held a career winning percentage of .780. After finishing his collegiate career, Paajanen briefly played the ITF/USTA pro circuit before going into full time coaching.
IN THE SPOTLIGHT
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 included the season opener against future West Coast Conference member the University of the Pacific and will also include Saturday, Match 24 versus Sacramento State; Saturday, April 13 versus Saint Mary's; and Saturday, April 20 versus BYU. The remaining three matches will begin at 1:30 p.m. For more information about LMU "Kids Days" contact head coach Brad Sceney at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- GO LIONS -