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No. 2 Pepperdine Men's Tennis Hosts No. 7 Baylor on Monday

March 10, 2006

Malibu, Calif. -

This Week: The nationally-ranked Pepperdine men's tennis team faces the Baylor Bears on Monday, March 13 at the Ralphs-Straus Tennis Center for a 1 p.m. match. The Waves enter the match with a 15-1 record, while Baylor stands at 8-3 on the season. The Bears face No. 34 USC on Friday and No. 6 UCLA on Saturday before facing the Waves.

Pepperdine remains nationally-ranked at No. 2, tied with Illinois, while the Bears are ranked at No. 7. Pepperdine is 4-1 against Top 10 teams, posting wins over then-No. 1 Virginia, then-No. 8 UCLA, and No. 5 Mississippi and No. 9 Duke at the ITA National Indoor Championships. The Waves only loss came at the hands of now-No. 1 Georgia, who defeated Pepperdine 4-0 in the final match at the ITA Indoors.

The Waves kicked off March with two wins over No. 36 Michigan and No. 33 Wake Forest.

Livestats for the Pepperdine-Baylor match will be available at www.pepperdinesports.com.

Michigan State Recap: Pepperdine men's tennis handed No. 36 Michigan a 6-1 defeat on Thursday, March 2 at the Ralphs-Straus Tennis Center in Malibu, Calif. Pepperdine picked up the doubles point after wins on courts one and three. No. 4 Scott Doerner and Andre Begemann defeated No. 9 Brian Hung and Matko Maravic 8-3, while Richard Johnson and Kevin Borzenski beat Steve Peretz and Scott Bruckman 8-3.

The Waves kept up the momentum in singles, taking five of the six matches. No. 11 Pedro Rico put away Hung 6-4, 6-1 at position two, while Johnson defeated Andrew Mazlin 7-5, 6-2 at position four. Begemann also recorded a victory at No. 5, defeating Peretz in straight sets, 6-3, 7-6. No. 87 Ivor Lovrak beat Ryan Heller 6-3, 3-6, 7-5, while Altmann handed Scott Bruckmann a 6-2, 4-6, 6-3 defeat.

Michigan's only point of the match came at court one where No. 95 Maravic upset No. 7 Doerner 7-5, 7-6 (8).

Wake Forest Recap: Pepperdine men's tennis handed No. 33 Wake Forest a 6-1 defeat on Wednesday March 8 at the Ralphs-Straus Tennis Center in Malibu, Calif. The Waves moved to 16-1 on the season, while the Demon Deacons dropped to 7-4.

Just when Wake Forest looked like it would win the first point of the match; the Waves fought back and claimed the doubles point. At position one, No. 31 Pedro Rico and Ivor Lovrak fought their way back from a 6-3 deficit to force the match to a tiebreaker and defeated Todd Paul and Andrew Hamar 9-8 (6). All eyes focused on the Wave duo of No. 4 Scott Doerner and Andre Begemann, who were also playing in a tiebreaker at court two. The pair clinched the doubles point after handing Cory Parr and Mariusz Adamski a 9-8 (6) defeat.

In singles, No. 17 Doerner easily put away No. 10 Paul 6-3, 6-0 in position one, while freshman Omar Altmann followed with a 6-2, 6-2 victory over Charles Sartor on court six, putting the Waves up 3-0. Wake Forest claimed a point after a win at position three, but No. 20 Rico clinched the match after defeating No. 75 Andrew Hamar 6-2, 7-5. No. 60 Lovrak and Begemann also picked up wins for the Waves.

About Baylor: Baylor heads into the weekend coming off a 4-3 victory over No. 27 TCU last Tuesday in Fort Worth. The Bears have improved their record lately winning their last six match-ups and are now 8-3 on the season. Baylor visits USC and UCLA before facing the Waves. Leading the Bears is sophomore Lars Poerschke who is currently ranked No. 5 in the nation. Juniors Matija Zgaga and Michal Kokta check in at No. 48 and No. 52, respectively. Vladimir Portnov comes in at No. 97 and freshman Matt Brown makes his first appearance in the rankings at No. 104.In doubles, the Bears boast two ranked teams. Zgaga and Jon Reckewey earned the No. 19 spot, while Kokta and Will Ward take the No. 30 spot. The Bears are coached by Matt Knoll, who is in the midst of his 10th season and has led the Bears to the 2004 NCAA Championship, the 2005 National Team Indoor title and an NCAA runner-up finish in 2005.

Series Versus Baylor: Baylor leads the series 5-2 against the Waves. In 2005, the Bears defeated Pepperdine in the quarterfinals of the NCAA Championships 4-0.

No. 1 Doubles Team in the Nation: In the most recent Fila Collegiate Tennis Rankings, Pepperdine topped the doubles list with the No. 1 duo of senior Scott Doerner and sophomore Andre Begemann. The pair is 14-1 overall and 5-0 against nationally ranked doubles teams. The Wave duo's only loss came at the hands of UCLA's Benjamin Kohlloeffel and Philipp Gruendler. Since then, they have recorded five consecutive wins. The top ranking marks the first time a doubles team has earned the top spot in Adam Steinberg's 13 years as a head coach.

Seniors Ivor Lovrak and Pedro Rico are also ranked at No. 35 and hold a current record of 7-2 at position two and 1-0 playing at the No. 1 position. The pair posted a win over Wake Forest's No. 46 team of Todd Paul and Andrew Hamar. The doubles team of Richard Johnson and Omar Altmann are 5-2 playing at the No. 3 position, including three significant wins against UCLA, Florida State and Mississippi.

Successful Singles: The Waves boast three nationally-ranked players in singles. Leading the Waves is Doerner, who tops the list at No. 17, while Rico follows at No. 20. Lovrak checks in at No. 62. Doerner is 10-3 playing at No, 1, while Rico is 10-1 overall, going 9-1 at position two. Lovrak dominates at No. 3 with a 12-0 record, including three wins against nationally-ranked opponents. Junior Richard Johnson is 10-4 overall, going 5-0 at No. 3, while newcomers Andre Begemann and Omar Altmann are 9-4 and 10-3, respectively.

Waves Against Ranked Opponents: In both singles and doubles, the Waves are putting up impressive numbers when competing against nationally-ranked opponents. In singles, Pepperdine has a combined total of 12-8 versus nationally ranked opponents and a combined total of 6-1 in doubles. Rico is 5-1 posting a win over then-No. 10 Somdev Devvarmann of Virginia, which clinched the match for the Waves. During the ITA National Indoors, the senior also had wins over Mississippi's Eric Claesson (No. 22) and Duke's Jonathan Stokke (No. 20). Lovrak clinched the match for Pepperdine when he defeated UCLA's No. 75 Mathieu Dehaine in the tiebreaker. Doerner posted victories over No. 13 Luke Sheilds of Boise State and most recently Wake Forest's No. 10 Todd Paul.

It's no surprise that Doerner and Begemann are ranked at No. 1 after defeating five of the nations top doubles teams. The pair kicked off the season with a win over then-No. 19 Rylan Rizza and Darrin Cohen of Virginia and during the ITA National Indoors, the team defeated a Top 10 doubles teams in Duke and the No. 40 team of Mississippi. Most recently the pair defeated Michigan's No. 9 team of Matko Maravic and Brian Hung.

Adam Steinberg: The 2005 season marks Adam Steinberg's third as the head of the Pepperdine men's tennis program. Following success in the Big East and the Southeastern Conference (SEC), Steinberg took the reigns of the West Coast Conference's (WCC) top men's tennis institution in June 2002.

Steinberg has coached the Waves to three consecutive WCC Championships and a 60-23 record in his first three years in Malibu. In addition to local dominance, the Waves have garnered national attention under Steinberg. In 2002 Steinberg produced two All-Americans in Diego Acuna and Calle Hansen, and in 2003 sophomore Pedro Rico tabbed the honor. In 2005, Rico and Scott Doerner earned the honors.

The native New Yorker and Penn State graduate has taken the Waves to three straight NCAA Championship appearances, including a trip to the quarterfinals in 2005.

"Pepperdine is highly regarded in the world of men's collegiate tennis. The University is well-respected for its unique combination of outstanding academics and its established tennis tradition," says Steinberg. Steinberg has held that tradition true over his first three years and continues to prove himself as one of the top coaches in the country.