Sept. 4, 2004
Los Angeles, Calif. - The Loyola Marymount men's tennis team, which finished third in the West Coast Conference and achieved a top-75 national team ranking for the first time in school history last season,
is ready to take things even further in 2004-05. A young 2003 LMU
squad- five freshmen, two sophomores, and one junior- got off to a rough 3-5 start last
season, but came on strong to win 12 of their final 16 matches to finish
The Lions defeated nationally-ranked Yale along the way, and
avenged two regular season losses to San Francisco and Santa Clara at the WCC Championships to capture third place in the tough conference, equaling the highest program
finish for LMU.
"Our guys really came together as a unit last year, which helped us
to grind out a lot of close matches," Head Coach Nik DeVore said. "Every guy on the team made a
significant contribution to a victory at some point during the season. We
had a lot of ups and downs, but the adversity only made us stronger at the
end of the season. The confidence and maturity our guys gained really
The 2004-05 Lions return every player from last year's squad and are looking
for bigger and better things with the addition of transfer Purav Raja and a
much stronger schedule. "Purav is a very experienced international player who
possesses a great deal of talent," DeVore said. "I'm not sure where he will play, but
there is no doubt that he will make a significant contribution."
Raja will have the chance to add depth to a team that will face a challenging spring schedule, featuring home
matches against Pepperdine, Miami, Princeton, Yale, Utah, Dartmouth, and Penn. The Lions will also take on Fresno State, San Diego, UC Santa Barbara, UNLV, Denver, and New Mexico
State on the road. "Our
schedule is very challenging this year, which is just what our team needs in
order to get to the next level," DeVore said.
The Lions are particularly looking forward to hosting so
many strong teams at LMU after playing all of last year's home contests off-campus due to construction of the new tournament court. "We have a great new facility here at LMU, which features five newly
surfaced courts and a stadium center court," DeVore said. We are looking to attract more
fans to our matches this year and really gain a home court advantage.
The Lions, who began training last week with the start of classes, will open the fall season at the Princeton Invitational September 17-19.
season we are really looking to step things up," DeVore previews. "We are no longer a team
made up of freshmen who are still learning the ropes. We are
looking to achieve a much higher national ranking as a team and challenge
for the WCC Championship. We have the talent, we have the
experience, we just need the belief."