May 22, 2006
Stanford, Calif. - For the first time since 1986, the No. 2 Pepperdine men's tennis team advanced to the NCAA semifinals after handing defending champion UCLA a 4-1 defeat in the quarterfinal match at the San Francisco Tennis Center Saturday night in San Francisco, Calif. The Waves will face No. 3-seed Texas on Monday, May 22 at 2 p.m. at Stanford's Taube Tennis Center.
The two victories over UCLA mark the first time since 1983 that Pepperdine defeated the Bruins more than once in a season.
Due to rain, all quarterfinal matches were moved indoors to the San Francisco Tennis Center. In doubles, the Waves quickly took control as all three doubles teams took the lead. At court two, No. 47 Ivor Lovrak and Pedro Rico dominated Haythem Abid and Chris Surapol winning 8-4. At No. 3 Omar Altmann and Richard Johnson handed Mathieu Dehaine and Jeremy Drean an 8-3 defeat to give Pepperdine the doubles point and a 1-0 lead. With a 6-6 score at No. 1, the second-ranked duo of Benjamin Kohlloeffel and Philipp Gruendler battled the third-ranked Wave duo of Andre Begemann and Scott Doerner.
In singles, No. 1 Kohlloeffel evened the score when he defeated No. 8 Doerner 6-2, 6-2 at court one, but No. 92 Lovrak gave Pepperdine a 2-1 lead after he beat No. 100 Dehaine 6-3, 6-3 at court three. At No. 4 Begemann moved the Waves to 3-1 after handing Gruendler a 6-3, 7-5 defeat. After losing the first set 6-4, No. 31 Rico fought back to win sets two and three 7-6, 6-3 as he clinched the match for Pepperdine.
"It was one of the greatest matches of the year. Doubles was one of the best we've played and that continued over into singles," said assistant coach Per Nilsson. "We had a lot of heart in today's match."
In 1986, Pepperdine defeated SMU in the semifinals, but lost to Stanford 5-2 in the final match.
The Waves face Texas for the second time this season as the Longhorns won 5-2 on Texas' home court. Leading the Longhorns is Travis Helgeson, who is ranked at No. 8, while Roger Gubser checks in at No. 35. Callum Beale rounds out the Top 50 at No. 47 and teams up with Miguel Reyes Varela for the 29th-ranked doubles team.