Fourth-Seeded UCLA Edges Pepperdine In The NCAA Regional Final; Individual Play Gets Underway May 26-31
May 16, 2004
LOS ANGELES - Local rival and fourth-seeded UCLA men's tennis team earned a trip to next week's NCAA Round of 16 in Tulsa, Okla., after posting a 4-0 victory over Pepperdine in a regional final Sunday at the Los Angeles Tennis Center.
Pepperdine ends its season with a respectable 19-9 mark. With the win, UCLA (20-5) will next face Texas A&M (24-8) on Saturday, May 22.
"I am really proud of my players and the season they had," said Adam Steinberg, who completed his second successful year as head coach for the Waves. "Sure, I wanted the outcome to be somewhat different today, but I walked away knowing my guys tried their best. This group of players worked hard for me all season long and I'm grateful for their efforts."
The match was a lot closer than what the final score reflected.
Following an 8-5 Pepperdine win at court No. 1 where Scott Doerner and Alexandre Herrera raced past the Bruins' Francis/Kwinta tandem, UCLA rallied to claim two 8-5 decisions on court Nos. 2 and 3 to clinch the doubles point.
In singles play, UCLA's Philipp Gruendler put the Bruins ahead 2-0 when he knocked off freshman Richard Johnson, 6-3, 6-0 at court No. 6. Right next to Gruendler on court No. 5, Bruin Kris Kwinta followed suit, posting a 6-1, 6-3 win over Pep's Alexis Rafidision to put UCLA up 3-0.
The dual match was clinched at the No. 3 position, where UCLA's Chris Lam defeated senior Alexandre Herrera, 6-4, 7-6(2).
The singles and doubles competition will be conducted May 26-31 in Tulsa, Oklahoma, following the conclusion of the team championship (May 22-25). Each region receives automatic entry for four singles players and two doubles teams. Pedro Rico and Calle Hansen received at-large bids and are listed as second alternates in doubles action.