May 4, 2006
SAN BRUNO, Calif. - Pepperdine University and the University of San Diego earned bids to the 2006 NCAA Men's Tennis Championship. The Waves, the WCC's automatic qualifier, were selected to host a four-team regional at the Ralphs-Straus Tennis Center in Malibu, Calif.
The second-seed Waves (30-2) face Montana State (15-11) on Saturday at 9 a.m., while San Diego (15-6), which earned an at-large bid, takes on TCU (17-9) at noon later that day. The second-round match is scheduled for Sunday, May 14 at 1 p.m.
The Waves, ranked No. 2 in the nation, head into the postseason with a 30-2 mark--the best regular-season record in Head Coach Adam Steinberg's career. Pepperdine defeated San Diego two week's ago in the WCC Championship match to advance to the NCAA Tournament for the 33rd consecutive season.
For the fourth consecutive season, USD has earned a berth into the NCAA tournament. The Toreros will square off against recently crowned Mountain West Conference Champions TCU.
"We are excited to be here," said USD 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."
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.
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.
Teams that advance will go to the round of 16 hosted by Stanford University. The women's round of 16 kicks off on Thursday, May 18, while the men begin play on Saturday, May 20. This is the first National Tennis Championship in NCAA history that both the men's and women's teams will compete simultaneously at the same site.
Tickets for the first and second rounds sell for $5 for adults and $3 for students and children and are available by calling 866-WAVE TIX (928-3849).