Feb. 26, 2008
Complete Release in PDF Format
Coming off a disappointing loss against No. 36 UC Irvine, the 71st-ranked Loyola Marymount women's tennis team hosts Eastern Michigan on Thursday in a 1:30 p.m match. Sunday, the Lions will finish their five-match home stand with a visit from West Coast Conference foes San Francisco 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 had a tough go of it early on as the first seven matches were against top national programs. 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
The LMU women's tennis team was paid a visit by No. 36 UC Irvine Friday at the LMU Tennis Center. The Lions were able to secure the doubles point to start off the day, but the Anteaters came back to take five-of-six singles matches for a 5-2 win.
Seniors Pavla Mesterova and Tamara Tanner won at No. 1 doubles, defeating Clare Fermin and Becky Bernhard, 8-5. Sophomore Bliss Nixon and her partner freshman Shauna Morgan were next off the court, losing to Heidi Kaloi and Ali Borowicz in a close match, 9-8. At No. 2 doubles, junior Tina Razloznik and freshman Jasmin Heckel won a hard fought match to secure the doubles point for the Lions, beating Jessica Broadfoot and Inna Agababian, 9-8.
In singles, Mesterova won her third consecutive match at No. 1 singles, defeating Becky Bernhard in straight sets (6-1, 6-2). On court two, Tanner came back to force a third set, but UC Irvine's Inna Agababian came away with the victory, defeating Tanner (4-6, 7-5, 4-6) and clinching the match for the Anteaters. At No. 3, Razloznik faced Clare Fermin in a thrilling three set match. Unfortunately for the Lions, Fermin won the tiebreaker in set three to earn the victory over Razloznik (7-6, 6-2, 7-6).
The Anteaters got wins on courts four, five and six with Broadfoot beating Heckel (6-1, 7-6), Bartlett taking the match from sophomore Audrey Bulkley (6-1, 6-2) and Borowicz cruising to a 6-0, 6-1 victory over Nixon.
About Eastern Michigan
The Eastern Michigan University women's tennis team dropped a 6-1 decision to the University of California-Santa Barbara, on Monday. The Eagles fall to 3-5 on the season while the Gauchos improve to 3-2.
Senior Tina Bestehorn, at the No. 4 singles, claimed the lone win for the Eagles. In two sets, she dominated her opponent, Asagi Osaga, by a score of 6-3, 6-0. She evens out her overall season record to 4-4. Senior Flavia Micati defeated Juliette Mutzke in three sets, 4-6, 6-2, 1-0 (2) in an exhibition match.
The Eagles lost several close matches. Vanessa Frankowski lost in three sets to Marta Simic, 6-7, 6-1, 1-0 (6), while Aleksandra Stankovic lost in three as well, to Tova Hausman, 4-6, 6-2, 1-0 (2). Vanessa Frankowski (Stuttgart, Germany-Albertus Magnus) was named Mid-American Conference Player of the Week for the period ending Feb. 17. This is Frankowski's first award this season and third overall.
Frankowski went a perfect 4-0 in singles and doubles the weekend of Feb. 15-17, as the Eagles faced off against the Montana Grizzlies and the No. 54 Minnesota Golden Gophers.
At the No. 1 singles, the senior defeated Montana's Mari Castello in two sets, 6-4, 6-4. She then went on and defeated Minnesota's Alessandra Ferrazzi at the No. 1 singles in three sets, 6-3, 2-6, 1-0 (10-8).
Ryan Ray is entering his second season as the Eastern Michigan University head women's tennis coach.
About San Francisco
The San Francisco women's tennis team recorded a loss against a fellow West Coast Conference member, as they fell to Saint Mary's 5-2 on Monday afternoon.
The day began with the Gael's Erin Young and Alex Poorta dominating the Don's Jenny Sperry and Sarah Oudomvilay, 8-2 at the No. 3 doubles position. The next pair to finish was Marah Calvo and Stef Ordoveza, defeating their opponents 8-5, and clinching the doubles point for the Gaels. At the number one position, Cecilia Gratian and Jennifer-Le Heinser battled against Saint Mary's Jessica Hoath and Nienke Strijbis, winning 8-6.
In singles action the Gaels' Alex Poorta, Stef Ordoveza, Claire Soper, and Marah Calvo each recorded wins. Soper, a freshman from Arizona, earned a 6-0, 6-2 win over Cecilia Gratian at the No. 3 position. Mylene Martin lost to Poorta at the No. 2 position, 6-2, 6-4.
USF's Jenny Sperry lost to Calvo, 6-4, 6-0 while her Dons teammate Jessy Mekop fell to Ordoveza, 6-0, 6-3.
The Gaels' Jessica Hoath (No. 47 in the nation) was topped by Heinser in three sets, 6-1, 0-6, 1-0, while Oudomvilay narrowly defeated Saint Mary's Strijbis, also in three sets 3-6, 6-3. 1-0. The third sets could not be finished as the matches had to be cut short due to lighting.
Hilary Somers is in her seventh year leading the Lady Dons tennis team.
Lions In The Rankings
Loyola Marymount women's tennis has been in the ITA National team rankings since the start of the 2007-08 spring season. Starting the year at 64th in the nation, the Lions have most recently placed 71st out of the top-75 teams. Senior Pavla Mesterova's consistent play so far this season has earned her a spot in the ITA women's individual singles rankings. Mesterova sits at No. 92 out of the top-100 singles players in the country. She earns her spot with a record of 5-3 at No. 1 singles, while beating two nationally-ranked opponents, No. 36 Katrina Zheltova from Sacramento State and 71st-ranked Julia Trunk from San Diego State.
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.