May 20, 2006
Malibu, Calif. - The No. 2-seed Pepperdine men's tennis team handed Florida a 4-0 defeat in the NCAA Round of 16 on Saturday afternoon at Stanford's Taube Tennis Center to advance to the quarterfinal round. The Waves will face 10th-seeded and defending champion UCLA (20-5) on Sunday, May 21 at 1 p.m. The Bruins defeated Illinois, 4-2, to advance the team into the next round.
In front of a rowdy crowd, the Pepperdine (33-2) netters won the all-important doubles point picking up victories on courts two and three. No. 47 Pedro Rico and Ivor Lovrak put away Chris Brandi and Greg Ouellette 8-2 at No. 2. Richard Johnson and Omar Altmann fought to an 8-6 win over Nestor Briceno and Stefan Tell at court three. The Gator duo of Janne Holmia and Vladimir Obradovic upset the No. 3 Wave duo of Andre Begemann and Scott Doerner 8-3.
"Doubles is key; winning the doubles point here is huge. We rely so much on our first and second teams and after losing at No. 1, our guys came up huge on three," said Pepperdine head coach Adam Steinberg.
Going into singles action, the Waves kept up the energy as they received three straight wins. At No. 2, 31st-ranked Rico easily defeated Ouellette 6-2, 6-2, while No. 92 Lovrak handed Briceno a 6-2, 6-4 defeat at court three to give Pepperdine a 3-0 lead. At No. 6, Altmann clinched the team win with a 6-3, 6-4 victory over Ryan Sherry.
"I thought it was the best our team has played in a long time. We haven't played too much lately and our conference tournament ended weeks ago. When we played last weekend I didn't know how we'd handle the pressure because there was a lot of it on the seniors to get through this one," Steinberg said.
The Waves advance to the quarterfinal round for the second straight year and face the Bruins for the second time this season. On February 10, Pepperdine defeated UCLA 4-3 on the Bruin's home court.