Pepperdine men, Stanford women win tennis titles

Updated: May 24, 2006, 1:31 AM ET
Associated Press

STANFORD, Calif. -- Freshman Andre Begemann hit a winner, then sank to his knees in front of the net as his Pepperdine teammates mobbed him.

Begemann's victory at the fourth position in singles clinched the Waves' 4-2 upset victory over previously undefeated Georgia on Tuesday night for their first NCAA men's tennis title.

Pepperdine (36-2) won the title in men's tennis after reaching the finals for the first time since 1986.

Stanford won its third straight NCAA women's tennis title with a 4-1 victory over Miami.

Begemann lost the first set 6-2 and rallied from a 2-4 deficit to win the second set in a tiebreaker. Begemann and Georgia's Matic Omerzel each held serve until Begemann broke to go up 5-4 in the third.

Georgia (30-1) was making its 11th trip to the finals. The Bulldogs, who had their longest winning streak since 1971 snapped, have won four titles.

The Waves avenged their only two losses during the regular season in the final two matches of the tournament. Pepperdine beat Texas in the semifinals after losing to the Longhorns last month. Georgia beat the Waves 4-0 on Feb. 20 and had been ranked first in the country ever since.

Pepperdine won a competitive doubles point when Andre Begemann and Scott Doerner needed a late break to beat John Isner and Antonio Ruiz, 9-7.

Pepperdine's Omar Altmann, at No. 6 singles, was the first to finish, winning in straight sets to give the Waves a 2-0 edge and Waves senior Ivor Lovrak followed with a clutch 1-6, 6-1, 6-4 victory at No. 3 singles, ending Antonio Ruiz's 16-match winning streak. Lovrak lost once at the No. 3 position all year.

Georgia got its first point when junior John Isner got a 7-6, 6-4 victory over Scott Doerner at No. 1 singles. Isner, the second seed in the individual tournament, extending his winning streak to 28 matches and upped his overall record to 44-2.

Bulldogs senior Colin Purcell made it 3-2 when he won a tiebreaker in the second set for a 7-5, 7-6 win at No. 5. Purcell ran his winning streak to 20 matches.

Georgia senior Strahinja Bobusic sustained a wrist injury in a first-round win over Notre Dame and was unable to compete the rest of the tournament.

Theresa Logar clinched Stanford's win with a 6-0, 6-3 victory over Monika Dancevic at No. 3 singles. Logar had to wait until the umpire called a close shot in and then she began jumping up and down as her teammates swarmed over her and knocked her to the court.

"This is something everybody dreams about," Logar said. "It didn't hit me at first that we won, then I turned around and saw a massive group of people charging me and that's when it hit me, physically too."

Celia Durkin, a transfer from Harvard, won at No. 5 singles to put Stanford (30-0) ahead 2-0. Jessica Nguyen followed quickly with a win at No. 6.

Miami's Audra Cohen, the top seed in the singles tournament, helped the Hurricanes (24-7) avoid the shutout with a 6-3, 6-3 victory over two-time NCAA champion Amber Liu at No. 1.

"Stanford is a veteran team in this situation," Miami coach Paige Yaroshuk-Tews said. "It's tough to come in here and dictate momentum. We had our chances in doubles but I think the moment got to us a little bit."

Top-ranked Stanford won its 86th straight match to extend its NCAA record, and won for the 107th consecutive time at home.

The Cardinal have won five national titles in Lele Forood's six years as coach. Stanford has won 15 of the 25 NCAA team titles contested. Florida is next on the list with four.

Stanford took the doubles point when the nation's top-ranked duo of Alice Barnes and Anne Yelsey rallied from a 7-3 deficit, recording three straight breaks to edge second-ranked Melissa Applebaum and Cohen, 9-7.


Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press

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