Lions Face Tough Competition Ahead This Week
Coming off two wins in a row, LMU will now face two ranked opponents in as many days.
March 18, 2013
After starting the season with ten consecutive losses, the Lions are now sitting at 2-10 on a two match win streak. They will end their brief homestand Tuesday when they host No. 65 Oklahoma St. and then will begin conference play at No. 12 Pepperdine Wednesday.
The LMU men’s tennis team has had its share of struggles this season. The Lions (2-10) are coming off their first two wins of the season after starting the year on a ten-match losing streak. The Lions spent much of the opening months on the road, where they failed to find much rhythm. March has been busy for the Lions, with nine matches scheduled for the month. Over Spring Break, the Lions were at home against Hawaii. After defeating the Warriors at home in 2012, LMU was unable to repeat and fell to Hawaii 5-2. LMU then took on Stetson, a team the Lions had never played before. The undefeated team out of the Atlantic Sun was too much to handle for the Lions, as LMU lost for the tenth time on the year. But the Lions finally pulled out a win last Saturday when they traveled to Riverside. The Lions won the doubles point and won five of six singles matches to beat UC Riverside 6-1 for the team’s elu- sive first victory. The Lions then won again at home Sunday with a 5-2 victory over Gonzaga. The win was not a conference match but it was the ninth win in their past ten matchups for the Lions. With two wins in a row, the Lions have some momentum but will be trult tested this week as they play two ranked opponents in two days, hosting No. 65 Oklahoma St Tuesday and playing at No.12 Pepperdine Wednesday.
ABOUT OKLAHOMA ST.
No. 65 Oklahoma St. will enter Tuesday’s match with LMU on a three-match losing streak after a solid start to their season. The Cowboys currently sit at 6-5 overall. They are in California for the San Diego Invitational next weekend but wanted to get a dual match in during the midweek. The Cowboys’ big wins this season have come over Nebraska and Illinois St and have also defeated Tennesse Tech, Western Illinois, Tyler Junior College, and Florida Atlantic. This is the first metting between the two programs to date.
Pepperdine is currently 11-4 and ranked No. 12 in the nation, according to the ITA. The Waves have played only the best competition thus far and are coming off a close 4-3 win over No. 16 California. Pepperdine started their season on a six-match winning streak and have only lost this season to Ohio St., USC, and Duke. Pepperdine finished first in the WCC in 2012 for the regular season, as well as winning the confer- ence championships tournament and have a long program history of success.
LMU student-athletes are no strangers to giving back to the local community. LMU men’s ten- nis 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 sea- son’s “Kids Day” matches include 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.
The Loyola Marymount men’s tennis team are predicted to finish seventh in the West Coast Con- ference according to a poll of the conference’s coaches released earlier this season.
IN THE SPOTLIGHT
At LMULions.com, Lions’ All-Access continues its profile series, Inside the Lions Spotlight, with freshman Cristobal Rivera. In the video interview, Cristobal talks about his first collegiate season, the importance of his parents, and his great career at Santa Monica High. You can view the video at: http://www.lmulions. com/sports/m-tennis/spec-rel/012213aab.html
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. Sopho- mores 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
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. 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. 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.
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