Lions Return Home for Final Four Matches
After the past two weekends on the road, LMU men's tennis will play San Diego and Saint Mary's at home this weekend.
April 9, 2013
The Lions are coming off their first conference win of the season, as the team beat Gonzaga Satur- day after falling to Portland Friday. After four consecutive matches on the road, LMU men's tennis team will play their last four matches of the season at the LMU Tennis center.
LMU is currently 3-16 overall and 1-4 in conference. Despite their struggles, it is important to note that 14 of their 19 games have been on the road. With four matches in a row at home, the team is confident they can end the season strong and have some momentum going into the WCC Championships at the end of the month.
ABOUT SAN DIEGO
The San Diego Toreros will enter their match against LMU at 14-7 overall and 4-1 in conference play. The team is currently ranked No. 38 in the ITA national rankings and is seemingly always near the top of the WCC standings.
San Diego has been dominant at home this season with a 12-2 record but the team has struggled on the road with a 1-4 record away from San Diego. The team is coming off back-to-back 6-1 wins over Santa Clara and San Francisco at home last weekend.
ABOUT SAINT MARY'S
The Saint Mary's Gaels are currently 3-1 in conference play with an even 9-9 overall record. They have beaten Santa Clara, Gonzaga, and Portland, but fell6-1 to BYU last week. This is a busy week for the Gaels as the team still has to face San Francisco and Pepperdine before playing LMU on Saturday.
NEW DOUBLES DUOS
LMU has been improving dramatically in doubles with a few new groupings. Last week, senior Nicholas Bjerke began playing doubles with junior Sebastian Bustamante again. The Bjerke/Busta- mante duo was All-WCC in 2012 and traveled to Oklahoma in the fall for the ITA All-American doubles tournament. The pair also advanced to the ITA regional semifinals in a doubles tourna- ment in California later in the fall.
Another duo that has seen recent success is the pair of German sophomores in Othar Kordsachia and Felix Van Kann. They have never lost a match while playing together, going 4-0 in the month of March with two matches going unfinished once deemed inconsequential to the doubles point. They have since moved up to play mostly on Court 1 together. The pair defeated the then No. 47 doubles team in the nation of Finn Tearney and Francis Alcantara from then No. 11 Pepperdine. And against then No. 72 Oklahoma St., they were ahead in the match against the No. 43 doubles team in the nation of Denys Pume and Richard del Nunzio before it went unfinished.
Rounding out the group is junior Daniel Simko and senior Jack Zapala. The two haven't played much singles lately, but have been dominating in doubles, winning four of their previous five matches. These victories include a win at then No. 11 Pepperdine, as well as last week's conference matches.
DOUBLES TEAM OF THE MONTH
The West Coast Conference has just named the LMU sophomore duo of Felix Van Kann and Othar Kordsachia the doubles team of the month for March 2013. Since the two Germans started play- ing together, they have yet to be defeated. They have found rhythum together and have moved up to No. 1 doubles for LMU.
In the month of March, the pair went 4-0 with two matches going unfinished. The key victory for the squad came on March 20, when the two defeated Finn Tearney and Francis Alcantara of Pepperdine. At the time, Pepperdine was No. 11 in the nation and their doubles team was No. 47 in the nation.
The April 9 ITA Rankings listed van Kann and Kordsachia as the No. 61 doubles team in the nation for their recent success.
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. The Lions finished fifth in the conference the previous three seasons.
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. In 1996, Sceney won the All-American Doubles Championship.
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.
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