STOCKTON, Calif. – The University of the Pacific men's tennis team edged into the West Coast Conference Championships as the No. 6 seed with the upset by Santa Clara over Pepperdine on Saturday, April 21. First serve is set for 10:00 a.m. on Thursday, April 26 in Claremont, California.
The Tigers finished the regular season 6-17 overall and 3-6 in conference action and will make their fourth WCC Championship appearance in the last five years.
The Orange and Black made the semifinals in the first two years after rejoining the WCC and at the helm of head coach Ryan Redondo. In the 2015-16 season, Pacific made the quarterfinals and are 3-3 overall in postseason play.
No. 6 Pacific will open the first round of the championships against No. 3 Loyola Marymount University, who finished 17-5 overall and 7-2 in conference play.
Bernardo Oliveira leads the singles competition for the Tigers with a 9-6 record overall and went 4-3 through conference play. Johnathan Lieu is right behind with an 8-11 record overall and 2-5 in conference.
"I am very excited for the team to get an opportunity at the conference championships," said head coach Redondo. "Five of our nine WCC matches went to a 4-3 or 3-4 decision and the other matches but one was very close. I like our chances at this but first and foremost we have all our focus on Thursday, as we play in my opinion the most talented team in the conference, LMU. We will need to compete our very best. And I mean or very best, which we are primed for. This group of young men have had a lot of adversity this year and have shown a tremendous amount of Grit to be in this position. It's go time now and nothing like a new post season to go after. As a program, we always state we want to peak at the end of the season, so I believe we are ready."
Gabriel Diaz Freire and Lucas Moreno lead the Lions in singles play. Freire owns a 15-7 record overall and is 2-2 in conference play. Moreno is right behind with a 15-8 record overall and 4-1 in conference.
In doubles, Diego Nava and Errol Smith lead with an 11-4 record and are 4-3 through WCC play. Nick Borchenko and Freire are right behind with an 11-6 record overall.
The winner of the first round will advance to the semifinals and take on No. 2 Brigham Young University on Friday, April 27 with first serve set for 10:00 a.m.