April 16, 2013
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Lions experienced a few heartbreaking matches last weekend as the Lions lost 4-3 to both San Diego and Saint Mary's on the road. The Lions are now 2-4 in conference, tied for fourth place, and 10-9 overall for the season.
LMU recently concluded a seven-match home stand. The Lions have been playing well at the LMU Tennis Center all year. They were 5-2 during the home stand and are 8-3 at home for the year. Their final home match of the year will be Wednesday against No. 71 Pepperdine, with Radio Ten- nis covering the match.
But the Lions had to play four of their last five matches on the road before the WCC Champion- ships in San Diego. The Lions got a 5-2 win over Cal State Fullerton on the road last week before falling twice in conference on the road over the weekend. The March 5 ITA Rankings for DIvision I Women's Tennis had Loyola Marymount at No. 72. This national ranking was the first for the Lions since 2007. In the succeeding weeks, the Lions have moved in and out of, and up and down in the rankings, falling out this week.
A lot of people thought Pepperdine would be having a down year this season after seeing them start out the season at 0-9. But don't let the record fool you as the Waves have been playing some of the toughest competition in the country. Since then, Pepperdine has gone 8-2 with a five-match winning streak before losing to Saint Mary's last weekend. The Waves are now 8-11 overall and tied for second place in the WCC at 5-1. The team also just re-entered the ITA national rankings at No. 71.
BYU is currently 9-9 overall and tied with LMU at 2-4 in conference play. The Cougars have a tough final weekend to their WCC schedule with Pepperdine and LMU to end their season. BYU had a rough start to their season but is coming off two clutch 4-3 wins in a row, including one over No. 70 Washington St.
A BIT OF HISTORY
The rivalry between LMU and Pepperdine is nothing new, especially when it comes to women's tennis. Wednesday's match will feature two legendary head coahces who have known each other for decades. LMU Head Coach Jamie Sanchez is in his 38th season coaching for LMU and Pep- perdine Head Coach Gualberto Escudero is in his 36th season coaching the Waves. In addition, the two coaches actually played against each other in college when Sanchez played for the LMU men's team and Escudero played for the Pepperdine men's team. The two are personal friends but will remain rivals on the court in their respective crimson and orange on Wednesday.
AN IMMEDIATE IMPACT
Kristine Kouyoumjian is making her presence known in her first year with LMU tennis. The Tor- rance, California native is currently 14-5, including a perfect 6-0 record for the month of March and a 12-match win streak that lasted until last weekend. She has been a sure thing on Courts 4 and 5, winning nearly all of her matches in straight sets. Due to her recent success, she has moved up to Courts 2 and 3, where she has won as well.
Kouyoumjian started her collegiate experience at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, but did not play tennis. She spent the year training before transferring to LMU to make a comeback into the sport. And the Lions are thankful she did, as the sophomore student and freshman athlete has made an im- mediate impact with the Lions this season. At lmulions.com, Lions All-Access sat down with Kouyoumjian to talk about her story and her recent success.
EARLY SEASON ACCOLADES
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 in- cluded a tournament victory.
In addition, senior April Bisharat is currently ranked No. 19 in the Southwest region by the Inter- collegiate Tennis Association. Bisharat went 8-2 in singles in the 2012 fall schedule, following an All-WCC second team honor from last spring leading to her current ranking.
The WCC released the preseason coaches' poll earlier this season, which has predicted the Lions to finish in sixth place in the conference.
- GO LIONS -