May 3, 2006
SAN DIEGO, Calif. - For the fourth consecutive season the University of San Diego men's tennis team has earned a berth into the NCAA tournament. The 64-team tournament was announced on a live television broadcast on ESPNEWS. The Toreros will square off against recently crowned Mountain West Conference Champions Texas Christian University in a first round match on Saturday May 13 in Malibu, Calif. on the home courts of this season's West Coast Conference champions Pepperdine University.
"We are excited to be here," said head coach Tom Hagedorn. "The first step was to get to this stage, we are a deserving team and we are just really excited. This was our goal all season long, and we have a group of guys who have been in this tournament every year, so I am really happy for them."
The 33rd-ranked Horned Frogs enter the Tournament with a 17-9 overall record after defeating San Diego State University in the MWC championship match. This season's tournament berth marks the 16th consecutive trip to the field of 64 for TCU.
"This Texas Christian team is really, really good. They beat us handily in our meeting earlier this season and have some big wins to their credit," said Hagedorn. "But this is a different match. I like our chances against these guys. In the tournament, much like basketball's March Madness, anything can happen. We have seniors playing in what could be their final match, we have freshman that are excited and motivated to play, and you just don't know how they are going to handle the atmosphere. We have some advantage in the fact that we are familiar with Pepperdine's courts, and that it is just a couple hour drive away. I think will be really competitive with TCU."
This year's Torero squad, led by a trio of seniors (Pierrick Ysern, Oscar Plotnik, Mirza Koristovic), was ranked as high as No. 23 in the nation this season and earned solid road wins over USC and Boise State. This marks the third straight year that the Toreros have not lost to a non-NCAA Tournament team; the 6th straight year they have been ranked in the top-50 in the nation; and the 10th straight winning season under the direction of Hagedorn.
USD finished 2nd at the recently played West Coast Conference Championships, and senior Pierrick Ysern (Paris, France) is the 2005 NCAA National Runner-up. On the Thursday the NCAA will announce individuals that have earned bids into the NCAA Singles and Doubles Championships. Ysern, ranked 42nd, should make his third straight trip in singles. He teams up with Thomas Liversage as the No. 24 ranked doubles team in the nation, and this Torero duo should advance into the 32 team draw. Should this be the case, this would mark just the second time that the USD men's program will have advanced a team, individual and doubles team into the tournament in the same year. The first time was in 1990 when the team advanced to the 2nd Round, and Jose Luis Noriega played in the singles, and teamed with J.R. Edwards in doubles.