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Men's Tennis Seeks 16th Straight WCC Championship

April 20, 2006

Malibu, Calif. -

This Week: The nationally-ranked Pepperdine men's tennis team travels to Saint Mary's in Moraga, Calif. to play for its 16th consecutive West Coast Conference (WCC) Championship.

No. 1 seed Pepperdine will face eighth-seeded Gonzaga on Friday, April 21 at 9 a.m. in a quarterfinal match. With a win, Pepperdine will face the winner of the No. 4-seed San Francisco-No. 5 seed Saint Mary's match on Saturday, April 22 at 1 p.m.

Pepperdine leads West Coast teams in the rankings as it remains nationally-ranked at No. 2 for the ninth consecutive week, while San Diego checks in at No. 34 after upsetting No. 23 Boise State last week.

The Waves concluded their regular season with a 27-2 record after going 1-1 in their last two matches on the road. No. 3 Texas defeated Pepperdine 4-3 on Longhorn territory, but the Waves rebounded with a 4-3 victory over No. 18 Texas A&M.

The Bracket:

Quarterfinals-Friday, April 21

Match A: No. 1 Pepperdine vs. No. 8 Gonzaga; 9 a.m.

Match B: No. 4 San Francisco vs. No. 5 Saint Mary's; 11 a.m.

Match C: No. 2 San Diego vs. No. 7 Portland; 1 p.m.

Match D: No. 3 Santa Clara vs. No. 6 LMU; 3 pm.

Semifinals-Saturday, April 22

Match G: Winner of Match A vs. Winner of Match B; 1 p.m.

Match H: Winner of Match C vs. Winner of Match D; 3 p.m.

Championship Match-Sunday, April 23

Match L: Winner of Match G vs. Winner of Match H; 3 p.m.

Who to Watch: Leading the Waves is the two-time WCC Player of the Month Scott Doerner, who is the highest ranked singles player in the conference at No. 5. The senior teams up with sophomore Andre Begemann for the No. 3 doubles ranking with the duo holding a 23-4 overall record. Seniors Pedro Rico and Ivor Lovrak are also ranked in singles with a No. 25 spot and No. 90 spot, respectively. The international players also team up for a doubles ranking of No. 35. San Diego looks to break through after placing second in the tournament for five straight years. The Toreros are led by the 2005 NCAA singles tournament runner-up Pierrick Ysern. Ysern teams up with Thomas Liversage for the No. 13 doubles ranking.

About Gonzaga: The Bulldogs have had a tough season going 6-19, but won five of their last eight matches. Senior Reid Arthur competes at the No. 1 position, while Brett Womack plays at No. 2 singles and pairs up with Marco Pineda for the No. 1 doubles team. Head Coach Peter MacDonald, a 1996 graduate of Portland, is in the midst of his first season with Gonzaga.

Waves Versus Gonzaga: The Waves lead the all-time series against the Bulldogs 5-0. Pepperdine has faced Gonzaga in the first round for the last four years and has shut out its competition in every match.

2005 WCC Championships Recap: The Waves once again captured the conference crown in 2005, winning its 15th consecutive title and 36th overall. In the first round, No. 1-seed Pepperdine easily put away eighth-seeded Gonzaga 4-0 and faced fourth-seeded Santa Clara in the semifinals. The Waves shut out the Broncos 4-0 moving them into the final match against San Diego. The No. 2-seed Toreros put up a fight, but Pepperdine prevailed 4-2 to secure the WCC Championship and an automatic bid to the 2005 NCAA Championships.

NCAA Tennis Selection Show: This year's NCAA Tennis Championship Selection Show will air on Wednesday, May 3 on ESPNEWS at (approx.) 5:30 p.m. PT.

Distinguished Doubles: In doubles, the Waves boast one of the strongest line-ups in the West Coast, if not the country. Pepperdine is 63-9 (.875) overall, with 2 of its doubles teams in the Top 35. Senior Scott Doerner and sophomore Andre Begemann remain in the Top 5 with a No. 3 ranking, while seniors Pedro Rico and Ivor Lovrak check in at No. 35. Combined, the two doubles teams are 40-8, going 11-2 against nationally ranked opponents.

Successful Singles: The Waves boast three nationally-ranked players in singles. Leading the Waves is Doerner, who remains in the Top 10 at No. 5, while Rico follows at No. 25. Lovrak checks in at No. 90. Doerner is 20-6 playing at No, 1, while Rico is 20-4 overall. Lovrak dominates at No. 3 with a 20-1 record, including four wins against nationally-ranked opponents. Junior Richard Johnson is 15-11 overall, going 6-1 at No. 3, while newcomers Andre Begemann, who won his last 11 matches, and Omar Altmann are 20-5 and 20-3, 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 20-14 versus nationally ranked opponents and a combined total of 11-3 in doubles. Rico is 7-2 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, Wake Forest's No. 10 Todd Paul and most recently Baylor's No. 5 Lars Poerschke.

It's no surprise that Doerner and Begemann are ranked in the Top 5 after defeating 11 of the nation's 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. The duo defeated Michigan's No. 9 team of Matko Maravic and Brian Hung, topped Baylor's No. 19 duo of Jon Reckewey and Matija Zgaga and most recently recorded wins over Top 50 doubles teams in Washington (No. 19), TCU (No. 33), and Fresno State (No. 49).

Head Coach 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.

Waves At Home: In the midst of the 2006 season, the Waves boast an 19-0 record when playing at the Ralphs-Straus Tennis Center on Pepperdine's campus. Beginning the season in victorious fashion, Pepperdine defeated then-No. 1 Virginia, 4-3, in its season opener. The Waves have also recorded big wins over No. 36 Michigan, No. 33 Wake Forest, No. 7 Baylor and most recently No. 28 Washington and No. 44 Fresno State. Pepperdine has not lost on its home court since 2004, when the Waves were defeated by USC.

Waves On The Road: On the road, Pepperdine is 4-1 on the road. The Waves defeated UCLA 4-3 on February 10, handing the Bruins their first loss of the season, snapping UCLA's 28-match home winning streak, which dates back to March 10, 2004. The Waves traveled to Texas where they defeated No. 32 TCU and No. 28 Cal. Playing on neutral territory in Seattle, Wash. at the ITA National Men's Team Indoor Championships, Pepperdine defeated Florida State in the first round, Mississippi in the quarterfinals and Duke in the semifinals to send the Waves to the final match for the first time since 1986. Pepperdine suffered its first loss of the season when No. 2 Georgia handed the Waves a 4-0 defeat. Most recently, Pepperdine was defeated by No. 3 Texas on the road, but came back with a win over No. 18 Texas A&M on Aggie territory.

Sports Information Hotline: For updated information concerning Pepperdine athletics, including results and a schedule of upcoming events, please contact the Pepperdine Sports Information Hotline at 310-506-7373. The hotline will be updated on a regular basis throughout the course of the 2005-06 school year.

On The Web: For updated information concerning Pepperdine athletics, including results and schedules of upcoming events, on the Internet, please bookmark the following web address: http://www.PepperdineSports.com

For More Information: For more information on the men's tennis program or to arrange interviews with coaches and players, please contact Jennifer Landes at the Pepperdine Sports Information office by calling (310) 506-4160.