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Pepperdine Athletics: Waves golfer looks to make a mark in summer competitions

Pepperdine Athletics: Waves golfer looks to make a mark in summer competitions
8:53 am PDT August 8, 2017

Golfer Tatiana Wijaya will have a very busy month prior to starting her senior year at Pepperdine this fall. 

The Indonesian native will not only represent her native country in the 2017 Southeast Asian Games in Malaysia, but also will compete in the U.S. Women’s Amateur Championship in San Diego. 

The U.S. Amateur was held at San Diego Country Club in Chula Vista Monday, Aug. 7, through Sunday, Aug. 13. 

Stroke play was to be held in the first two days, followed by match play featuring the Top 64 players, which was to begin Wednesday, Aug. 9. 

The two-time All-West Coast Conference first team selection has qualified in previous years for the U.S. Women’s Amateurs. Wijaya qualified in both 2012 and 2013 and reached the round of 32 in 2013. 

Wijaya earned her spot this year after shooting a 73 to finish and tied for seventh place at a July 10 qualifier at Brentwood Country Club. 

“The playoff went back and forth and we all had chances before I made a birdie to end it,” Wijaya said. “It feels great to be back in the field again.”

Wijaya will then travel with the Southeast Asian Games to compete in the Aug. 22-26 event. The competition is held every two years and this is Wijaya’s fourth appearance at the event.

Wijaya helped the Waves finished in 23rd place at the 2017 NCAA Championships in May. She said she hopes that a good performance at both August events will help her start her season off right.


USC transfer to join team in 2017

After two seasons with the University of Southern California, Jessica Failla will transfer to Pepperdine to play for the women’s tennis team. 

Pepperdine coach Per Nilsson and assistant coach Lauren Embree announced Failla’s transfer Aug. 1. 

Failla was named to the All-Pac 12 second team during her sophomore season at USC. She amassed a 44-20 overall singles record and 24-10 in dual singles. She also recorded 34-15 overall in doubles play with a 20-11 dual doubles record, according to the same release. 

In 2017, Failla ranked as high as No. 33 in the Intercollegiate Tennis Association, ITA. She also reached the second round of the NCAA Singles Championship in 2017. 

Failla is also strong in academia and earned Pac-12 All-Academic honorable mention status and an award for USC Academic GPA in 2017. 


WLC holds gender violence training program for student-athletes

Pepperdine held a four-hour training event to bring attention to gender violence and how to prevent it. 

Pepperdine’s Title IX Coordinator, La Shonda Coleman, partnered with the Athletics Department and WLC to bring important information to all Pepperdine athletes, according to a release. 

“I believe that a leadership training on gender-based violence prevention is critically important for Pepperdine student-athletes because they stand at the forefront of shaping cultural attitudes and norms on and around campus,” Coleman said.

She added that several students visited the Title IX office for information on how to become more involved with the campus-wide prevention.

Coleman worked with Dr. Jackson Katz, the founder and executive director of Mentors in Violence Prevention Strategies, to develop the training program. The course began by grounding students in a shared understanding of leadership and then a shared understanding of the scope of the problem through internal reflection and case studies. Students worked in small groups to understand the course curriculum and later presented insights to their peers.

“We did not want this to be just another lecture,” Coleman said. “Instead we wanted it to be enlightening, empowering and a laboratory for social justice and inclusion.”

Seven join in student-athlete leadership summit 

The Waves were selected to host the West Coast Conference Student-Athlete Leadership Summit. 

Student-athletes across 10 conference institutions came together June 28-30 to participate in leadership-building activities, according to a release.

Athletes representing Pepperdine included Kevin Maeda (men’s cross country), Skylar Caputo (beach volleyball), Nolan Taylor (men’s basketball), Megan House (women’s basketball) and recent graduate James Gehrels (men’s volleyball). 

Pepperdine student-athletes JT Thoms and Timothy Alexander from the Growing Leaders organization presented on the first two days of the event.

“It was an enlightening experience,” Maeda said. “It’s an experience we would not get from any other organization. They truly unraveled the mysteries behind leadership and the fundamentals that make a great leader impacting.”

Information from Pepperdine University and Compiled by Assistant Editor Brittany Kapa,