Busy Week Concludes With Centennial Match For Lions
Men's tennis travels to No. 53 UC Santa Barbara before returning home for contests with Gonzaga and Portland.
April 10, 2012
The LMU men's tennis team will travel to Santa Barbara to face the Gauchos at 1:30 p.m. on April 11. The Lions will return home to face WCC opponent Gonzaga at 1:00 p.m. on April 13 and Portland at 12:00 p.m. on April 14 in men's tennis' Centennial match at the LMU Tennis Center.
The Lions faced the prospect of winning a match while they were not playing at their greatest form and missing two of their top players, but the team was unable to win the last two points of the match as LMU fell to UC Irvine, 4-3. The Lions (8-10) were down 3-2 with a chance at victory late in the match, but the comeback effort fell short against the Anteaters (3-15).
The Lions started the match by gaining the doubles point. Alex Wilton and Felix Van Kann were the first to close their match, beating Jacob Jung and Sam Gould in #1 doubles, 8-5. Daniel Simko and Todd Volmari won the point for LMU with an 8-3 victory over Eric Gast and Mika DeCoster. In the final doubles contest, Tom Price and Nick Northcott fell to Shuhei Shibahara, 8-6, on court three.
The Anteaters started the singles round with a win in #1 singles as Fabian Matthews defeated Alex Wilton, 6-1, 6-4. Soon after, Felix Van Kann fell to Jacob Jung, 6-2, 6-1 on court three. LMU got back into the match as Daniel Simko got a victory at court six defeating Eric Gast, 6-2, 6-2. Todd Volmari lost to Sam Gould in #2 singles, 6-3, 6-4, putting UC Irvine on the cusp of a victory.
The match came down to courts four and five. Nick Northcott battled back in his match with Mika DeCoster after losing the first set, 6-4, and took DeCoster to a second set tiebreak. The comeback effort fell short as Northcott lost the tiebreak 7-2 and the Anteaters won the match. In the final singles contest, Tom Price came back from a set down to win his match over Shuhei Shibahara, 2-6, 6-4, 6-4.
PLAYER OF THE MONTH
The West Coast Conference has named LMU junior Nicholas Bjerke as player of the month for February. The junior went 5-0 during the month playing No. 2 singles and helped lead the Lions to a three-match winning streak during the month.
Bjerke defeated opponents from No. 54 UNLV, New Mexico State, UC Davis, Pacific and UC Riverside. In his win over No. 54 UNLV, Bjerke defeated Tamas Batyl by a score of 6-1, 6-3. He won four of his five matches in straight sets, coming from behind in his other victory over the University of Pacific's Tomasz Krzyszkowski 2-6, 7-5, 6-2.
ABOUT UC SANTA BARBARA
In the Campbell's/ITA College Tennis ranking April 3 poll, the Gauchos ranked No. 53. In last match No. 53 UC Santa Barbara completed its spring break in fashion, hanging a 7-0 shutout on visiting Big West Conference opponent Pacific on Sunday April 1 at the Recreation Center Courts. The Gauchos (11-7 overall, 3-1 in the Big West) needed the win for seeding position at the Big West Tournament, which runs from April 27-29 in Indian Wells, Calif. The victory over the Tigers should assure UCSB the No. 2 seed in the league tournament, including a bye.
In other news for the Gauchos, UC Santa Barbara senior Mathieu Forget was named Big West Conference Men's Tennis Athlete of the Week on Wednesday. It was the third time in 2012 that Forget has selected for the award.
Freshman Alvaro Nazal pulled an upset victory in singles play but the Gonzaga University men's tennis team lost a 6-1 decision to 45th-ranked BYU in a West Coast Conference match Friday April 6. After losing the first set 6-2, Nazal fought back and won the next two sets 6-2, 10-6 to beat 45th-ranked Georgy Batrakov at No. 1 singles and improve his singles record to 19-8. Gonzaga is now 8-8 and 1-3 in WCC.
Senior Daniel Coelho posted a nail-biting three set victory from the sixth position, but the Portland Pilots fell to the No. 45 BYU Cougars Saturday at the BYU Outdoor Tennis Courts. The Cougars (13-7, 3-2 WCC) became just the second team to sweep the Pilots (11-5, 2-2 WCC) in doubles play. Portland fell behind 5-2 in each doubles match and were unable to recover as BYU took the point.
Portland will continues it first road swing of WCC play this weekend against Pepperdine and LMU. The Pilots will take on the Waves on Friday at 1 p.m. before heading to LMU for a 1:00 p.m. match on Saturday.
HEAD COACH Brad Sceney
Brad Sceney is in his fifth year as head coach of the Loyola Marymount men's tennis team. Sceney has led the Lions to back-to-back fifth place finishes at the WCC Tournament in 2010 and 2011. Overall in the four years that Sceney has been at LMU, the Lions have finished 5th in 2011 and 2010, 6th in 2009 and 5th in 2008.
The Pepperdine's men's tennis team was chosen to finish first in the 2012 West Coast Conference preseason poll. Pepperdine received the maximum 64 total points after earning first place votes from all the men's head coaches around the conference. San Diego, the reigning 2011 WCC Champion, was chosen to finish second.
The men's preseason all-conference team included familiar names from last season's all conference list. The new additions to the team are Pepperdine junior Mousheg Hovhannisyan and BYU Senior Greogy Batrakov.