Waves Host San Diego and UCLA This Week
UPCOMING Â The No. 20 Pepperdine men’s tennis team (5-2) hosts San Diego and UCLA, this week.
MATCH #8 Â PEPPERDINE VS. SAN DIEGO (Feb. 4, @ 12:30 p.m.) at the Ralphs-Straus Tennis Center, Malibu, Calif. Â No. 50 San Diego (1-2) is coming off a 4-0 loss to No. 6 USC (Jan. 31), at the ITA National Team Indoor Qualifying tournament.
MATCH #9 Â PEPPERDINE VS. UCLA (Feb. 7, @ 1:30 p.m.) at the Ralphs-Straus Tennis Center, Malibu, Calif. Â No. 4 UCLA (4-0) defeated Fresno State (Jan. 31) 4-1, to earn one of the 16 qualifying spots at the ITA National Team Indoor Championships.
UCLA has two ITA nationally ranked singles players. Matt Brooklyn is ranked No. 67 and Nick Meister holds the No. 78 ranking.
DENVER RECAPÂ The No. 20 Pepperdine men’s tennis team advanced to the championship match of the ITA National Team Indoor qualifying tournament, Saturday afternoon, after defeating No. 45 Denver, 6-1.
Pepperdine won the doubles-point with Hugh Clarke (Brisbane, Australia/Brisbane Boys College) and Alex Llompart (Trujillo Alto, Puerto Rico/San Juan School) finishing first on court 3 with a win over Johann Gunnerson and Yannick Weihs (Denver), 8-2. Finishing second to secure the doubles-point, were Omar Altman (Cairo, Egypt) and Bassam Beidas (Cairo, Egypt) over Martin Zimmerman and David Simson, 8-2.
The Waves won five of the six singles matches to secure the team win. Pepperdine plays in the championship match Sunday, Feb. 1, at 1 p.m., at the Ralphs Straus Tennis Center. The other team will be determined this afternoon after the 1 p.m. match.
ALABAMA RECAP Â The No. 20 Pepperdine men’s tennis team qualified for the ITA National Team Indoor Championship after defeating Alabama 4-3, on Sunday, at the Ralphs-Straus Tennis Center.
"I think it was fitting that it came down to Moreno’s match, the only guy on the team who has been in a clinching situation (Notre Dame) this early in the year," said assistant coach Nick Carless. "He showed great composure when things didn’t go his way on his first few match points."
The Waves won the doubles-point with wins on courts 1 and 3. Omar Altmann and Bassam Beidas (Pep) finished first on court 1 with a victory over Mathieu Thibaudeau and Dan Buikema (Ala) 8-3. Saketh Myneni and Billy Mertz (Ala) defeated Stuart Keplar and Alex Moreno (Pep), 8-5, on court 2. Court 3 would determine the winner of the double-point.
Hugh Clarke and Alex Llompart (Pep) took it to tie-breaker to defeat Michael Thompson and Ricky Doverspike, 9-8 (1).
In singles, Llompart finished first on court 3, with a victory over Mertz, 6-2, 6-2. Beidas followed with a win for the Waves on court 2 over Thiebaudeau, 6-2, 6-2. Pepperdine was up 3-0.
Alabama responded with a win on court 1 when Myneni defeated Altmann, 6-3, 6-4. Thompson gave Alabama another win on court 4 with a victory over Mahmoud Kamel, 7-5, 6-4. All eyes turned to court 6 where Michael Jung and Clarke were in their third set. Jung prevailed with another win for Alabama, 6-4, 3-6, 6-3. The score was tied 3-3.
The deciding match was taking place on court 5 where Moreno and Buikema had split sets and were well into their third set at 4-3. Moreno broke Buikema’s serve in the seventh game and was up 5-3. It was Moreno’s serve and the game went back-and-forth deuce and ad six times, with Buikema fighting off three match points before Moreno clinched the match, 6-4, 2-6, 6-3.
PEPPERDINE IN THE POLLS Â The Waves are No. 20 in the latest ITA national rankings.
ITA INDIVIDUAL RANKINGS Â Omar Altmann (Cairo, Egypt) is ranked No. 52 in singles while teammates Mahmoud Kamel (Paris, France) and Bassam Beidas (Cairo, Egypt) are ranked 58 and 123 respectively.
ALTMANN/BEIDAS Â The doubles team of Omar Altmann and Bassam Beidas hold the No. 45 ranking in doubles.
2008 ALL AMERICANS Â Andre Begemann (Blomberg, Germany) and Bassam Beidas were named as 2008 All-Americans after finishing in the top 16 at the NCAA Nationals. Begemann made it to the semi-finals, while Beidas reached the quarterfinals.
COACH STEINBERG Â Coach Adam Steinberg is in his seventh year as head coach. His 2006 Waves won the national championship. His team has won six WCC championships and has made six NCAA Tournament appearances. In 2006 he was named National Coach of the Year and has been named WCC Coach of the Year three times.
Coach Steinberg has had 10 players named All-American and have been All-WCC first team selections 16 times in singles and 10 times in doubles. A Pepperdine athlete has been named WCC Player of the Year in each of his seven seasons.
COACH CARLESS Â Coach Nick Carless begins his second season as assistant coach. Coach Carless began his
career at Pepperdine as a volunteer assistant coach for the 2006 national championship team. He spent one year at Northwestern University as an assistant coach in 2006-07, before returning to Malibu.
PEPPERDINE HISTORY Â Pepperdine men’s tennis was first established in 1940. The team’s all-time WCC record is 985-331. The Waves have won a total of 38 WCC Tournament titles and are on an 17 title streak. Pepperdine has made 33 NCAA appearances with the last being in 2008. The Waves have made a showing in the last 19 NCAA tournaments.
WAVES IN THE PRO’S Â Pepperdine has produced remarkably talented players who moved on to professional careers as players and coaches.
Three-time All-American Andre Begemann is the most recent to turn professional after graduating from Pepperdine in August, 2008. He is currently ranked No. 426 in the world and continues to move-up.
Brad Gilbert and Glenn Michibata are two of the most well-known players who came about in the 1980’s. A 1982 All-American, Gilbert has been ranked as high as No. 4 in the world in 1990. As a coach, Gilbert is known as one of the best guiding both Andre Agassi and Any Roddick to Grand Slam titles. A three-time All-American, Michibata spent 10 years as a professional and climbed as high as No. 48 in 1986. He is currently in his ninth year as head coach at Princeton.
Robbie Weiss holds the distinction of being Pepperdine’s lone NCAA singles champion in 1988, turned pro and was a top 100 player. In 2008, Weiss was inducted into the ITA Hall of Fame as well as the Pepperdine Hall of Fame. Kelly Jones was a part of both of Pepperdine’s NCAA doubles titles and as a professional, Jones achieved the No. 1 doubles ranking with Rick Leach in 1992. He was a finalist in three Grand Slam doubles events, including Wimbledon, the U.S. Open and the Australian Open.
Simon Aspelin (1994-97) of Sweden was a four-time All-American and has won 10 career titles and was part of the 2007 U.S. Open winning doubles team. Aspelin and Swiss teammate Thomas Johansson took home the silver medal at the 2008 Bejing Olympics after being defeated by Roger Federer and Stanislas Wawrinka of Switzerland in the finals.