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TU Ends Season With 4-1 Result Against Pepperdine

Pre-match huddle prior to NCAA Round of 16 match with Pepperdine.
Pre-match huddle prior to NCAA Round of 16 match with Pepperdine.
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May 19, 2012


ATHENS, Ga. - The No. 20-ranked University of Tulsa men's tennis team dropped a 4-1 decision to No. 7 Pepperdine in the NCAA Round of 16 Friday night at the Dan Magill Tennis Complex.

The Conference USA champions ended the season at 20-9 overall, while winning 14 of its last 16 matches. Pepperdine (26-6) won its school record 23rd-straight match.

"My hats off to Pepperdine. The longer the match went tonight, the stronger they got," Tulsa Head Coach Vince Westbrook said. "They're a group of fighters, and they've gotten a lot out of this team.



"This is the second year in a row that we've been to the Round of 16, and these guys are developing. It would have been nice to get the experience of playing Georgia, but Pepperdine is a traditional powerhouse and they've been here many times. You've really got to close out sets and close out matches in order to beat a team like this."

The Golden Hurricane won the doubles point and had chances during singles play to advance, but the Waves won the four matches necessary to eliminate the blue and gold.

The first doubles match to be decided came from the third court where sophomore Japie De Klerk and freshman Alejandro Espejo lost 8-3 to Hugh Clarke and David Solfaer.

TU squared the competition after the No. 11-ranked pair of senior Ashley Watling and junior Clifford Marsland defeated No. 15 Finn Tearney and Alex Llompart 8-6 on the top court.

The junior duo of Grant Ive and Tristan Jackson gave the Golden Hurricane the opening point of the match after a 9-8 (7-4) triumph over Sebastian Fanselow and Jenson Turner at the second position. Both Tulsa players had chances to serve out the match at 7-6 and 8-7, but Pepperdine was able to force the tiebreak. The Wave tandem jumped on top 4-1 in the breaker, but Ive and Jackson won six straight points to take the doubles point away from Pepperdine.

The Waves lost the doubles point for the first time in their last 20 matches, and Fanselow and Turner saw their 10-match win streak come to a close.

Tulsa had the early momentum in singles play, but midway through competition Pepperdine started to swing the advantage, and the Waves would close out the Golden Hurricane.

No. 109 Mousheg Hovhannisyan got Pepperdine on the board with a 6-3, 6-4 victory over Ive on the fourth court. No. 30 Tearney tripped up No. 97 Marsland on the second court in three sets, 6-2, 2-6, 6-2.

Llompart took down No. 77 Watling 6-4, 6-4 on the third court, and Turner closed the door on the sixth court with a 3-6, 6-3, 6-3 triumph over Espejo.

The other two matches went unfinished.

Watling will stay in Athens to compete in the NCAA Singles Championship, which will begin May 22. He will team with Marsland in the NCAA Doubles Championship, which will begin a day later.


Tennis Match Results
May 18, 2012 at Athens, Ga.
(Dan Magill Tennis Complex)

#7 Pepperdine 4, #20 Tulsa 1

Singles competition 1. #117 Japie De Klerk (TLS) vs. #8 Sebastian Fanselow (PEP) 4-6, 6-6, unfinished 2. #30 Finn Tearney (PEP) def. #97 Clifford Marsland (TLS) 6-2, 2-6, 6-2 3. Alex Llompart (PEP) def. #77 Ashley Watling (TLS) 6-4, 6-4 4. #109 Mousheg Hovhannisyan (PEP) def. Grant Ive (TLS) 6-3, 6-4 5. Tristan Jackson (TLS) vs. Hugh Clarke (PEP) 6-3, 5-7, 0-5, unfinished 6. Jenson Turner (PEP) def. Alejandro Espejo (TLS) 3-6, 6-3, 6-3

Doubles competition 1. #11 Ashley Watling/Clifford Marsland (TLS) def. #15 Finn Tearney/Alex Llompart (PEP) 8-6 2. Grant Ive/Tristan Jackson (TLS) def. Sebastian Fanselow/Jenson Turner (PEP) 9-8 (7-4) 3. Hugh Clarke/David Sofaer (PEP) def. Japie De Klerk/Alejandro Espejo (TLS) 8-3

Match Notes: Tulsa 20-9; National ranking #20 Pepperdine 26-6; National ranking #7 Order of finish: Doubles (3,1,2); Singles (4,2,3,6)