May 10, 2006
Malibu, Calif. - This Week: The nationally-ranked Pepperdine men's tennis team kicks off the 2006 NCAA Championships as it plays regional host to Montana State, San Diego, and TCU at the Ralphs-Straus Tennis Center in Malibu, Calif.
No. 2 seed Pepperdine will face Montana State in the first round on Saturday, May 13 in a 9 a.m. match, while San Diego takes on TCU at noon that day. The second-round match is scheduled for Sunday, May 14 at 1 p.m.
The Waves, ranked second in the nation for 12 weeks, concluded the season with a 30-2 record and won their 16th consecutive West Coast Conference (WCC) Championship. The Bobcats of Montana State enter the match with a 15-11 record.
San Diego, which faced the Waves in the WCC final, owns a 15-6 record and is ranked 36th in the nation, while No. 32 TCU holds a 17-9 record.
Live Stats are available for all matches at www.pepperdinesports.com.
About Montana State: The Bobcats enter the match with a 15-11 record and are coming off of their third straight Big Sky conference title. MSU is led by its four seniors: Federico Ueltschi, Marek Gebicki, Tejeshwara Chigateri and Jake Berriochoa, who are all competing in their third straight NCAA championship. In the opening round of the 2005 tournament, Texas A&M downed the Bobcats 4-0. In his fifth season with MSU, head coach Mike Phillips was recently named the conference's Coach of the Year for the second season in a row.
Waves Versus Montana State: Saturday's match will mark the first meeting between the two programs.
About San Diego: After losing to the Waves, 4-1, in the final match of the WCC Championships, the Toreros hold a 15-6 record and are ranked 36th in the nation. San Diego is led by three seniors, including Pierrick Ysern, Oscar Plotnik and Mirza Koristovic. Ysern is currently ranked 42nd and is the 2005 NCAA Singles runner-up. Ysern teams up with Thomas Liversage for a 20th national ranking in doubles. San Diego looks to improve on last year's first-round loss to Stanford. Head Coach Tom Hagedorn is in the midst of his 10th season with the Toreros.
Waves Versus San Diego: The Waves lead the all-time series 22-3 against San Diego. The two West Coast Conference foes met in the final of the conference championship with Pepperdine taking the title for the 16th straight year.
About TCU: The 32nd-ranked Horned Frogs are 17-9 after facing 19 ranked opponents during the regular season. TCU earned an automatic bid after defeating San Diego State to capture the Mountain West Conference title. Leading the Frogs is Andrei Mlendea who is ranked 34th, while Rafael Abreu checks in at 91st. Abreu pairs with Jordan Freitas for the 27th-ranked doubles team. Last year, TCU was ousted in the first round of the NCAA's by Wake Forest.
Waves Versus TCU: The Waves lead the all-time series 14-2 against the Frogs. On March 25, Pepperdine defeated TCU 4-0 in Fort Worth, Texas.
Waves in Individual Championships: Seniors Scott Doerner and Pedro Rico will represent the Waves for the second straight year at the NCAA Singles Championships. Doerner and sophomore Andre Begemann, who team up for the No. 3 doubles team in the rankings, will play in their first NCAA Doubles tournament and look to capture the doubles title for the first time since Pepperdine won in 1985.
Waves & the NCAA's: Since 1978, Pepperdine has advanced to the NCAA Championships on 28 occasions with its best finish as runner-up in 1982 and 1986. Last year, the Waves defeated UC Irvine and Stanford in the first and second rounds advancing to the round of 16 in College Station, Texas. Pepperdine defeated Duke to advance to the quarterfinals, but Baylor put an end to the Waves' run.
Distinguished Doubles: In doubles, the Waves boast one of the strongest line-ups on the west coast, if not the country. Pepperdine is 67-16 (.807) overall, with two of its doubles teams in the Top 50. 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. 47. Combined, the two doubles teams are 40-8, going 11-2 against nationally ranked opponents. Playing at No. 3, Richard Johnson and Omar Altmann have also made a mark going 14-6 during the regular season.
Successful Singles: The Waves have three nationally-ranked players in singles. Leading the Waves is Doerner, who remains in the Top 10 at No. 8, while Rico follows at No. 31 and Lovrak checks in at No. 92. Doerner is 21-6 playing at No, 1, while Rico is 23-4 overall. Lovrak dominates his senior year playing at the No. 3 and No. 4 positions with a 20-1 overall record, including four wins against nationally-ranked opponents. Playing at position 3-5 junior Richard Johnson is 15-11 overall, going 6-1 at No. 3, while newcomers Andre Begemann and Omar Altmann have made their mark, going 20-5 and 20-3, respectively.
Waves Versus Ranked Opponents: In both singles and doubles, the Waves have put 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: Most recently named the 2006 West Coast Conference Coach of the Year, the 2005-06 season marks Adam Steinberg's fourth 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 four consecutive WCC Championships and a 90-25 current record 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. 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. Pepperdine suffered its first loss of the season when No. 2 Georgia handed the Waves a 4-0 defeat in the final match of the Natonal Team Indoor Championships on neutral ground. 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. The Waves closed out the regular season by winning the WCC Championships for the 16th straight time in Moraga, Calif.
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.