Men's Tennis preview: Pepperdine
AUSTIN, Texas -- No. 3 Texas (16-2) returns to the Penick-Allison Tennis Center on Friday, April 14 as the Longhorns play host to the second-ranked Pepperdine Waves (26-1). First serve is set for 6 p.m. CDT in Austin. Live scoring will be available at TexasSports.com.
Texas looks to rebound after suffering its first loss in two months Wednesday night, as No. 34 Rice hung a 5-2 loss on the Longhorns. UT had a chance to secure the victory late in the match, but the Owls won decisive third sets at the first and sixth positions to snap Texas' 14-match win streak.
Like Texas, Pepperdine has successfully navigated through a difficult regular-season schedule loaded with top-25 opponents. The Waves suffered their only loss of the season on Feb. 26 when they fell to top-ranked Georgia in the finals of the ITA National Team Indoor Championships in Seattle. Pepperdine has defeated nine top-25 opponents, including No. 4 Baylor, No. 6 Duke, No. 7 UCLA and No. 11 Virginia.
As is the case with the Longhorns, Pepperdine features three student-athletes in the Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) singles rankings. Senior Scott Doerner ranks sixth in the country, while senior Pedro Rico ranks No. 25 in the nation. Senior Ivor Lovrak, a Baylor transfer, holds the No. 54 singles ranking. The Waves also boast college tennis' top-ranked doubles tandem of Doerner and Andre Begemann. Rico and Lovrak hold a No. 52 doubles ranking.
UT sophomore Travis Helgeson (Overland Park, Kan.), ranked seventh in the nation, has won eight of his last 10 singles matches. Senior Roger Gubser (Laredo, Texas) ranks 36th in the nation and has captured 11 of his last 12 singles contests. Senior Callum Beale (Adelaide, Australia), ranked 39th in the country, has been victorious in six of his last eight matches. Sophomore Milan Mihailovic (Nis, Serbia) is poised to enter the ITA singles rankings after winning his last 12 matches.
Texas holds an 8-7 lead in its series with Pepperdine. The Longhorns and Waves last met in 2002, when Pepperdine scored a 4-3 victory in Austin.