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No. 10 Men's Tennis Opens Season at No. 5 Illinois and Northwestern

Jan. 18, 2007

Malibu, Calif. - The defending NCAA Champion Pepperdine men's tennis team will open its 2007 season on the road beginning Friday when it faces No. 5 Illinois in a 4 p.m. (PT) match followed by an 11 a.m. (PT) match on Sunday at No. 56 Northwestern.

Ranked No. 10 nationally heading into the season, the Waves return three players from last year's starting lineup, including senior Richard Johnson, junior Andre Begemann and sophomore Omar Altmann. Begemann, who is ranked No. 33 in singles, enjoyed a solid fall season, winning the ITA Regionals (West) in October. En route to the title, he defeated then-No. 1 Benjamin Kohlloeffel of UCLA.

Head coach Adam Steinberg, who begins his fifth season with the Waves, also returns junior Oliver Hyams and sophomore Troy Aiken and welcomes freshmen Bassam Beidas, Mahmoud Kamel and James Lemke to the squad.

Beidas and Lemke were in action last week at the Sherwood Collegiate Cup where the two advanced to the quarterfinals and semifinals, respectively. Lemke defeated No. 18 Mathieu Dehaine of UCLA in the second round.

The Waves have dominated the series against Northwestern, owning a 6-1 advantage over the Wildcats, but the Illini have a slight edge with a 4-3 all-time record over Pepperdine. The Waves last met both opponents in 2005 recording victories against each at home.