Ranked Challenges Up Next for Lions

Senior April Bisharat won in #1 singles in the Lions' opening victory last Saturday.

Jan. 30, 2013

Like LMU Women's Tennis on Facebook | Like LMU Athletics on Facebook |   

LOS ANGELES -- After a season opening sweep of NAIA member Concordia University, the Lions face ranked Division I opponents Long Beach State and UC Irvine this weekend.

The Lions opened up the 2013 spring season last week with a sweep of Concordia University. They will look to continue their success against No. 39 Long Beach St., Friday, and against No. 67 UC Irvine, Sunday.

The season-opener against Westmont College had to be postponed due to rain last Friday. The Lions then opened up the season at home Saturday against NAIA member, Concordia University.

The Lions were dominant in all aspects of the match against Concordia, winning all matches in singles and doubles. All of the Lions made quick work of their opponents, including lone freshman Kristine Kouyoumjian, who won her first collegiate match on court six Saturday. In all six singles matches, the Lions won in straight sets with Concordia opponents all unable to reach more than two points in a set. But the real competition will heat up this weekend as the Lions start to play opponents from ranked Division I schools.



Last Saturday's matchup with Concordia featured a few family ties. Concordia Head Coach Jonathon Sanchez is the nephew of LMU Head Coach Jamie Sanchez. and Concordia's roster features Mona Piller, the twin sister of LMU sophomore Lisa Piller. Johnathon Sanchez is in his third season as coach of Concordia and Saturday's matchup marked the first time he faced his uncle Jamie in a coaching competition. Mona Piller is in her first season at Concordia.

Similar to LMU, Long Beach St. is 1-0 after starting off their 2013 spring season weith a 7-0 sweep of UC Riverside. Long Beach St. returns a talented team this year as they enter the season ranked No. 39 in the ITA national rankings. The 49ers also played in a good amount of fall tournaments and has a busy non-conference schedule full of big-time opponents this spring.

UC Irvine has had a busy January thus far. They opened up play against USC and were swept 7-0. Then, UCI defeated San Jose St. 4-3 and Tulane 4-2 before again meeting up with USC and losing 4-0. UCI will continue playing strong competition when they take on UCLA this Friday before hosting LMU on Sunday. With their success last season and their tough play early on, UCI enters the weekend with a No. 67 ITA national ranking.

LMU's 2012 spring season ended in the second round of the West Coast Conference tournament when they fell to Santa Clara, 4-3 in a nailbiting match which finished with multiple tiebreakers. The Lions finished the year 5-3 in conference (9-16 overall) giving the team a 4th-place finish.

Senior April Bisharat and sophomore Tory Parravi were named All-WCC Second Team for their impressive singles play. In doubles, the Lions had two duos receive All-WCC Honorable Mention recognition: Bisharat and her playing partner junior Claudia Razzeto as well as Parravi and her partner, former Lion, Ashley Anderson.

The Lions return 10 players this season. Senior April Bisharat was named All-WCC second team in singles with a 9-6 record in doubles last season, including a win over #45 Pepperdine. Sophomore Tory Parravi had a great freshman season as she was also named to the All-WCC second team with five conference victories including a fantastic win at the number-one position against #34 Saint Mary's.

Senior Adriana Radnovic returns after missing last season. Juniors Claudia Razzeto, Reka Rohnoyi, and Miya Jin bring valuable experience in singles and doubles to the Lions. Razzeto received an honorable mention in doubles on the All-WCC team. Sophomores Logan Finnell, Ana Lucia Fuentes, Lisa Piller, and Madison Wesseln provide the squad with depth. The only newcomer this season is freshman Kristine Kouyoumjian, a transfer from Cal Poly and four-year letterwinner at West High School in Torrance, Calif.

LMU sophomore Tory Parravi was named West Coast Conference Women's Singles Player of the Month in October 2012. Parravi finished the month 7-1 in singles during the month, which included a tournament victory. The San Diego native began the month winning the top-flight singles competition at the Cal State Fullerton Intercollegiate Tournament. Parravi followed the Fullerton tournament win with a sweep at the University of Memphis Invitational.

LMU head coach Jamie Sanchez enters his 38th year as Director of LMU Tennis. An alum, Sanchez, has served as head coach since the inception of the program and is a member of the LMU Athletics Hall of Fame. In his playing career, Sanchez was a four-year letterwinner in men's tennis and a member of LMU's 1969 national champion football team. Sanchez is a three-time WCC Coach of the Year, and led the Lions to win the 2002 WCC title.

Assistant coach Ivan Lopez is in his third season with LMU women's tennis, and his second as an assistant coach after serving one year as a volunteer assistant. An alumni of LMU, Lopez had an impressive collegiate career. A 2010 graduate, Lopez recorded a 56-42 overall singles record finishing his senior season with a 16-8 record in both singles and doubles and a 6-3 singles record in conference match ups. This play earned Lopez first-team All-Conference Honors in both singles and doubles.

LMU women's tennis are no strangers to comuunity outreach. This past fall, the Lions participated in the 28th annual California Coastal Cleanup Day this past Saturday, Sept. 15. The Lions helped clean up Toes Beach in Playa del Rey, Calif. along with other LMU clubs and organizations and hundreds of local community members. The team volunteered to pick up trash and debris at the event set up by the California Coastal Commission's Public Education Program. The team is also giving back to the local community by participating in a mentoring program with students from Westport Heights Elementary, a local school in the Westchester area of Los Angeles near the Loyola Marymount campus. The team is serving as mentors to a team encompassing the diverse student body at Westport Heights. LMU's women's tennis team is a multi-cultural group from many countries, with players who are new to the United States. This makes the team ideal mentors for Westport Heights.

The LMU Women's Tennis team has started a Facebook page. Check out photos, videos and all information about the program at facebook.com/LMUWomensTennis. In addition, you can follow all of the LMU Lions' Athletics Programs through Lions' social media. To connect with us, all you need is LMULions. Follow the Lions on Twitter at twitter.com/LMULions, Like the Lions on Facebook at facebook.com/LMULions, watch highlights and exclusive videos at youtube.com/LMULionsTV. For individual programs and coaches, visit the LMU Lions Social Media Directory at http://www.lmulions.com/multimedia/social-media-directory.html.



  • Loading Tweets...
    1 second ago