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No. 20 Pepperdine Opens Defense of National Title Against Penn State

May 1, 2007

Malibu, Calif. - The Pepperdine men's tennis team, the defending national champion, will be in familiar surroundings when it begins defense of its 2006 title. The Waves will travel across town to take on Penn State in an opening-round match of the 2007 NCAA Championships, May 11, on the campus of USC.

Joining Pepperdine and Penn State at Marks Tennis Stadium will be host and No. 12 seed USC and UC Santa Barbara. The winners of the first two matches will meet on Saturday, May, 12, with the winner advancing on to Athens, Georgia. Times for first and second round matches will be announced at a later time.

Pepperdine, which defeated Georgia for the national title at Stanford's Taube Tennis Center last May, finished the 2007 regular season with a 22-7 overall record and is ranked No. 20 in the latest Fila/Intercollegiate Tennis Association Rankings.

The Waves enter the post-season winners of eight straight matches, three of which came during the West Coast Conference (WCC) championships as they claimed their 17th consecutive conference crown and 38th overall.

Penn State (16-6, 6-4 Big Ten), which earned an at-large bid, is ranked No. 42 nationally and is making its fourth NCAA Championship appearance, and first under former Pepperdine assistant and first-year head coach Todd Doebler.

In another ironic twist, fifth-year Pepperdine head coach Adam Steinberg played four seasons for the Nittany Lions from 1985-88 and spent two seasons as a student-assistant coach at Penn State.

No. 12 USC (20-2), which is ranked No. 12 nationally and coached by former Pepperdine head coach Peter Smith (1998-2002), is making its 29th NCAA Championships appearance and has won 16 national titles.

UC Santa Barbara enters the NCAA Championships with a 6-18 record and earned an automatic berth after winning its fourth straight Big West Conference Championship.

This season marks the 18th consecutive NCAA Championships and 29th overall for Pepperdine. The Waves have won a first-round match the last 13 years and have advanced to at least the third round in three of the last five years.

First and second-round competition will be held May 11-13, with the winner of each site advancing to the NCAA Division I Men's Tennis Championships at Dan Magill Tennis Complex in Athens, Georgia, hosted by the University of Georgia.

For more information on the 2007 NCAA Men's Tennis Championships, please visit ncaasports.com.