Terrien's WCC Freshman of the Year Selection Highlights Impressive Season for Lions

April 26, 2004

Los Angeles, Calif. - Nico Terrien was named West Coast Conference Freshman of the Year, the conference announced following the WCC Championships. Terrien becomes the first Loyola Marymount men's tennis player to earn the rookie selection.

In addition to WCC Freshman of the Year honors, Terrien was a first-team All-WCC selection. The Nantes, France, native finished the 2004 season 27-8 overall and a perfect 17-0 at the No. 2 singles spot. Terrien and fellow freshman Ashton Politanoff also earned honorable mention All-WCC honors for their doubles play.

Fourth-seeded Loyola Marymount men's tennis defeated third-seeded Santa Clara 4-2 in the battle for third place at the West Coast Conference Championships Sunday at Santa Clara. The Lions took the doubles points and went on to take four of six first sets in singles from the host Broncos en route to the third place conference finish.

The third place title equals LMU's highest program finish at the men's championships, as the Lions also finished third in both 2002 and 1990.

"This is by far the most rewarding season of my career," Head Coach Nik DeVore said in his third season with the Lions. "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."

Michael Wojnarowicz and Matt Phillips earned the first doubles win for the Lions, defeating SCU's Hidalgo and Kochanski 8-6. Beau Berglund and Carlos Malet teamed for the Lions' second doubles win, defeating Santa Clara's Taylor Bedilion and Kevin McQuaid in a 9-8 (5) battle.

LMU's Nico Terrien, Wojnarowicz, Berglund, and Phillips each claimed the first sets of their singles matches, as LMU entered singles with the 1-0 lead. Terrien closed out the straight set win at the No. 2 spot, defeating Erich Chen 6-3, 6-3. Wojnarowicz also earned a straight set win over McQuaid at the No. 3 spot 6-2, 6-4.

Needing just one more singles match to take third place in the WCC, it came down to Berglund and Phillips' matches. Phillips had taken the first set 6-4, but dropped the second set 5-7. The freshman went up 4-3 in the third and was able to close out the win 6-4 to secure the conference's third place standing for the young Lions' squad.

"Matt Phillips came up big for us when we really needed it against Santa Clara," DeVore said, "winning the deciding match 6-3 in the third set over his long-time friend Bobby Rassmusen, who is also from Colorado."

With a 4-2 score, Berglund's result was no longer needed, and the junior did not finish his match per WCC guidelines.

LMU had defeated the University of San Francisco 4-3 in Friday's first round to qualify for the WCC semifinals on Saturday. Top-seeded Pepperdine defeated the Lions 4-0 to advance to the finals, where the Waves took the WCC title. With the Lions' win over Santa Clara on Sunday, LMU avenged two regular season WCC losses during last weekend's championships. USF and Santa Clara had defeated LMU 4-3 and 5-2 in February.

"San Francisco and Santa Clara had defeated us earlier in the season, so beating both of them in the WCC tournament, when it meant the most, was especially sweet," DeVore said. "Not many people picked us to beat either won of them, or to finish in the top three. This was added incentive for the guys, and they certainly used that as inspiration."

After starting the 2004 season 3-5, LMU won 12 of its final 15 matches to finish 15-9 on the season.

"The adversity we faced throughout the season only made the guys stronger in the end," DeVore said. "I wouldn't change a thing, including the 3-5 start to the season. This is the gutsiest team I have ever coached. Each close match that we won this season, and there were a lot of them, a different player would step up and come through for us."





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