Feb. 12, 2008
Complete Release in PDF Format
The 69th-ranked Loyola Marymount women's tennis team looks to snap their five-match losing streak this week as they face two-out-of-three nationally-ranked opponents. First up, LMU drives to Westwood on Wednesday to face No. 2 UCLA in a 1:30 p.m. match. They then return home to the LMU Tennis Center to host 68th-ranked Cal Poly San Luis Obispo Friday at 1:30 p.m., followed by Sunday's match against Texas-San Antonio at 11:00 a.m.
LMU This Season
The Lions will be counting on 2007 WCC Player of the Year, senior Pavla Mesterova, and fifth-year senior Tamara Tanner for leadership this season. They also return four sophomores in Bliss Nixon, Audrey Bulkley, Audra Silman and Maria Garcia-Planas Albert, and two more seniors, Natalie Tejada and Shawnell Russell. In addition, head coach Jamie Sanchez also welcomes three freshmen, Jasmin Heckel, Caroline Nothnagel and Shauna Morgan, along with one transfer student, whose collegiate tennis experience could prove invaluable. Junior Tina Razloznik (University of Arizona) will bring two seasons of Division I experience to the Lions.
"The biggest plus is that we have a good player at the top of the line-up. Having that top player is an indication of any good Division I team. We also have a good amount of depth, which is the second ingredient of a good team," Sanchez said. "We are tough and strong going after the number one spot. The team feeds off of the tenacity and experience that players like Pavla, Tamara and Tina bring".
The Lions will have a tough go of it early on as the first seven matches are against top national programs. LMU began their season by traveling to No. 8 USC (lost 6-1), followed by two matches at Tulsa, one against the No. 46 Hurricanes of the University of Tulsa (lost 6-1), and the second against 59th-ranked Oklahoma State (lost 4-0). Last week, LMU played at No. 46 San Diego State (lost 5-2), before returning home for their home opener against 56th-ranked Sacramento State where they lost a heartbreaker (4-3). This week, the Lions hit the road again for a tough match at No. 2 UCLA, followed by visits from No. 68 Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, and Texas-San Antonio at home. Over the course of the spring 2008 season, the Lions will face a total of 13 teams that appear in the national rankings.
Last Week Recap
Last week saw the Lions travel to No. 46 San Diego State before returning home for their home opener against No. 56 Sacramento State.
On Wednesday, the Lions struggled throughout the afternoon, with SDSU sweeping in doubles and winning four-of-the six singles matches. In singles action, Pavla Mesterova and Tina Razloznik were the only Lions who were victorious. Mesterova got her first win of the season, at the No. 1 position, beating No. 61 Julia Trunk in three sets (6-3, 3-6, 6-4). At No. 3, Razloznik was also victorious, taking the win from Ellie Krausova in straight sets, 6-3, 6-2. Tamara Tanner lost to Holly Bagshaw at No. 2 (6-3, 6-4), Jasmin Heckel was defeated by Esther Cadua (6-3, 6-2), Audrey Bulkley lost to Milana Yusupov, 6-1, 7-6 (4), and freshman Shauna Morgan fell to Sissie Nielsen in two sets in her first collegiate match of her career (6-1, 6-3).
Friday, the Lions returned home to host Sacramento State. The Lions won the doubles point and battled hard in singles play, but unfortunately could not pull through in the end, losing the match 4-3. LMU defeated the Hornets in doubles play, with Mesterova and Tanner dominating Sacramento State's Katrina Zheltova and Luba Schifris at No. 1, 8-3. Bulkley and Morgan were also victorious, defeating Joyce Martinez-Gutie and Melissa Valenzuela at the No. 3 position, 8-3.
In singles action, at the No. 1 positon, Mesterova won her second consecutive match against a nationally ranked opponent, beating No. 63 Zheltova (6-4, 6-3). At the No. 3 position, Razloznik lost the first set to Lyssenko, but battled back to take the last two sets for the win (2-6, 6-1, 6-3). Bulkley lost to Schifris (4-6, 3-6) and Morgan fell to Jarlkaganova in two sets (3-6, 0-6).
At No. 2 singles, Tanner played in a thrilling three set match against Valenzuela for the deciding point. She won the first set, but Valenzuela came from behind to win the second. Unfortunately Tanner could not hold on, losing the third set, and a hard fought match (6-4, 5-7, 6-4). Nixon played Martinez-Gutie at No. 6 singles, with that match also going to three sets. Nixon won the first, but Martinez-Gutie came back to take the second, forcing a third set in which Martinez swept Nixon for the win (6-2, 5-7, 0-6).
About No. 2 UCLA
The second-ranked UCLA women's tennis team put its perfect record on the line last week, as the Bruins travelled to Madison, Wisc. for the USTA/ITA National Team Indoor Championships hosted by the University of Wisconsin.
Playing without two singles players due to injury, the second-seeded UCLA women's tennis team suffered its first loss of the season on Thursday, falling upset to North Carolina, 4-3 in a first-round match. Yasmin Schnack and Riza Zalameda, ranked 16th nationally, managed to pull off a slight upset in doubles play, defeating eighth-ranked Sophie Grabinski/Sanaz Marand, 8-3. The Bruins then came within a win of clinching the match, as Andrea Remynse put UCLA ahead 3-2 with a (6-2, 7-5) victory over Austin Smith at court No. 3. UNC came back to take the final two matches for the win.
The Bruins were able to rebound from Thursday's first-round loss as they defeated Arkansas, 4-3 in a consolation match on Friday. UCLA lost the doubles point after suffering a pair of defeats at court Nos. 2 and 3. The Bruins' lone doubles win came at the No. 1 position, where Elizabeth Lumpkin and Riza Zalameda upset 45th-ranked Maryoi Franco/Nanar Airapetian, 8-6. UCLA responded in singles play, taking four-straight wins to clinch the match. Tracy Lin, Ashley Joelson and Lumpkin were the first three to finish, giving the Bruins a 3-1 lead in the match. UCLA freshman Andrea Remynse clinched the win at court No. 3, taking a 6-4, 6-1 victory over Anouk Tigu.
The Bruins rounded out play at the USTA/ITA National Team Indoors on Sunday, defeating No. 16 Clemson, 5-2 in a consolation match. UCLA cruised to three straight wins in doubles play to claim an early 1-0 lead. Elizabeth Lumpkin then put UCLA ahead 2-0, as beat Laurianne Henry at No. 5 (6-1, 6-1). Riza Zalameda, ranked No. 25 nationally, picked up a huge win at court No. 1, upsetting fourth-ranked Ani Mijacika, 6-1, 6-2. Andrea Remynse gave UCLA a 4-0 lead, as she registered a 6-3, 6-2 victory over Estefania Balda at court No. 3.
UCLA is 5-1 so far this season.
Stella Sampras Webster enters her 12th season as the head coach of the UCLA women's tennis program with a career record of 186-98.
About No. 68 Cal Poly
The Mustangs lost in it's first Big West match of the spring season to No. 36 UC Irvine, 5-2 on Saturday.
In the doubles competition, Brittany Blalock and partner Steffi Wong snagged a win, 8-4 in the No. 1 position. Blalock and Wong post an overall record of 12-5 and a 4-2 dual record. The remaining two Cal Poly doubles teams fell to the Anteaters, giving UC Irvine the doubles point.
In singles, Blalock obtained her second win the of the day defeating Benrhard in a very hard fought match that went to three sets, 6-1, 4-6, 6-4. The Mustangs grabbed their final point of the day with a victory by Diane Filip in the No. 6 position. Filip beat Ali Borowicz in three sets, 3-6, 6-0, 6-3. Filip now holds a 5-1 dual record.
On Sunday, Cal Poly posted their third shutout of the spring season against Big West opponent, Cal State Fullerton, 7-0.
They won all three doubles matches to secure the doubles point before dominating the singles competition. All singles matches were finished in two sets. The only close match of the morning came in the No. 2 position where sophomore Steffi Wong went 6-3 in the first set against Erin Wiesener, before a 7-6 set for the win.
In doubles, Shannon Brady and Amy Markhoff moved into the No. 1 position, the position that is normally held by Brittany Blalock and Wong. Brady and Markhoff stepped up to the occasion and won, 8-0 over Karina Akhmedova and Shelly Injejikian.
The Mustangs improve their dual record to 3-5 and 1-1 in the Big West Conference.
Hugh Bream returns to coach Cal Poly's Women's Tennis for his eighth season.
About Texas-San Antonio
The UTSA women's tennis team blanked St. Edward's, 7-0, on Saturday at the UTSA Tennis Center. The Roadrunners picked up the double point when they won all three matches by scores of 8-5. UTSA then swept all the single matches in straight sets. Junior Tanya Hasking came off the court first
with a 6-0, 6-1 win over Caryn McGraw at the No. 4 spot, while sophomore Holly Phillips gave the Roadrunners a 3-0 cushion after defeating Janelle Otero 6-0, 6-0 at No. 5. Junior Nathalie Wallin clinched the match for UTSA with her 6-3, 6-1 win against Giselle Lopez. Juniors Karen Scida and Monika Drabkova won their matches at the No. 1 and No. 3 positions, respectively and Eva Silvester collected her first singles win of the season at No. 6.
The Roadrunners play UC Santa Barbara Saturday before they head to the bluff to face LMU Sunday. They are 2-3 so far this season.
Erin Boisclair is in her second season leading the UTSA women's tennis program.
It has become an annual expectation for the Loyola Marymount women's tennis program. The Lions have been ranked No. 64 in the first poll of the spring 2008 season by the Fila Collegiate Tennis Rankings administered by the ITA. Since 2000, LMU has held a NCAA National Ranking in seven of the last nine years. The Lions are coming off a third place finish (tied with San Diego) in the 2007 season after rain dominated the WCC Championships and halted the match.
Mesterova Already Makes Her Mark
The Lions roster returns two players who earned All-WCC honors on either the singles or doubles side. Leading the way is senior Pavla Mesterova, who earned the 2007 WCC Player of the Year honor, working her way to a No. 40 preseason ranking entering the 2007-08 season. Last season, she led the Lions with a 27-6 record, going 19-3 in dual matches at No. 1 singles. The 27 wins rank fifth all-time in LMU history for victories in a single season, while her .818 winning percentage is the best in program history. She is currently ranked 14th in the West Region. Mesterova also earned first-team All-WCC honors in doubles with former teammate Robyn Baker.
Since the beginning of the 2007-08 women's tennis season, Mesterova has been on a roll, having been selected to compete in the Riviera All-American Tournament followed by the ITA National Indoor Championships. Her play in the ITA Regionals made her eligible for the at-large bid for the Indoor Championships. The ITA National Intercollegiate Indoor Championships is the second of three national tournaments for singles and doubles during the collegiate tennis season. The other two include the ITA All-American Championships in October and the NCAA Championships in May. Playing in the tournament marked a first for Mesterova and for LMU, since it is the first time in her career, and in school history that the Lions have had a representative selected to play in the Indoor National Tournament.
Tanner Is Back
Senior Tamara Tanner returns for her fifth and final year of eligibility for the Lions. After earning honorable mention All-WCC honors in doubles play last year, Tanner's experience and leadership will serve a key role in leading the Lions this season.
Head Coach Jamie Sanchez
Jamie Sanchez is in his 33rd season as head coach of the Loyola Marymount women's tennis program. Sanchez, the program's only coach since its inception, began coaching the team in 1975 and has posted a career record of 418-378. In 2002, Sanchez guided the Lions to their first ever WCC Championship with a 4-2 win over Pepperdine. For the first time in program history, Sanchez and the Lions advanced to the NCAA playoffs as a team, and were represented in the Individual NCAA playoffs with the doubles duo of Andrea Lord and Angelina Zdorovytska. He was named the WCC Coach of the Year for the second straight year in 2002, and in 2006 he earned his third honor.