Pepperdine women’s tennis closes successful season

Pepperdine tennis player Lisa Zaar advanced to the quarterfinals of the NCAA Singles Championships. Photo by Charlie Blake.

The Pepperdine women’s tennis team’s season ended last month with three deep runs in NCAA postseason events. 

The Waves advanced to the quarterfinals of the NCAA Tournament, where they fell to top-ranked North Carolina on May 20. The next week, Pepperdine junior Lisa Zaar advanced to the quarterfinals of the NCAA Singles Championships and freshman Savannah Broadus and sophomore Janice Tjen advanced to the semifinals of the NCAA Doubles Championships. 

Along the way, four Waves players gained All-American statues. 

Pepperdine’s match against North Carolina was the rematch of a tournament semifinal contest from a year ago, which the Waves won to advance to the national title match. However, this time, North Carolina squeaked past Pepperdine with a 4-3 win at the Atkins Tennis Center in Champaign, Ill. 

North Carolina won the doubles matchup to start their contest against the Waves. In singles play, Tjen nabbed a 6-1, 6-3 triumph and Zaar won her match 6-1, 6-2 to give Pepperdine a 2-1 lead. However, North Carolina took the lead with consecutive victories. Broadus then won her matchup 3-6, 6-2, 6-3. North Carolina then won the last match to secure the victory.

This season was the fifth time in six tournaments, and the third tournament in a row, that Pepperdine advanced to the national quarterfinals. 

Broadus and Tjen competed in the doubles tournament. Zaar and Shiori Fukuda competed in the singles tournament. 

Zaar began her run in the individual tournament with a 6-3. 6-3 win over UCLA’s Abigail Forbes on May 23. She defeated South Carolina’s Sarah Hamner 6-3, 4-6, 6-3 in the second round. That victory made Zaar the 23rd Wave ever to reach All-American status. 

Zaar advanced to the next round with a 7-5, 6-2 win over Haley Giavara from California. The Wave was defeated by North Carolina’s Fiona Crawley 6-3, 6-1 in the quarterfinals on May 26, 

Broadus and Tjen’s stellar play in the doubles tournament began with a 6-2, 6-3 victory over Anna Arkadianou and Petra Hule of Florida State on May 24. The Pepperdine two then downed Virginia’s Emma Navarro and Hibah Shaikh 6-1, 6-2 to gain All-American status and a spot in the quarterfinals. Broadus and Tjen beat Kylie Bilchev and Ava Hraster of Georgia Tech 6-1, 6-1 to reach the semifinals. The Waves duo was defeated 7-5, 6-4 by the top-ranked doubles team in the country, Jaeda Daniel and Nell Miller from North Carolina State.

Fukuda, who earned All-American status since she was a top-16 seed, was defeated in the singles tournament’s first round. 

Zaar made the furthest appearance of any Pepperdine player in the singles championship since 2018, while Broadus and Tjen’s streak of wins in the doubles tournament was the most of a Pepperdine pair since 2000.