Lions Open WCC Championships with BYU
LMU will play BYU for the second straight match Wednesday to start the conference tournament.
April 23, 2013
The Lions ended the regular season with a tough final four matches and are looking to get back to their winning ways when the WCC Championships in San Diego start on Wednesday. LMU enters the tournament as the No. 7 seed and will play No. 6 seeded BYU at 9:30 a.m. Wednesday.
The Lions have just finished their regular season after a long spring with many highs and lows. The non-conference schedule was huge for LMU as the team won six of its seven home matches, including an upset win over then No. 39 Long Beach St.
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 up as high as No. 61 but have recently dropped out of the rankings.
In conference play, the Lions got off to a rough start, falling to Santa Clara and San Francisco at home, two matches the team felt they should have won. The team then took care of business against Gonzaga and Portland at home the following week to get their only two conference wins. But ending the season primarily on the road was difficult as the Lions dropped their final four matches, finishing up at 2-6 in WCC play and 10-11 overall.
BYU VS LMU
BYU finished their regular season at 10-10 overall and 3-5 in conference play, good for the No. 6 seed heading into the conference tournament. BYU and LMU are almost equal on paper with conference and overall records nearly identical.
Last Saturday, BYU and LMU squared off in the regular season finale. Both teams entered the match at 2-5 in league, both teams having beaten Portland and Gonzaga while falling to the rest of the field. The officials in Provo, Utah decided to finish the match as soon as possible, meaning one doubles match and three singles matches went unfinished. BYU did win all of the finished matches, resulting in a 4-0 win but LMU has proven they can beat anyone this year and have often done so coming from behind.
The WCC Championships will be held at the Branes Tennis Center in San Diego, Calif. for both men’s and women’s tournaments, lasting from April 24-27. At last year’s event, the Lions got an opening round 4-0 win over Portland, before falling to Santa Clara in the second round. 2012 was the first year the Lions had won a match at the event since 2007, the last year LMU had a brief national ranking. San Diego went on to win the championship as the tournament’s No. 3 seed.
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 mid-April. 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. For a while it appeared the team would prove the coaches wrong and finish high, but a tough end to the season dropped the Lions to seventh place.
- GO LIONS -
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