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Tanaka-Tamaki's win leads Pepperdine past Hawaii
March 12, 2014 - Robert Collias
When I saw Kento Tanaka-Tamaki, a 2011 St. Anthony High School graduate and the best boys tennis player Maui has produced in a longtime, at the Royal Lahaina Challenger six weeks ago, I wondered why he wasn't at Pepperdine University in Malibu, Calif.
Tanaka-Tamaki was injured practicing when he was home for winter break and needed surgery for a torn meniscus in his knee — on his own dime, btw, because it didn't happen during official practice on Pepperdine facilities (one of a long list of NCAA rules that need to be changed).
In Tanaka-Tamaki's first action since the surgery, a three-set win at No. 5 singles, clinched the team match in a 4-3 win over Hawaii on Tuesday.
Here is how the story on the school's athletic website starts:
MALIBU, Calif. - The #42 Pepperdine men's tennis team picked up two victories today on the courts of the Ralphs-Straus Tennis Center, starting with a 6-1 decision over Furman. Junior Kento Tanaka-Tamaki played the hero in the follow-up match vs. Hawaii, winning 6-4 in the third to clinch the 4-3 victory.
Pepperdine opened the morning against Furman, coached by Pepperdine alum and two-time NCAA Doubles Champion Kelly Jones.
Anyone who watched Tanaka-Tamaki dominate the MIL as a Trojan knows just how good he can be. He is a junior and I think this is the beginning of big things for him as a Wave.
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