Women's Tennis

CHAMPIONSHIPS PREVIEW: Lions Rise Above Expectations

Team captain Elisaveta Pironkova.

Team captain Elisaveta Pironkova.

April 24, 2012

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LOS ANGELES -- LMU women's tennis heads into the West Coast Conference championships in San Diego this week riding momentum. The Lions are on a three-match conference winning streak after finishing fourth overall in the WCC with a 5-3 record in the first round robin schedule in the conference's history. After a fifth-place finish last year, and a preseason WCC coaches' poll that predicted LMU to finish sixth, the team's depth pushed the Lions above expectations.

Freshman Tory Parravi showed the impact that a talented player can make in her first season, resulting with her being named the LMU Women's Tennis Athlete of the Year and nominated for LMU Freshman of the Year and LMU Athlete of the Year. The San Diego native had an impressive rookie campaign progressing from #4 singles to #2, occasionally playing in the #1 position. Her season included a 5-2 mark in singles in WCC matches and a 4-0 record overall in the #2 position. Tory's 18 overall wins were highest on the team for the season.

Parravi's doubles partner, senior Ashley Anderson, had a great final season. The duo of Anderson and Parravi led the team with 10 wins. The pair was nominated for WCC doubles team of the month after going 5-2 in March and holding a six-match win streak over February and March. In singles, Anderson, was 4-2 in the WCC, winning her last two matches. She held a three-match win streak of her own this season, and finished the regular season with three wins in her final four matches. Ashley was also honored for her efforts in the classroom as she was named to the WCC's All-Academic team.

The Lions regular #1 singles player, April Bisharat, finished the season strong with three consecutive wins in conference in singles and five straight wins in doubles. Bisharat and doubles partner Claudia Razzeto finished the season with a record of 8-1, going undefeated in conference at 6-0. Their victories included an 8-2 win over Ale Granillo and Megan Moore of top-ranked Pepperdine.

LMU was lead by senior team captain Elisaveta Pironkova who finished the regular season winning her last two matches in singles. During the year, Pironkova had a three-match win streak including wins at San Francisco and Santa Clara. She and doubles partner Reka Rohonyi won four of their last five matches.

The fourth-seeded Lions begin play at the WCC Championships Wednesday, April 25 versus No. 9 Portland at 12:00 p.m. at the Barnes Tennis Center in San Diego. The winner of the Tennis Championships will receive an automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament.

LION TRACKS

LMU women’s tennis fell in its final match heading into the West Coast Conference Championships,losing to No. 48 Fresno State, 5-2. The Lions (8-15), missing players due to injuries or who were resting for the Championships next week, lost all doubles contests and four of the six singles matches to the Bulldogs (13-8).

In doubles, Claudia Razzeto and Logan Finnell were defeated by Melissa McQueen, 8-2. Ashley Anderson and Miya Jin fell to Marianna Jodoin and Laura Pola, 8-6. Bianca Modoc and Aishwarya Agrawal got an 8-6 victory over Elisaveta Pironkova and Reka Rohonyi on court one.

Singles began with a win by the Bulldogs in #3 singles as McQueen defeated Jin 6-3, 6-1. Pironkova got a victory on court two as Agrawal retired in the match. Agrawal won the first set 6-3 and was 5-0 to Pironkova before she retired. Modoc defeated Rohonyi 6-4, 6-0. Razzeto fell to No. 42 Jodoin in #1 singles 6-1, 6-1 giving Fresno State the match. Anderson gained a point for the Lions as she defeated Pola 6-2, 7-6 (8-3) on court five. In the final contest, Ana Lucia Fuentes lost to Anne Susdorf 6-3, 6-3.

WCC TENNIS CHAMPIONSHIPS

After competing in the first ever round robin schedule in conference history, Pepperdine secured the conference crown on both the men’s and women’s sides, garnering the top seeds in the tournament. In the women’s tournament, Saint Mary’s secured the second seed with its only conference loss coming to the top-seeded Waves. Like the men, Pepperdine and Saint Mary’s will make their first appearances at the tournament in Friday’s semifinal rounds. San Diego garnered the third seed and a bye to open on Thursday.

LMU women’s tennis team, seeded fourth in the WCC, will face No. 9 Portland in the frist round on Wednesday, April 25 at 12:30 p.m. The winner of the match will face the winner of Wednesday’s Santa Clara/Gonzaga this Thursday, April 26 at 12:30 p.m.

WCC ALL-ACADEMIC TEAM

The West Coast Conference announced that LMU senior Ashley Anderson has been named to the 2012 West Coast Conference Women’s Tennis All-Academic Team. The senior received the honor for her outstanding achievement both in the classroom and on the court this season. An economics major, Anderson currently has a 3.39 grade point average.

HEAD COACH Jamie Sanchez

Jamie Sanchez is a member of the LMU Hall of Fame. In his career, Sanchez was a four-year letterwinner in men’s tennis and a member of the LMU Hall of Fame 1969 National Champion football team. Sanchez started the LMU women’s tennis program and has served as the head coach since inception. He is a three-time WCC Coach of the Year.

SENIOR SPOTLIGHT

This past weekend, the Lions honored three seniors. Ashley Anderson, a history and economics major, had a great season with six-match winning streak in doubles play with partner Tory Parravi. Anderson has also won three of the last five singles matches against WCC rivals. April Bisharat, a sociology and pre-law major, has won her last four doubles matches with partner Claudia Razzeto. Last weekend on the road she won both singles matches against Gonzaga and Portland. Elisaveta Pironkova, a communications major from Plovdiv, Bulgaria, has performed with great energy this season winning her last three doubles matches with partner Reka Rohonyi.

CENTENNIAL MATCH

Loyola Marymount University is celebrating its Centennial in 2011-12 and athletics will honor the anniversary all season long. Each of LMU’s NCAA Division I programs will be hosting a Centennial Game to honor LMUat100. In the women’s tennis' Centennial match, LMU defeated BYU, 6-1.

A LOOK BACK

Ten years ago this week, the Loyola Marymount University women’s tennis team claimed its first ever West Coast Conference championship with a 4-2 upset over top seed Pepperdine in the finals of the conference tournament in Santa Clara.

UNIVERSITY OF THE PACIFIC

The West Coast Conference announced today that the University of the Pacific has formally accepted an invitation to join the WCC on July 1, 2013, for the 2013-14 academic year. Pacific was one of five founding members of the WCC (then the California Basketball Association) in 1952-53 and remained in the Conference until 1971.

WCC PRESEASON POLL

The Pepperdine’s women’s tennis team was picked to finish first in the 2012 West Coast Conference preseason poll, as voted on by the conference coaches. The Waves won the WCC Championships last season. Pepperdine tallied 59 points and four first place votes from the coaches around the conference.

The women’s preseason all conference team was distributed among four teams. Pepperdine claimed two on the list in sophomore Ale Granillo and junior Arianna Colffer. Saint Mary’s also had two players on the list in junior Catherine Isip and sophomore Jenny Jullien. The remaining two spots went to San Diego’s Stephanie Hoffpauir and Santa Clara’s Katie Le, both of whom were 2011 All-WCC Second Team honorees.

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