Feb. 16, 2007
MALIBU, Calif. - The ninth-seeded and 10th-ranked Pepperdine men's tennis team handed eighth-seeded and ninth-ranked Notre Dame a 4-2 defeat in the opening round of the USTA/ITA National Men's Team Indoor Championships at the Midtown Tennis Club in Chicago, Ill. Down 2-1, Pepperdine (7-1) received three straight singles victories with freshman Mahmoud Kamel clinching the match.
The win sets up a rematch of last year's Indoor and NCAA final match against top-ranked and No 1-seed Georgia in Saturday's 10 a.m. (PT) quarterfinals. Georgia won the Team Indoor title last year, but Pepperdine avenged the loss in the NCAA final with a 4-2 victory over the Bulldogs.
"That was incredible," said head coach Adam Steinberg shortly after the victory. "To win after being down and almost out, I saw our team play with more heart than I think I've ever seen. It was great to see the freshmen respond and it was a great win for our young team. We're very excited to play Georgia in the quarterfinals."
In doubles, the Wave duo of Richard Johnson and Omar Altmann came up with a big win at the No. 1 spot, upsetting Notre Dame's 11th-ranked tandem of Ryan Keckley and Sheeva Parhbu, 8-4. Andre Begemann and Mahmoud Kamel followed with an 8-5 win over Brett Helgeson and Barry King at No. 2 to give the Waves the doubles point.
The Irish (6-2) quickly took a 2-1 lead, however, after claiming wins at No. 5 and No. 2 singles. Barry King gave Notre Dame its first point after defeating Omar Altmann, 6-3, 6-4, while 30th-ranked Parbhu defeated Richard Johnson, 7-5, 6-1.
The Waves received three straight points for the win as Begemann, Bassam Beidas and Kamel each came from behind for third-set victories. Begemann defeated 14th-ranked Stephen Bass 4-6, 6-3, 6-3, while Beidas put away Keckley 1-6, 6-4, 6-4. Kamel beat Andrew Roth 5-7, 6-3, 7-5 to clinch the match.
Pepperdine prevented Notre Dame from making its first quarterfinal appearance since 2002 when it edged the Waves, 4-3, in the first round.
Saturday's quarterfinal match will be the third time in just two seasons that Pepperdine and Georgia have met. The Bulldogs defeated Pennsylvania, 4-0, in the first round.
Live scoring for the match can be accessed at the official tournament page at www.nationalteamindoors.com.