Pepperdine Men's Tennis 7th in Nation
March 29, 2005
Malibu, Calif. - With Friday's 5-2 upset of No. 2 Illinois under its belt, the Pepperdine men's tennis team climbed six positions in Tuesday's Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) poll. The 14-2 Waves now occupy the No. 7 spot, the highest ranking in head coach Adam Steinberg's three years at Pepperdine.
Riding an eight-match winning streak Pepperdine has not tasted defeat since losing a tight 4-3 decision to No. 1 Baylor in Texas in late February. Steinberg feels the ranking is a credit to the hard work his players have put in over their careers. He also adds that many of his players are playing the best tennis of their lives right now.
Supporting that claim is No. 51 Scott Doerner, who bested No. 14 Jerry Makowski of Texas A&M (6-2, 7-5), as the Waves beat the 15th-ranked Aggies on Saturday. Doerner's 2005 dual match record now stands at 13-2.
Junior All-American Pedro Rico is also proving why he is the ITA's 16th-ranked player. On a five-match winning streak, Rico held off Illinois' No. 24 Kevin Anderson (0-6, 7-6, 7-6) for the Waves' fifth point of the match.
Also peaking are Alexis Rafidison who clinched the match versus the Illini, Jonas Berg who has lost just once in his last nine matches, Ivor Lovrak who posted five straight wins in March and Richard Johnson who has 11 singles victories to his credit this year.
Another constant on the Waves' scoresheet this year has been doubles success. Pepperdine is a perfect 16 for 16 in winning dual match doubles points. Doerner/Rico occupy the No. 14 doubles ranking in the ITA poll, while Berg/Lovrak come in at No. 40. Playing the three position are Johnson and Kevin Borzenski, who Steinberg says have been huge in the Waves' success in big matches. Borzenski/Johnson are 11-4 this year with victories over Baylor, TCU and Illinois.
Up next for the Waves, as they look to extend their winning streak to nine, are weekend matches with Brown and Harvard. No. 51 Brown will take on the Waves at the Ralphs-Straus Tennis Center at 1:00 p.m. Friday before No. 23 Harvard challenges the Waves at 1:30 p.m. Saturday. Pepperdine is currently 9-0 at home.