April 12, 2012
Loyola Marymount University is celebrating its Centennial in 2011-12 and athletics will honor the anniversary all season long. Each of LMU's NCAA Division I programs will be hosting a Centennial Game to honor LMUat100. Up next are the first of two Centennial baseball games this year against San Francisco on Friday, and the Centennial men's tennis match this Saturday against Portland. As we approach the men's tennis match, LMULions.com will look back at one of the memorable moments from men's tennis history. Today's look back features LMU's first national ranking.
LOS ANGELES -- After defeating No. 71 Yale on March 10, 2004 in a thrilling 4-3 victory, the Loyola Marymount University men's tennis team debuted in the national rankings at No. 75. The Lions had singles players ranked in the top 100 and doubles teams as high as No. 35 nationally during the prior two seasons, but the March 16, 2004 marked the first time in program history that LMU had achieved a national team ranking.
"This has been a goal of ours since I started," Head Coach Nik DeVore said at the time. "To achieve this goal with such a young group of guys, is unbelievable." With five freshman in the line-up, DeVore expected the team's schedule to be challenging, but the young Lions competed extremely well.
The 2003-04 season saw the Lions finish the season 15-9, winning 12 of its final 15 matches. LMU finished third in the WCC Championships after upsetting third seed Santa Clara in the third place match. The season saw the Lions' Nico Terrien win the first WCC Freshman of the Year award in program history as he finished the year 17-0 in #2 singles.
"This is by far the most rewarding season of my career," Head Coach Nik DeVore said at the time. "Not many people gave us a chance after losing five of our top six players from last season and having five freshman in our lineup. We got off to a rough start, but the guys worked hard all year and never lost sight of the ultimate goal, which was to play our best tennis at the WCC Championship and place in the top three."
The 2011-12 Lions conclude their home schedule this Saturday, Apr. 14 at 12:00 p.m. in the Centennial match versus Portland. Prior to that match, LMU will host Gonzaga this Friday, Apr. 13 at 1:00 p.m. at the LMU Tennis Center.
Highlights from the 2003-04 Season:
The win over No. 71 Yale that earned the Lions the national ranking
LMU wins its fourth straight match
Lions defeat Santa Clara to finish third in WCC
Terrien named WCC Freshman of the Year